We asked an expert if you can actually be addicted to chapstick

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We asked an expert if you can actually be addicted to chapstick

Give me hydrated lips or give me death

For some people, leaving the house without chapstick is like forgetting an umbrella when it’s raining, or going for a hike with no shoes. We’ve convinced ourselves that we’re addicted to it and there’s no going back.

You feel the twang of dryness hit you, you’re not chapped, but it just doesn’t quite feel moist enough. You realize you’ve left your favorite eos balm at home and your heart drops. “DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY CHAPSTICK??” comes the cry, followed by a rush of girls reaching into their bags and pulling out an array of products.

But where has this “addiction” come from? Why do we feel that we really need to reapply multiple times a day? We need to know once and for all, is your chapstick addiction a real thing?

We spoke to a dermatologist, the aptly named Jules Lipoff, about our obsession with the product and whether it’s even necessary.

He said: “I don’t think that ‘addiction’ to lip balm is possible, it’s a habit. I think many behaviors can be conditioned, and there are probably societal and cultural factors that make certain behaviors more likely to appear in one gender vs. another.”

This is certainly the case as boys are rarely seen using lip balm to the extent that girls do. Advertising markets these products towards a female audience, as girls are more likely to care about the image of soft lips, due to society’s beauty expectations for women.

However, the idea that our lips have become used to the additional moisture on a daily basis and therefore develop a dependency, is untrue. Jules says: “Lip balm is a moisturizer and can be helpful for dry lips. But it is not necessary for anyone without dry lips.”

Although marketing has pushed us towards this belief, Jules clarifies that “there really are no ‘essential’ products.”

So does this mean we should all stop using it? Is it bad for us? Jules says: “If it’s just a plain moisturizer, there’s probably no harm except to your checking account. If there are any additives (like fragrance), it is possible it could trigger allergic reactions.”

So there you have it. You’re probably not addicted to chapstick. Obviously if you genuinely have dry lips then you need it and no one’s going to stop you, but to those of you claiming that you’re “soooo addicted” are probably being manipulated by your cultural cravings.

@annabelfmurphy

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