Can't Stop Applying Lip Balm? Here's Why

Lindsey Metrus
PHOTO:

Imaxtree

Take a look into our handbags, desk drawers, and car consoles—basically, any compartment we can burrow things away in—and you're bound to find a few tubes of lip balm in various stages of depletion. Whether our lips feel dry or not, applying lip balm is a subconscious activity we can't quite explain—it's comforting, almost like a security blanket, and we can't imagine what we'd do if found ourselves in a balm-less position (probably run to the nearest drugstore, quite frankly).

We had long wondered if this affinity for lip balm was an actual addiction, so we recently turned to a dermatologist to find out if an intervention was warranted. His verdict? Lip balm addiction is due to the fact that over time, most products contribute to the buildup of waxes, bacteria, skin cells, and yeast, and when our lips can't get rid of that buildup on their own, we start feeling like we need more product. A vicious cycle, no? But recently we learned a whole new culprit for lip balm overuse: allergies.

The Cut revealed that some lip balms have "irritating ingredients that can cause inflammation in the lip area in people with sensitive lips." If we didn't know any better, we'd think this was a ploy to get us to buy more lip balm (and it's working). But if you're looking to cut down on your balm usage and experience less irritation, the article tells us to avoid these four ingredients: beeswax, lanolin, salicyclic acid, and benzocaine. 

Swap out your usual rotation of balms with the product below, which is free of all four offending ingredients!

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Lip Therapy ($12)

Would you say that you're addicted to lip balm? Tell us below!

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