Chapstick Can Make Your Lips More Chapped?


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          I was putting chapstick on my lips for about a minute without realizing how long I have been putting it on for, and my brother announced, "You know that chapstick can make your lips even more chapped, and you can get addicted to it too?" I was extremely suspicious and did not believe him, until my mom chimed in with one of her daily Dr. Oz references to prove it. Apparently chapstick, or lip balm, can "contain irritating chemicals, actually drying lips more, making lip products feel like a necessity."

         Now, I do not always believe Dr. Oz, but he brought a woman on his show to prove why it is not always effective and how it can cause an addiction. She claimed she has a problem and always put lip balm on and she keeps it everywhere, she tried to not use it for a day, which she could not even do. Lip Balm does not compare to nicotine in cigarettes, meaning it does not contain any addictive chemicals; rather it is more of a habit that is psychological. People can develop habits that is repeated so many times that it becomes a routine like having to wash your hands all of the time or brushing your teeth. However, it is not proven that people with chapstick obsessions have any other OCD-like habits. There are many skin cells on lips that are designed to shed, and blocking them from removing blocks the natural process and actually "suffocating the cells." There are signs that can lead to someone being addicted to lip balm; if it is applied more than three times a day, if more than one lip balm is owned, if it is kept in multiple places, and if it is needed to be re-applied after being rubbed off from a "kiss or eating". Actually, the lip balm "addiction" is a common thing, and the amount of lip balm sales increased to an average of $370,000,000 a year from selling lip balm!

        Any added moisture to lips can cause them to be dryer. For example, the first rule to prevent getting chapped lips is to stop licking them. Apparently saliva evaporates on your lips causing them to dry out and removing the "skin's natural lipids." This makes a lot of sense considering my lips are constantly dry in the winter and it is probably because all of the chapstick I use. However, if I cannot lick my lips or put lip balm on, HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO PREVENT THEM FROM BEING DRY?

         After researching tons of ways to prevent chapped lips, four suggestions were repeated and stood out in each list of ways to stop dry lips. Firstly, like I said before, licking your lips needs to come to an end but that is difficult to control. The next step to keeping your lips hydrated and soft is to drink a lot of water. Rehydrating cells with a lot of water can prevent them from drying in the first place, it is also recommended to use a humidifier because, that way, natural moisture is replenishing your lips. Another recommendation is to select cosmetics wisely. A lot of lip gloss' and lip sticks' contain chemicals, specifically alcohol. Alcohol can scrape away all of the natural moisture from your lips causing them to dry out even more than saliva. Finally, some medications like acne medications and face washes contain chemicals to purposely cause your skin to dry out to prevent the spread of acne. Doctors claim that this is an extremely obvious way that lips dry out, so it is advised to keep it off and away from your lips.

         I love the taste and look of some lip balms, so I probably will not completely stop using them. Although, I have learned to be more selective on the products I buy, stay hydrated, and to stop licking my lips. What are some items or actions that have caused you or someone you to be so obsessed to the point where it feels like an addiction?

lipbalm.jpg
Works Cited:

       

       "Chapped Lips Remedy: 5 Ways To Stave Off Dryness This Winter." The Huffington Post. 01 Dec. 2013. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/14/chapped-lips-remedy_n_2288214.html>


       "Is Chapstick Addictive?" Greatist. 01 Dec. 2013. <http://greatist.com/health/chapstick-addictive>


       "Are You Addicted to Lip Balm?" The Dr. Oz Show. 01 Dec. 2013. <http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/are-you-addicted-lip-balm>


      "Do Lip Balm Products Dry out Your Lips?" America Now News. 01 Dec. 2013. <http://www.americanownews.com/story/16144387/does-lip-balm-dry-out-your-lips>

 

      "Top Ways to Prevent Chapped Lips." Discovery Fit and Health. 01 Dec. 2013. <http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/lip-care/tips/5-ways-to-prevent-dry-lips.htm>


3 Comments

This blog post was so interesting especially because I have a habit of putting chapstick on all the time. I was shocked that in your post that chapstick can be a bad thing by drying our lips out even more. It's kind of sad that we buy a product thinking that it will help us but in the end it just makes things worse. This reminded me of an article I came across http://www.greencleancertified.com/green-cleaning-facts/household-cleaning-products-may-do-more-harm-than-good where you think your cleaning your house with cleaning products but your actually putting more toxins in the air which loses the main purpose of using the product.

I had the same conversation with a family member over the holiday! I definitely keep in mind marketing tactics when shopping for these kinds of products, just because a product says "medicated" doesn't mean it's good for your lips/skin. "medicated" carries a strong mostly positive connotation to a variety of consumers.

I'm not sure I am completely convinced this was not just a correlation because the study was based on one participant on a highly viewed television program. Are there any more larger more legitimate studies?

We should be more mindful of the ingredients that go into our lip balms. Burt's Bees seems like a reliable brand. This article features a video that takes you inside their factory and breaks down how they make their famous balm http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/beauty/skin-and-makeup/addicted-to-lip-balm.htm

This post is so appropriate since there is snow on the ground and the need for chapstick seems to increase during the winter season. While I have heard that many lip products contain alcohol and other drying agents that can worsen chapped lips, sometimes the use of chap stick or lip balm is almost a necessity. Dermatologists recommend the use of Vaseline products containing petroleum jelly to help maintain your lip's natural moisture balance and prevent them from drying in harsh weather.
http://www.steadyhealth.com/articles/Why_Vaseline_Is_Good_for_Your_Lips_a2183.html

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