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Do you feel naked without your container of lip balm? Would you rather go without makeup than be without your moisturizing lip product?
To some people, a container of lip balm is a necessity both for its psychological and cosmetic benefits. This has led to the commonly held belief that using lip balm is addictive.
There’s even the thought that the manufacturers add ingredients to lip balm that irritate the lips, increasing the addiction to the product.
Is there any truth to the idea that using lip balm is addictive?
What’s It’s Made Of?
Lip balms are usually made of a combination of petroleum jelly, mineral oil, beeswax, camphor, and menthol to which various scents, sunscreen, and sometimes flavors have been added.
The beeswax, mineral oil, and petroleum jelly help to keep lips moist and soft.
The camphor and menthol found in lip balm products can be a bit drying, but there doesn’t appear to be any added ingredients to account for the perceived addiction to using lip balm.
Some lip balms do contain salicylic acid which has a mild sloughing action on the surface of the lips which can cause some mild irritation, but probably not enough to account for a lip balm addiction.
Why Is Using Lip Balm Thought To Be Addictive?
Many people discover that after they start using lip balm, their lips feel rough and chapped when they don’t apply it.
There are accounts of people applying lip balm up to fifty times per day and even waking up in the middle of the night to reapply it.
Some people are known to go through an entire tube in a day which can get pretty expensive.
What Accounts For This Addictive Type Behavior When Using Lip Balm?
The most likely explanation is that the lips feel better when lip balm is applied.
After becoming accustomed to the moist feel of the lip balm against the lips, lips can feel dry in the absence of the lubricant.
This creates a tendency to lick the lips repeatedly which can cause further dryness and irritation as well as the need for more lip balm.
Some people find the tingling action of the camphor and menthol in lip products to be pleasant and, potentially, habit-forming which may account for some of the compulsion to apply it repeatedly.
What Can You Do If You Think You’re Addicted To Using Lip Balm?
Try to gradually wean yourself off of lip balm by gradually decreasing the number of times you apply it each day.
Try substituting natural moisturizers to soften the lips such as vitamin E oil or petroleum jelly.
These don’t have the camphor and menthol additives that can irritate and dry out the lips.
The other advantage is that these products are less expensive and don’t contain the unhealthy chemicals that commercial lip balms can have.
Think of the money you’ll save when you stop using lip balm compulsively and by using natural ingredients such as vitamin E oil instead you’ll keep your lips soft and kissable.