Photo: Shutterstock / petrunjela
Lift your hand if you are a bit suffering – maybe you think you have a dependence on lip balm. Well, you are not alone. If you use ChapStick several times a day or freak out, if you do not have your favorite Burts Bees Tube in your purse or on your person, you might have thought Is this healthy for me?
The lip balm dependency has taken the Internet by storm, and countless forums are devoted to this topic. There is even a whole community called Lip Balm Anonymous. The debate has become so fierce that Blistex has assured consumers that you certainly have no reliance on your lip products.
We have asked experts what they really do think about (whether we are (or are) addicted to lip balm, and discovered ingredients that you may want to avoid as well as products approved by dermatologists our shopping cart.
Tell me the truth, am I addicted to my lip balm?
In short, no. Lip balm dependency is not a real thing, but there are some lip balm habits that may not be particularly good for your pout, experts say.
Using chronically heavy, sealing ointments over the lips that can compromise the skin's ability to adapt to the environment to maintain a healthy moisture content, Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City.
Another concern? Your saliva contains enzymes that make it effective for digesting food when you eat. But if you're someone who often licks your lips, you apply the same digestive enzymes to your skin, leaving your lips dry and cracked, says Rachel Nazarian, MD, a New York-based dermatologist and fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology (FAAD). People then use chapstick or other topical balms to help, but the real problem is their lipstick habit, she emphasizes. (See: 1
If you wash your face with hot water, your lips may also become dehydrated. The reason: Hot water removes natural oils more aggressively than cold or lukewarm water. "The lips have fewer oil glands than other parts of the body, so if you wash your skin with hot water, it dries up quickly," explains Dr. Nazarian.
Also important: New York City-based dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD, says you should definitely drink plenty of water for the day, as dehydration can lead to chapped lips. (See also: The Best Lip Balm Is Really a Nipple Cream – Serious)
Lip Balm Ingredients to Avoid
Lip balm containing only moisturizing ingredients (termed humectants) but no nutritive ingredients that evaporate Preventing moisture can add more fuel to the fire, Dr. Nazarian. This makes you more dependent on lip balm to replace the hydration.
Be sure to read the ingredient list on your lip balm before you make a purchase. If you have sensitive skin, our experts recommend that you remove yourself from products that contain alcohol or fragrances that can irritate your skin. (See also: The DIY Lip Balm, which you can make with just two ingredients)
Also on the skip list? Menthol, cinnamon aldehyde and peppermint. "They irritate sensitive skin much sooner and should be avoided," says Dr. Nazarian. Camphor and phenol can also dry out the lips, says dr. Jaliman. (See also: The Best Lip Balm with SPF)
How to Select the Lip Balm Wise
If your current lip balm does not irritate your skin, you should not feel like throwing it. However, if you find that your lips never seem to be hydrated, you may want to look for a balm that contains nutritious ingredients like lanolin or simple beeswax with no perfume or colorings. Nazarian. "These ingredients effectively prevent the evaporation of moisture from the lips," she explains, adding that she is also a fan of classic Vaseline.
At night Dr. Nazarian to coat the lips with Aquaphor Lip Repair (Amazon). com) and connecting a humidifier to increase humidity and avoid chapped lips when taking a nap. Other Balms She Loves: Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm ($ 8; amazon.com), a conditioning treatment with Vitamin E, Green Tea, SPF, and Natural Softeners; and Kiehl's Lip Balm # 1 ($ 10; sephora.com), a highly regarded balm containing squalane, aloe vera and vitamin E, to soothe, soothe and protect the skin damaging free radicals.
Wheatgerm oil, almond oil jojoba oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, aloe vera and shea butter are all ingredients that Dr. Ing. Jaliman loves. One of her favorite treatments is Dr. med. Hauschka Lip Balm ($ 17; amazon.com) because it contains nutritious oils (such as calendula oil) and cocoa butter to revive a broken stool coat. "It also has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe very dry, chapped lips," she says.
If in doubt, mild moisturizing lip balms are the best choice, Dr. Signatory. "Use it only when you need it, not just out of habit," he advises. His picks? Neutrogena Hydroboost Lip Treatment ($ 6; amazon.com) and Clarins Hydra-Essential Moisturizing Lip Balm ($ 24; ulta.com), which contains a cocoa extract that helps to soften and hydrate rough cells on the skin surface.
The ground line? No, you are not addicted to your lip balm, but you might overdo it for compulsive lip licking. Hey, that happens. If you can not reduce your balsam, invest instead in one of our dermatologist-recognized options that are good for your lips.
This story originally appeared on Susan von Brickell.