Can I become addicted to lip balm?

Psychological vs. Physical Lip Balm Addiction

Although there's no evidence of chemicals in lip balm that cause a physical addiction, the fact that you apply it nonstop or carry it on your person at all times might make you wonder if you're psychologically dependent on it. The truth is, this may in fact qualify as a psychological addiction [source: Feldmeier].

Using lip balm shouldn't interfere with your daily life. If you have to go out of your way to find a tube of the stuff or have difficulty enjoying things or concentrating because you can't take your mind off of soothing your lips, you may have a psychological addiction.

If you think you use lip balm too frequently, there are things you can do to kick the habit. Applying lip balm can make your lips feel good at the moment, especially if they're dry or chapped. The action of applying lip balm can also feel comforting. Using it can become an almost unconscious habit, like twirling your hair or biting your fingernails.

When you feel the urge to apply, trying replacing lip balm with something else, such as a drink of water.

Rest assured, overuse of lip balm at worst dries out your lips and empties out your pocketbook -- it doesn't increase your risk of cancer. With conscious effort and a few handy-dandy distraction tricks, you can break the balm-applying habit. For more information on preventing, recognizing and conquering lip balm dependency, visit the links on the following page.

Last editorial update on May 14, 2018 11:30:35 am.

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  • Associated Press. "Bingeing on Balm, or Hip Lip Service?" St. Petersburg Times. 1/22/06. (Accessed 8/15/09)
  • Feldmeier, Julie. "Get Over Your Lip Balm Addiction." 12/14/08. (Accessed 8/15/09)
  • Fox News. "Lip Balm Addiction: Real or Imagined?" 11/4/08. (Accessed 8/15/09),2933,446626,00.html
  • Gibson, Lawrence E. "Chapped Lips: What's the Best Remedy?" 10/4/08. (Accessed 8/15/09)
  • Mappas, Laura. "Lip Glosses Increase Risk of Cancer." Ninemsn. 5/19/08. (Accessed 8/15/09).
  • Veena, Thomas. "Lip Balm Junkie." The Tech. 4/5/99. (Accessed 8/15/09)