Bet you didn’t know that something as innocuous as lip balm can be dangerous. Well, under certain circumstances it can.
For instance, whether you make your own lip balm or buy a commercial product, lip balm can be:
- A traffic hazard if you take your hands off the steering wheel to apply it. We call this DWLB or driving while lip balming.
- Addictive to certain personality types and under some conditions.
- An Allergen
Hazard 1 – DWLB
The first hazard needs little explanation. We strongly recommend pulling the car off the side of the road before fishing your lip balm out of a purse, glove compartment or console. During this time, your eyes may wander away from the road leading to a mishap (police officers can be narrow-minded about such things). If your lip balm is in a tin or small bottle, your hands will probably be off the steering wheel as you remove the cap and dip your finger into the lip balm. An unattended steering wheel while a car is in motion is a really bad idea.
Hazard 2 – Addiction
The second hazard requires more explanation. Though the ingredients in lip balms are non-addictive, they can lead to emotional addictions. Here’s the way it works.
If you tend toward compulsive behavior, the frequent and repeated use of a lip balm can lead you toward the compulsive urge to use it over and over again ad infinitum. This is an easily avoided trap. Use lip balm only when your lips are dry or chapped and discontinue use as soon as the condition is remedied. If you make your own lip balm, you can add essential oils with flavors that will discourage licking.
Even if you don’t tend toward compulsive behavior, if the lip balm tends to make you want to lick your lips, you will lick the balm off quickly and the added moisture can cause your lips to be irritated and chapped. That creates the need for more lip balm which leads to more licking. This can become a vicious circle.
Also, if you are not used to having something on your lips, the tendency is to lick off the offending alien substance. It will require vigilance to realize you’re making a snack out of your lip balm. Since lip balm is for your lips and not your stomach, you have to keep that tongue of yours off your lips. To help, you might want to consider using a flavorless lip balm versus say, a cherry flavored product. Instead, make your own lip balm and do as I suggest above, add a flavor you’re not fond of tasting. Don’t make it too unpleasant or you’ll end up suffering from dry lips rather than using your lip balm.
Both of the above examples can lead to someone thinking the ingredients in the lip balm are addictive. However, it’s not the ingredients in the lip balm that are addictive, but the self-created need to constantly lick your lips.
Hazard 3 – Allergies
There is always the slim chance you may be allergic to one or more of the ingredients in lip balm. If you know what you are allergic to, read the label carefully and be sure that the lip balm you choose doesn’t contain that allergen. If you find yourself reacting to one or more of the ingredients in the lip balm, discontinue its use. If you tend toward allergies, make your own lip balm then you have 100% control of the ingredients.
Dangers Unrelated to Lip Balm, But Important to Know
Keep in mind that your lips are very tender and can be irritated easily when the weather is really dry, you lick your lips too frequently, and/or you use a product that damages them. Some medications such as Accutane (WebMD) can also have a negative effect on the health of your lips. Dehydration can also cause your lips to crack as can exfoliating substances (think salt). Some lip gloss ingredients used to plump lips such as Capsaicin (a substance made from hot pepper) may also irritate your lips. There are certain medical conditions and nutritional deficiencies that can negatively affect your lips. Fortunately, most conditions of the lips can easily be treated with a good quality lip balm. If you make your own lip balm, you can be absolutely assured of its quality.
One of the best ways to have a ton of fun and at the same time control what goes on your lips is to make your own lip balm.
Now go have fun and relax.