Lip Balm Addiction: Myth or Real?

Lip Balm Addiction: Myth or Real?

© gulnara khaliqova - Fotolia.comIs lip balm addictive? I remember back in the dark ages of 1985 reading in my Seventeen magazine (never mind that I was by then eighteen) that lip products containing petroleum products were addictive. It didn’t really explain why. I later found several theories, the best being that petroleum jelly does not sink into the skin, so it only gives short term relief and over time can actually dry the skin more. The major lip balm companies aren’t advertising this of course, and there seems to be quite a bit of disagreement on the matter.

Regardless, I took it quite seriously at the time and pondered the matter as I swiped my lips with petroleum jelly laden Chapstick. I then decided that no way in double hockypucks was I ever going to be addicted to lip balm! So I started reading labels and buying other lip products, ones without that evil ingredient.

I found some wonderful stuff. So wonderful that I started to wear it all the time. Now I even wake up in the middle of the night to put on my current favorites. Life is very wrong without something on my lips. Over time I even gave up worrying about whether the products contained petrolatum. What the heck, I could always alternate with other stuff (although I still prefer balms with natural ingredients) .

More recently, I read that medicated lip products such as Carmex or Blistex contain addictive ingredients because they create an addictive tingling sensation that, along with drying ingredients, that make you seek to reapply the product. I don’t regularly use those products anyway, so I wasn’t concerned. But have you tried the tingly lip plumpers that are all the rage now? For some reason I seem to really like that sensation, so I keep reapplying them….

So back to the question of whether lip balm is addictive: I certainly get pretty darn uncomfortable without it. I also can’t, and won’t give it up! For further reading on the matter (a lot of further reading), Lip Balm Annonymous is a wonderful source for information and amusement. If anything, browse the pages that include company specific statements and information, and peruse the hate mail page which is full of amusing rants from people with apparently little sense, or at least a serious inability to recognize humor. The site is a bit dated, but still quite relevant.

Are you addicted?