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Hello,

I've always been prone to dry lips with cracks at the sides. Lately though, I've been applying and reapplying lip balm like 10 times a day or more. I have like 5 different lip balms in my purse at any given time, and when I can't find it I just go out and buy more! I'm bona fide addicted to the stuff. 

A friend just told me that overuse of lip balm can be drying to the lips, actually, but I'm not sure if I believe her. Is this a problem, that I use lip balm so much, or is my lip balm habit harmless?

 

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This is actually a good question. Years ago, I was overusing lip balm myself — I have very sensitive skin that dries out easily and chapped lips were also part of the program. Like you, I never left the house without it! I have since learned that lip balms that contain phenol, menthol or salicylic acid are inherently drying to the skin. They also exfoliate it lightly, which means your skin's outer layers are removed and you're even more prone to dry skin and chapped lips. I have since switched to a balsam with just bees wax, and I do rely on it so much less now. You may try the same. 

Rosie

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LOL, I don't know what to say! OK I'll say it. I saw this programme called "my strange addiction" and there was some really bizarre addictions on there. One was a lady that was addicted to those roll on deodorants. She licked them. Like a lot of them, every day. Turns out, there's aluminium in that stuff and you can get dementia prematurely as well as a whole host of other health issues 'cause of eating that stuff. So when you said you were addicted to lip balm, of course I immediately thought you were eating it. Though yeah, over reliance on lip balms may actually make your lips drier over time as they get used to the constant presence of these balms, I don't think this is an addiction as such. Maybe cut down yeah, but as long as you're not eating it I say you're not addicted :).

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The existence of lip balm addiction is heavily debated by psychologists. That in itself is a clue that many people have this problem, but you aren't talking about a physical addiction like with alcohol or cigarettes or anything, it is more of an OCD habit really. So, at the moment, this addiction is not clinically defined. However, it is certainly true that using too much lip balm can cause your lips to dry out, and you can also overspend on lip balm, but in terms of money and time. Honestly, if I were you, I'd switch to a nice hydrating lipstick or lipgloss. If you put lip balm over that, it will look bad, so you will probably try not to.
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Thank you for replying, folks!

No, it is true that I am not eating my lip balm, but as a spin off, I do wonder how much of it people like me do end up ingesting.

I have tried to cut back and my lips feel terribly dry and I just have the uncontrollable urge to put some lip balm on. That was what really made me say that I am now addicted to lip balm. Isn't trying to stop something and not being able to do that, because you keep thinking about the thing, really the definition of addiction?

I don't wear lip stick because my lips are too dry. Are there any other tips on how to stop using so much lip balm?

Thank you!
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I am sorry that you are suffering from dry and chapped lips. That is very frustrating and can affect your look as well as causing you pain. I too would suggest cutting down on lip balm for a while. You may commit to applying it only three times a day at first — once in the morning when you get up, once during the middle of the day, and once at night before you head off to bed. Maybe, after a week or so, you will find that you don't need lip balm that much and you will adjust to using it less. Keep well hydrated, of course.

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I have tried that and it didn't get any better. For what it's worth, I've had dry and "flaky" lips basically all my life, I can even find school pictures where the problem is obvious. I don't know that I am addicted to lip balm, the problem seems to be with my lips and not caused by anything I put on them. I'm not dehydrated or ill all the time either, as some people like to ask me about ;0. It is very frustrating. I do depend on lip balm but it doesn't actually make the dry lips any better. I do wonder what causes these chronic dry lips.
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I think I need to join this thread. I'm sitting here at my computer, was watching this show on Netflix, and I have applied lip balm several times in the last 30 minutes or so. Even right after applying the lip balm, I can STILL feel the underlying skin dryness. I don't think I'm addicted to lip balm, I think that my lips are screaming out for hydration and I simply don't know what else to do. So what else DO YOU DO about severely dry lips? I am lost.
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