Addicted to Lip Balm?!

Ok. I have a lip balm of choice, most people do, right? I’ve been using this stuff since I was in high school! (Our love affair has gone on for more than ten years.) I’ve always heard the silly stories, “you’re going to ruin your lips!” Or, “oh, you’re gonna have to use that stuff forever!” And of course, “the oil glands in your lips will stop producing oil if you use that stuff!” Well, there are not oil glands in your lips, sooooo. Yeahhhhh.

Once and for all–CAN you be addicted to lip balm? (I’m trying to work in a clever Robert Palmer joke, here. I’m blank, so let’s just pretend it was super clever and move on. Thanks.) A very popular urban beauty myth is that your lips can become dependent on your regular lip balm application, is this true?!

Calling it an addiction in the literal and medical sense is taking it a bit far. But, yes, your body can be “hypnotized” into relying on your lip balm of choice. Here’s the deal–your lips feel dry, chapped or feel flaky, they send a message to your deeper layer of skin–the “basal” layer. The basal layer is in charge of producing fresh, plump new skin cells. If you are always spreading that lip balm on, the message never gets sent because you have just created a new barrier layer that prevents the release of moisture. SO, the basal layer doesn’t get the message to create some new cells.

After the lip balm wears out, your lips dry out again and your basal layer will rush to send more skin cells. BUT your lips are dry so you put on more lip balm, which tells the basal layer, “hey no bigs, everything is fine up here on the surface, we don’t need any more plump new skin cells.” And the cycle repeats until you are a fully functioning lip balm-aholic.

Now. No one is going to say that brand spanking new, plump skin cells are a bad idea. But that is what you’re telling your body. Yikes. So, start to wean yourself off of that lip balm or “lip chap” as the girl at my book group calls it. (You know who you are, lady. lol. Holla!)

So, ease up on the lip balm! Your lips will feel dry and chapped, go with it. I started to cut back a few days ago, they are dry and feel a lil stiff, but we’re getting there. PLUS, there is a whole new color to my lips, it is a little more pink than before, which negates any need for lip gloss. lol. Also, if you lay off the blam, you can enjoy some new lip cells–perhaps your basal layer can whip up some Angelina Jolie type cells. lol.

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