Addicted To Lip Balm?

Now it’s autumn and my lips are starting to dry out again. I have this problem since I was a child.

In elementary school I walked around with my blue Labello lip balm. Every time my lips felt dry, I put some lip balm on them.

A classmate with the typical Dutch name Jeroen always shouted: ‘Don’t do it! Your lips become addicted to lip balm, so you eventually have to apply even more.’

According to him, your lips would no longer make a natural substance to keep themselves moisturized. And if you no longer have that natural substance, your lips are always dry and so you always need lip balm.

I took his advice for a while and didn’t use a lip balm, but this backfired. I still use lip balm when my lips are dry, but I’ve kept wondering if there’s any truth to it. Can your lips get addicted to lip balm?

Your lips can’t get addicted to lip balm…

… But they can be drier. This has nothing to do with a so-called addiction. Don’t worry, your lips don’t get used to lip balm.

Photo: Makidotvn via Getty Images

But they do get drier. If you often put a thick layer of lip balm on your lips, you close the lips from the outside. Because of this your lips can no longer get air and dry out. You probably put on more lip balm and then you are in a vicious circle.

Actually you shouldn’t have your lips covered in a thick layer of lip balm all the time. Your lips benefit from a lot of air. If they don’t get enough air, it upsets the balance and you get dry lips or infections.

View the ingredients of your lip balm

It’s important to lubricate lip balm in moderation, but also look at the ingredients list of your lip balm. Certain substances in lip balms irritate your delicate lips, so you never get rid of those dry and cracked lips.

Photo: thamyrissalgueiro via Getty Images

Ingredients to avoid

You don’t want these ingredients in your lip balm:

  • Alcohol
  • Aromas
  • Camphor
  • Dyes
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fragrances
  • Lavender oil
  • Menthol
  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone
  • Methylisothiazolinone
  • Phenol
  • Propyl and butyl parabens
  • Quartenium-15

Ingredients you want

These ingredients don’t dry out or irritate your lips:

  • Butter (e.g. cocoa butter or shea butter)
  • Ceramides
  • Dimethicone
  • Glycerin
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Lanolin (unless you’re allergic to wool grease)
  • Niacinamide
  • Panthenol
  • Petrolatum
  • Vegetable oils (e.g. jojoba or shea)
  • Wax (e.g. carnauba or jojoba)

Can I use Vaseline on my lips?

When I don’t have a lip balm in stock, I like to use Vaseline. And luckily Vaseline offers excellent protection for emergencies.

But if your lips remain dry and cracked then ceramide level isn’t optimal in your lips. Vaseline isn’t just enough. It’s best to smear ceramide or niacinamide on your lips.

Photo: RyanKing999

No, your lips can’t get addicted to lip balm. But certain ingredients can irritate and dry out your lips even further, so you will eventually use more lip balm. This process has nothing to do with lip balm addiction.

Front photo: RyanKing999

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