I’m Giorgia and I’m a lip balm addict. I have at least a dozen lip balms laying around the house and every time I go out I have to make sure I have one with me. I apply lip balm on my lips at least 20 times a day. I also apply it every night before I go to sleep. I just can’t live without it.
Recently, I stumbled on an article in a magazine that mentioned lip balm addiction and it got me thinking: am I really addicted to lip balm? I mean, I’ve always used them because I like how they feel on my lips, they taste and smell good and some of them even give a hint of color.
But could lip balm cause a real physical addiction? I’ve done some research on the topic and here is what I found out:
Lip balms stop lips from producing natural moisture
When you apply lip balm, you create a barrier on the skin that slows down moisture loss. Because lips are moisturized, skin cells stop producing their own natural moisture. So, when you’re not using your lip balm anymore, it takes a while for cells to start producing natural moisture again. But in the meantime, your lips feel dry so you reapply your lip balm again. This make cells stop producing moisture until you don’t use lip balm anymore. And so on.
Some ingredients in your lip balms, such as fragrances, preservatives, lanolin and colorings can cause sensitivity and irritation. As a reaction to these ingredients, your lips feel dry. Another ingredient that can cause chapped lips is phenol. It is added in lip balms because it provides temporarily relief. However, it also an exfoliant that removes the top layers of the skin, causing lips to become dry.
Some lip balms smell great and taste so yummy we keep licking our lips. This causes them to dry out. Saliva evaporates quickly, removing not only the balm, but also the moisture from your lips, which are left feeling drier.
Some experts claim that lip balm addiction is a psychological need and not a physical one. People don’t apply lip balm because they need but because they are so used to doing it and so accustomed to the feel of moisturized lips, it becomes a habit hard to break.
As far as I’m concerned, I think my addiction is a psychological one. I’m so used to wearing lip balm, that I feel naked without it. What about you? Are you addicted to lip balm as well?