Is Chapstick Addictive?
Re-applying chapstick is like an addiction but experts say it's nothing to worry about.
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If you've mastered the art of furtively applying lip balm with one hand — pulling the tube out of your pocket, fingering the cap off, applying the goo and getting the tube back in your pocket in 3 seconds flat without anyone noticing — then you know how hard it is to stop using the stuff. And you've probably wondered if applying it several times a day is bad for you.
According to dermatologists, your addictive behavior is shameless.
“For many people it is quite difficult for them to stop using lip balm because they’ve become used to their lips having more moisture content than they had in the past,” says Lisa Garner, M.D., dermatologist on the medical staff at Baylor Medical Center at Garland.
Here's how the stuff work:
“When you put a lip balm on your lips you actually block the loss of natural moisture into the environment,” Garner explains. “So you actually keep more of your own natural moisture; as if you seal it in.”
The need to re-apply is much like an addiction, dermatologists say, but unless you develop an allergy, don't worry.
“On occasion you may develop an irritation or sensitivity to one of the ingredients that may make your lips feel dry because you’re actually having a reaction to the lip balm,” Garner said.
Reactions could be caused by flavoring, fragrance or preservatives. If you must have your moist fix, try an unflavored or unscented variety. And balms with sun protection (look for the SPF rating) "can prove beneficial long term,” Garner said.
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