Prolonged use of face masks has caused some people’s pouts to be very dry and dehydrated. A small price to pay for protecting each other in these times, but there are some ways to minimise the discomfort.

Having worked myself for many hours in a mask and visor, I found that even though I have always used lip balms and cared for my lips, I noticed the prolonged use of a face mask was causing my mouth to become dehydrated, I already have a great respect for all of the NHS and care home workers who have put their own lives on the line, and I am sure that they have suffered a lot more than dry lips alone.

If we can make life more comfortable and find solutions to the new way of living, then it must be a good thing.

Why are your lips feeling dry even though they are covered by the face mask?

Breathing through our mouth when we are wearing a face mask can cause chapped lips and other dry ailments. Face masks trap the warm moisture as we exhale creating the perfect environment for bacteria to grow, causing many types of skin problems from acne to sores.

This environment for our skin can sometimes cause the lips to feel dehydrated or dry, leading to the temptation for us to lick our lips and causing more dryness leading to a vicious circle.

Relinquishing your mask is not an option if we want to protect each other, so here are a few tips that I hope that will help you.

Lip care and mask care for wearing a protective mask covering.

  • Wear a well fitted mask, this stops you from unnecessarily touching and readjusting your mask, thus transferring germs. Avoid masks that rub or feel too tight or too loose. Choose a good material or fabric that will not irritate the skin.
  • Protect your lips. I apply my eye cream morning and evening to my lips and then seal with Vaseline to protect and lock in moisture.
  • Avoid lip licking, this will only dry and dehydrate your lips more.
  • Keep hydrated. I have found that wearing a mask at work means that it is easy to fall in to the trap of not hydrating with water. Find safe opportunities to drink plenty of water, stay safe and find a place away from the public in certain environments to remove your mask and drink to hydrate.
  • Avoid make up and lipstick when wearing a mask. You won’t see your lips whilst the mask is on, so enjoy not having to apply lipstick and foundation.
  • Take a frequent mask break, only when safe to do so away from people.
  • Machine wash cloth masks after each use according to instructions, preferably with a hypoallergenic and fragrance-free laundry detergent.


  • Use a good home care routine, use lip products with nourishing ingredients such as vitamin E.
  • Use a lip scrub every week and follow with a moisturising lip mask. If you don’t want to invest in a specific lip product, use an old clean toothbrush, and put a layer of Vaseline over the lips, then brush over using a circular motion. Remove and apply a specific lip balm.
  • Use a lip treatment formulated to treat dry and dehydrated lips.
  • Use lip balms that are rich in vitamin E.
  • Apply lip balm regularly throughout the day when it is safe to do so. Try to apply every two hours and apply after eating or drinking,
  • Avoid lipsticks that are drying especially of the matt variety, especially for a dry lip type.
  • Avoid wetting your lips with saliva.
  • Wash your hands prior to applying lip balm.
  • Use Vaseline over the top of your favourite lip balm to keep the moisture in.
  • Use a lip balm with a high SPF if you are outdoors often.
  • If wearing a lipstick opt for one with good moisturising properties.
  • Make sure that you are getting the right amount of vitamins in your body. Follow a healthy eating plan.
  • Always remove make up and lipstick and follow with a suitable lip product.
  • Avoid strong pigmented lip colours on a regular basis, you won’t need to when wearing a face mask.
  • Cut back on smoking, alcohol to avoid dehydration.


There are so many lip balms available to buy, and it really is personal choice, here are my ultimate favourites:

Aroma Works Rejuvenate Lip Balm, A favourite of mine as it is hydrating and nourishing to the lips. This is branded as a cruelty free and vegan friendly product. It is made with organic natural ingredients and a good price point.

  • Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Lip Balm, this is a great lip treatment to strengthen delicate lips. Fantastic for very dry and cracked lips.
  • Clarins Lip Comfort Oil, I use this over the top of my lip balm as a lip gloss, it is great as it also comes in different subtle shades. This is moisturising and looks great when not wearing a face mask.

Other good picks

  • Burt’s bees Beeswax Lip Balm
  • Eve Lom Kiss mix Demure lip balm
  • La Mer Face The Lip Balm