There are fewer things that incite more temporary panic than feeling my pockets and realizing I’m without one of my 4 necessary pocket-fillers: phone, wallet, keys, and…Chap Stick. Without any one of those I know my day is headed in the wrong direction. The first three are understandable, but it’s the “crack for lips” that needs some thinking about. As soon as I realize I’m without it, it’s like my lips dry out instantaneously. The longer I go, the more that dryness turns to pain. I get desperate and can think of little else until I get a “hit” of some lip balm. Have you been there?
Whether you suffer from such an intense reliance or not, we all have felt the discomfort of severe dry lips. What about the pre-lip balm era? What did people do when they didn’t have access to that tingly sensation that comes when their cracked lips get their temporary “fix”? How can we get to a state of naturally healthy lips without a dependence on artificial moisturizers?
Our lips are made of incredibly thin skin. Because of that, they are extremely sensitive to irritants, allergens, and chemicals. The burn that you feel when you are craving your lip balm is not just the pain of dry skin. It’s the reaction of your body to the very irritants, allergens, and chemicals that you are using to treat them in the first place. If you are one of the many who have developed a psychological addiction to lip balm, it’s a sign that the delicate skin of the lips is being damaged by your lip balm. Wait a second. The cause of the problem is the very thing we keep using to try to fix the problem? Exactly. That’s like trying to soothe a burn with an open flame. Oops.
There are four things that ought to be avoided in your lip balm of choice: preservatives, fragrances, dyes, and beeswax. If your lip balm looks nice or smells nice, it’s not nice. Beeswax sounds good. It’s all natural, right? Right. But so is the pollen and propolis in it that so many of us are allergic to. Check your lip balm and see if it has phenol, camphor, or menthol in it. Those are three common irritants. Phenol is a carcinogen. Don’t use it! Menthol and Camphor bring that wonderful tingly sensation that makes us think our lips are healing. It’s actually doing the opposite. That tingly sensation is a sign that our lips are under attack and we are about to have severe dry lips. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for healthy lips:
It’s time to say goodbye to the lip balm dependence without welcoming the dry, chapped lips.