Can a Mustache Cause Chapped Lips? (How To Fix Irritation & Chafing)

Your mustache is perfection but your lips are another story. Dry, peeling, chapped lips are annoying and unattractive. Is your ‘stache responsible for your chapped lip problem? It’s possible.

Dry, wiry mustache hairs can affect the tender skin of your lips, especially the upper lip. If your mustache is touching your lips, it can lead to friction. Repeated friction results in irritation that can ultimately lead to chapped lips.

If chapped lips are an issue, read on to find out how to avoid this problem while keeping your mustache intact!

Can your upper lip get chapped from a mustache?

Chapped lips are a common problem. Dry, wintry weather, sun and wind exposure, and poor hydration can all contribute to the problem. You may be wondering if your mustache could also be a culprit. While your upper lip hair isn’t likely the predominant cause, it can be a factor.

The skin on your lips is thin and lacking in oil glands causing it to dry out easily. This thin skin is also sensitive to friction. Mustache hairs rubbing against the upper lip can cause discomfort and irritation sometimes resulting in chapped or chafed lips.

According to skin experts, the main causes of chapped lips are exposure to the elements, allergens, excessive licking, or dehydration. Though rare, medical conditions and vitamin deficiencies can also be a cause.

Fun Fact: The medical name for chapped lips is “cheilitis.” If cheilitis is caused by a foreign object, the term “irritant contact cheilitis” is used. Angular cheilitis affects the corners of your mouth and causes those painful cracks in the skin.

Can a mustache irritate your lips?

Any rough, foreign object that repeatedly rubs against your lips can cause irritation. Just like your significant other might experience beard burn after a kissing session, you can experience irritation if your upper lip hair isn’t trimmed.

Mustache hair can be dry and coarse if not hydrated enough. Hairs left to grow over the lip can cause irritation. Habits like stroking your mustache or licking your lips can also contribute to chapped lips.

Statistics show a man strokes his mustache about 750 times a day. If you also rub your lips mid-stroke, this motion could be drying out your lips. Also, if you feel untrimmed hairs tickling your lips, you may have the unconscious tendency to lick your upper lip to move them out of the way. 

If your lips are chapped, use caution when you apply your favorite aftershave splash or lotion. Ingredients like menthol, mint, and eucalyptus can be extra-irritating to already damaged lips.

6 tips to fix a mustache causing irritation, chafing, or chapped lips

If you think your mustache is causing lip discomfort, there are a few strategies you can use to lessen the problem. Keeping both your mustache and your lips in top condition will provide the best results.

To fix irritation, chafing, or chapped lips trim and soften your mustache hair, exfoliate and hydrate your lips, and limit bad habits.

Follow these six tips for healthy ‘mo hair and lips:

  • Trim your mustache 
  • Soften your mustache
  • Hydrate your lips
  • Exfoliate your lips
  • Limit your stroking
  • Stop licking your lips

Trim your mustache

Keeping your mustache trimmed is the easiest way to eliminate any mustache-induced lip irritation. Since facial hair is pubic-like, its Brillo texture can do some damage. 

Soften your mustache

Your facial hair can easily dry out due to the same environmental factors that cause your skin to be dry and flaky. 

If your preferred ‘stache style requires hairs to touch your lips, then softening the hair is the way to go.

Using a beard conditioner in the shower can start the softening process. Adding a shea butter-based beard balm or butter will add moisture. Following up with a beard oil locks in moisture and adds the finishing touch to your softening routine.

Hydrate your lips

Well-hydrated lips are healthy lips.

The number one best way to hydrate is to drink enough water. Hydration starts from the inside.

Applying a chemical-free lip balm containing shea butter, beeswax, and natural oils can lock in moisture and provide a barrier to irritation.

Exfoliate your lips

If dry, flaky, and chapped skin is currently a problem, you need to slough off the dead skin.

Exfoliate your lips regularly with a sugar scrub, washrag, or toothbrush.

This step allows any lip treatment to penetrate and do its healing job.

Limit your stroking

Remember that crazy-high mustache stroke statistic?

If you’re touching your ‘stache, chances are you’re also rubbing your lips without realizing it. Rubbing causes friction, plus you’re removing any moisturization products you’ve previously applied.

Stop licking your lips

If you’ve followed the trimming advice, any unconscious lip-licking should stop.

However, if you still find your lips are a chapped mess then make sure you aren’t licking out of habit.

Contrary to popular belief, licking doesn’t add moisture. In fact, this habit dries your lips out even more.