Here’s one “addiction” without negative effects.
That constant need to apply – and reapply – lip balm isn’t detrimental to your health, despite the urban legends that suggest the opposite.
“Having a ‘lip balm addiction’ may be annoying, but it isn’t harmful,” Perry Romanowski, a cosmetic chemist and author of the book “Can You Get Hooked on Lip Balm?” told Everyday Health.
Technically, you can’t be addicted to lip balm. At least not in the way you can get addicted to drugs like alcohol or nicotine, Romanowski said.
But there is an explanation for ChapStick addiction and Carmex cravings.
Because lips have no oil glands, they tend to dry out easily. As a result, people apply lip balm to relieve the dryness, according to the Everyday Health story.
The problem: The lip balm can actually slow down the lips’ production of fresh new skin cells.
“So when the lip balm wears off, as it inevitably does, your lips will feel more dry,” Romanowski said.
Thus, the dryness-balm-more dryness cycle continues.
Urban legends have long tried to explain lip balm addiction. My favorite: Carmex contains ground glass (or fiberglass particles).
Carmex even addresses the “Is Carmex addictive?” question on its website.
“No, there’s nothing in Carmex that’s addictive. Take a look at the ingredient list on the label, per the Food and Drug Administration’s guidelines.”
Romanowski compares lip balm addiction to a bad habit, such as biting your nails.
So lather your lips without fear.