Have you ever heard of lip balm addiction? Well, Penny began to wonder about her own penchant for lip balm so it was time for some research. I don't mean research for the newest and most effective lip balm on the market by advertising standards. I mean research on whether or not there is something called 'lip balm addiction.' According to my findings lip balm addiction is a myth. Yes, I now know there are groups out there dedicated to 'support' lip balm abusers (who knew?) but there is no scientific or medical proof that constant use of lip balm is actually an addiction. There is nothing in lip balms that is habit forming or that compells us to be psychologically dependent on them, so continous use is not considered an addiction. So why does Penny have a tube of lip balm within arms reach at all times...home, purse, car, office, etc? Inquiring minds wanna know. LOL!
Lips normally have a very thin oily film on their surface that provides natural protection against moisture loss. As someone with generally dry skin and eczema, I didn't think it unusal that I had dry lips (not usually chapped, but dry). I also have to consider my frequent beauty product trials as some may have adverse effects on me. For example, there is something in MAC lipsticks that cause my lips to dry out severely and crack at the corners. After several trials I found that I could use their lip glosses but not their lipsticks, and I can't use anything constantly for a long period of time. I don't wear lipstick or lip gloss every day, but I do apply lip balm multiple times a day. Lately I feel like the more lip balm I apply, the more I need to apply it. So it got me to thinking....why do my lips feel dry all the time? Is there something in the lip balm that's causing the dryness? That is one theory. Because I don't lick my lips often (a common cause of dryness), I had to consider the ingredients in my lip balms. I've used many brands over the years such as Chap Stick, Blistex, Burt's Bee's, Aquaphor, Palmer's Medicated Lip Balm, and Sephora's Super Nourishing Lip Balm. I noticed that I often used "medicated" lip balms to soothe my feeling of dry lips and I enjoyed the tingling sensation caused by most. However, many of these balms, even the 'natural' ones, contain menthol, camphor, or peppermint oil which have been said to be a 'cause' of lip irritation and dryness. Some also contain fragrance and citric acid both of which I have a sensitivity too. So what is a gal to do to get a more perfect pout? (read full story...)
According to the many articles about lip balm over use, there could be a number of reasons for dry lips. Extreme cold or windy weather, hot dry indoor air, breathing through your mouth, constant licking of your lips, sun exposure, some medications, some citrus foods, and some key ingredients in lip balms themselves are all said to be culprits of dry chapped lips. There are conflicting recommendations, however, on how to remedy the problem of dry lips. Some say petroluem-based products are best to lock in natural moisture; others recommend mineral oil-based or beeswax-based products. Petroleum jelly cannot cure dry lips but can help to prevent moisture loss. Medical grade lanolin is said to accelerate repair of lips and is used in some lip repair products. Honey has antibacterial properties which can help heal and soothe chapped lips as well. I think it is important to recognize the cause of the dryness before finding the right solution for you.
It is important to note that lip balm can only provide temporary relief and in most cases cannot heal dry chapped lips. Penny is considering a decrease in use of lip balm (especially medicated ones) and maybe using products like pure Vitamin E oil and organic olive or jojoba oils instead. I have used Vitamin E oil as an overnight remedy for dry patches on my face and dry lips during the winter months, so it is definitely something to consider for regular use on my lips. I also need to increase my water intake (for many reasons) since I believe overall dehydration can be a factor with my dry lips.
I will continue to gently exfoliate my lips at least 2x a week with an extra soft toothbrush (or kid's toothbrush), washcloth, or sugar scrub to remove dry dead skin. Do not over exfoliate as this may cause further irritation. Exfoliation helps to keep lips smooth, soft, and allow for your moisturizing oils to penetrate nicely afterwards. Remember that you don't have to wait for your lips to become chapped to exfoliate.
Here is a quick and easy DIY Lip Scrub recipe:
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1.5- 2 tsps honey
- .5-1 tsp olive oil
This scrub is mild enough for kids as well. I feel bad sometimes when I see kids with dry cracked lips which can be painful. Rubbing some natural oil on their lips at bedtime (when they can't lick it off) might help. Penny encourages all to do their own research if you or your children suffer from chronic dry cracked lips as there could be a medical reason for this condition (i.e., vitamin deficencies, allergic reactions, etc). Aquaphor Lip Repair (beeswax product) or Aquaphor Healing Ointment (petroleum-based) are often recommended by physicians for people who have severe chapped lips due to medications or a medical condition.
Hope this was helpful.
Be blessed. Be beautiful.