I have a confession to make. Itís hard for me because I know that I will have to face the truth once I spit it out. Okay. Here goes. Iím addicted to lip balm (and thereís more to this than you might think).
UGH. The thing is, I donít want to give it up. I love it. I use it multiple times a day, and looking around my room, I can see four sticks right now. I am never without it. If I donít always have it with me, I know that my lips are going to get really dry and cracked and Iím going to need it. Alas. I guess I now know how drug addicts feel.
So, you might be asking, is it possible for people to actually get addicted to lip balm? Well, I asked the same thing. Lip balm addiction? Psh. Yeah, right. Well, turns out that itís legit. If addiction is the habitual/obsessive use of and subsequent psychological dependence upon a substance, then sure enough, we can indeed be addicted to lip balm.
Shall we take a look at this? Well, the more you use lip balm, the more your lips become used to the wonderful, moisturized feeling of it. When you take away the lip balm, they are dry! So dry. Iíve been using lip balm for a couple of years now, and my lips are almost always dry. You would think it would go the opposite way. Apparently not.
Also, when addicts watch other people using lip balm, they need it, too. Itís the same as hard drugs. The presence of the drug makes the addict crave it. Though the addiction may not be based on a physical dependence, it is most certainly psychologically present.
And then, letís take a look at Carmex, which has one of the largest addict followings within the lip balm field, perhaps because it uses salicylic acid (aspirin) in its products. First of all, you must assume that if you are putting tons of aspirin on your mouth daily, you are going to get addicted to it. Second of all, salicylic acid dries up your lips, making sure that people need more, more, more! Ridiculous. It also turns out that Carma Labs, the company behind Carmex, acknowledges but does not deny the rumor that they mix ground Fiberglas with their lip balm to further dry out lips. Who knows if this is true, but it does put a bit of a damper on your desire for a Carmex fix.
Anyways, it seems to be true that lip balm addiction is a widespread problem. Just searching ďlip balm addictionĒ on google, I came up with hundreds and hundreds of people struggling with the addiction. I was surprised to find ďChapstick (Iím a Chapstick Addict lol)Ē on the Care2 Web site early on in my search, but it is indeed there. Other titles compared the stuff to hard drugs: ďHeroin and Chapstick: Any Difference?Ē and ďThe Straight Dope: Is It Possible To Be Addicted To Chap Stick?Ē
Perhaps the site with the largest wealth of knowledge and the best analogies was Lip Balm Anonymous, an Alcoholics Anonymous-type group that speaks of the evils of lip balm addiction. It has information about many of the most popular brands (including a few that are supposedly gateway drugs) and first-hand accounts by addicts, along with a 12-step process to getting clean. I suppose itís time to push aside my Pomegranate Oil Burtís Bees and face the music.
Note to self: Time for step one.
Lily Berthold-Bond grew up in a chemical-free zone and has struggled her whole life to understand and accept this non-commercial lifestyle. Now a freshman at Tufts University, she has embraced her green life and hopes to share its possibilities with the rest of her generation.