Sounds crazy right? Why would a product have the opposite effect of its intended use? Well it many not be as ludicrous as it seems. Chapstick companies make more money when you have chapped lips, so why fix the problem?
According to Caitlin Covington of Greatist.com, applying lip balm to ones lips only temporarily soothes them but had a negative effect on your lip’s health in the long run. The lip balm interferes with the signaling between the dying cells and the mechanism that produces new healthy cells. As a result, the lips are prevented from replenishing the cells and healing your chapped lips. This makes the chapped lips worse causing you to again apply chapstick. This process repeats over and over and your lips become more chapped than they were before you started using the product.
Dermatologist Leslie Baumann, MD blames the negative effects of chapstick on hyaluronic acid and glycerin, both common ingredients in products for chapped lips. These chemicals draw moisture away from the skin. While she claims that these ingredients can be effective alongside other chemicals that prevent water loss, she recommends to never use chapstick that don’t also include occlusive agent. These are often only found in medicated or high end lip balms.
Dry climates, altitude, and many other factors can chap your lips, but your body is built to heal on its own. Unless your chapstick is medicated or contains an occlusive agent like beeswax or shea butter, you are better off leaving them alone. Using chapstick without these agents is no better than licking your lips and can cause health problems rather than solutions.
Don’t have access or the funds to purchase this pricey lip balm? Today.com has some other solutions. The first is staying hydrated. Through my research, I’ve discovered this is pretty much the #1 thing on every dermatologists lists. Other advice includes using a humidifier and using sugar to exfoliate the lips. As well as avoiding lip balms, they also recommend staying away from lipstick and gum.
As this dry winter weather approaches, I hope this will be a helpful guide. Do you have any personal stories that support or refute my findings? Let me know in the comments below.