From the Lips of an Expert

You know when you apply lip balm, and then your lips dry up and you have to apply lip balm again, and you wonder if it’s some sort of conspiracy to get you to keep buying it? It’s not a conspiracy, it’s an allergy. 

Lip balms contain all sorts of ingredients that are natural and manufactured, that your lips can be allergic to. These include lanolin, salicycic acid (the stuff in acne medications) and even beeswax. When you apply a product that causes an allergic reaction, your lips dry up, prompting you to add more of the product and so on until your lips leap up and run away from your face. That’s not a scientific fact, but it’s possible.

Recently, a photo of a young woman’s blistered and swollen lips went viral. She claimed the mess was caused by EOS lip balm, those little, round containers sold everywhere now. The theory is that she was allergic to the beeswax, over-applied and repeatedly applied the stuff, and that’s how she ended up with a face that looked like it went three rounds with Ronda Rousey.

What’s the solution? Switch brands. I have a few tubes that went directly into the trash after learning this information. Lanolin is derived from wool, and I am allergic to wool, so it only makes sense that lanolin is the reason why my lips shrivel like an apple doll’s when I use it.

Simple is usually best, and from now on I’m going to stick with simple Vaseline or petroleum jelly. Its oils stop moisture from getting out and restore even the most damaged lips. However, people can be allergic to it too. If you can’t find a product that doesn’t react negatively when it’s applied, perhaps you just weren’t meant to have lips.

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