Can You Be Addicted To Lip Balm?
Lip balm may feel soothing on chapped lips, but it can also turn into a bad habit that’s hard to break.
Lip balm may feel soothing on chapped lips. But it can also turn into a bad habit that’s hard to break. Could you be addicted?
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Not in the physiologic sense, says dermatologist Melissa Piliang, MD. But like anything else, lip balm can become a psychological crutch.
“It can definitely be habit-forming,” Dr. Piliang says. “Applying lip balm soothes your lips, feels good and can be very comforting. That can lead to an unconscious habit that helps with stress or anxiety — kind of like twirling your hair or biting your nails.”
She says some kinds of lip balm can also make your dry lips even drier, so it’s a good idea to check the ingredients in your favorite brand. Pay attention to how often you use it to see whether you’re doing it out of a real need to protect and moisturize, or for other reasons.
Dr. Piliang offers several common-sense questions to ask yourself to see if you have a psychological dependence on lip balm:
The more questions you answer ‘yes’ to in the list, the more likely you may have a dependency on lip balm.
Here are some things Dr. Piliang advises when choosing the best balm for your lips:
“Stick to these tips to keep yourself in check with your lip balm use,” she adds. “Your dermatologist can help with any myths, too. For example, there’s a myth that the shine in a lip gloss allows the sun’s rays to penetrate more and increases skin cancer risk. We do see skin cancer on the lips, but nothing in lip balms causes cancer. If you have more questions like these, we’re here to help.”