7 Signs Your Lip Balm Use Is Just a Bad Habit


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? 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,” she says. “Applying lip balm soothes the lips and feels good, and it is often comforting. That can lead to an unconscious habit that helps with stress or anxiety, kind of like twirling the hair or biting the nails.”

Ironically, some kinds of lip balm can make your dry lips even drier. It’s a good idea to check the ingredients in your favorite brand, and watch how often you use it.

Signs of dependence

Dr. Piliang offers several common-sense questions to ask yourself to help judge whether you might have a psychological dependence on lip balm.

  1. Do you apply it very frequently?
  2. Do you have to carry it with you at all times?
  3. Do you have it stashed all over? (Your purse? Your car? Your bedroom? Your bathroom?)
  4. Do you spend a lot of money on it?
  5. Have your friends or family commented on your frequent use or spending on it?
  6. Do you go out of your way or make yourself late to get more?
  7. Do you have trouble concentrating or enjoying life because you can’t take your mind off the need to apply it?

Tips to buying good lip balm

Here are some tips: