What is This Addiction?
Just as they affect your skin and hair, the wind, sun, and cold climate take a toll on your lips. It is here that lip balms help as they keep our lips moist and prevent them from getting chapped. However, for some, it is more than a lip moisturizing product as they find that these colorful, flavored sticks have become an important part of their life. What is it that makes these products become a habit? Some say that it is the ingredients they are made of. Menthol is good for cold sores, but it creates a tingling sensation that an addict develops a liking for. Camphor, another ingredient, is believed to interfere with the natural healing process of the lip. This hampers the lips' natural ability to maintain moisture. Some say it is the plain and simple fruity taste that transforms this seemingly harmless product into an addiction.
How to Stop It?
Stop Licking Your Lips
Some people have the habit of licking their lips too often. Though licking lips make them moist, over-licking is definitely a problem. Even before the balm can moisturize the lips, licking them will remove it. This results in chapped lips and the constant feeling of needing to apply lip balm.
Check the ingredients of your balm. Avoid the ones that use camphor, menthol, and alcohol. Although camphor and menthol are useful in treating cold sores, they aren't necessary for treating chapped lips. Camphor and menthol also dry out the lips. This promotes the need for frequent application of lip balm. Switch to something that has more natural ingredients like cocoa butter, various oils, Shea butter, beeswax, etc.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
The lack of moisture in your body is what makes you reach for that stick of balm. To fight the addiction, drink plenty of water daily. You could also consider installing a dehumidifier at home and/or your office. As it maintains the moisture levels in the room, it also prevents the lips from becoming dry.
Lip balms are not the only option to keep your lips hydrated. Petroleum jelly, Vitamin E ointment, or aloe vera extract can also work just fine. Try switching to a long-lasting lip gloss with moisturizing properties. The feeling of something heavy on your lips can help keep you from licking them repeatedly. Eventually, you will be able to stop applying lip balm or even lip gloss.
Stop Cold Turkey
This is the most effective answer to stopping an addiction. You could consider a gradual withdrawal as well; try switching to an aqueous-based product or simply reduce the frequency of application.
For most people, lip balms provide relief from the drying wind of the winter, whereas, for others it becomes a worrying habit. This addiction, although not as serious as alcohol abuse or drug addiction, is a serious condition that needs to be handled properly.