Retinoids and the Lips

Y’all know I’m a retinoid cheerleader. But the one thing I’ve not honed in on in a video so far is the potential fall-out for our lips of misplaced retinoid. Dare I say it, if you use a retinoid for long enough (especially in winter) you WILL experience this at some point.

Can Retinoids Cause Dry Lips?

Retinoids cause dryness when they come into contact with our lips and can even trigger itching, redness and frank dermatitis, so a clear plan of preventative action is needed! It usually comes about as an accident - we inadvertently swipe our fingers over our lips when applying our precious night-time retinoid; or we smoosh it over our lips when we face-plant into the pillow.

So the first thing to know is application technique is everything.

Prepare by protecting the orifices. Generously apply your favourite lip-balm after cleansing and before you get started with your retinoid. Be sure to work it into the corners of the mouth, where skincare products can sometimes pool and cause trouble.

Then, get some structure to how you apply your retinoid. 13 Dot Technique was developed to help ensure your retinoid gets absorbed where it's needed, and nowhere else.

Consider avoiding moisturiser over the top, if you’re experiencing issues despite these steps - certainly, be sure to have fully massaged in your retinoid to prevent redundant surface product moving around.

Know that if it all gets too much, 1% Hydrocortisone cream dabbed on red, cracked irritated corners of the mouth will get you out of trouble - don’t do this for longer than a couple of days.

And as a final note, if you’re hitting the slopes this winter, source lip balm with good broad spectrum UV cover as dry, cold air plus intense UV at altitude will push your pout to it’s limit.