Though doctors debate whether lip balm is indeed addictive, constant users swear it is. Some admit to applying the salve up to every 10 minutes.
He thought about it all the time.
He had to have it.
If he went too long without it, his need for a fix consumed him.
This wasn’t about drugs or alcohol or cigarettes. Not even checking his e-mail.
Kevin C. was a lip balm addict. A sweaty, obsessed, quivering addict.
So much so that he founded Lip Balm Anonymous.
He’s clean now.
“It’s been about 13 years, six months and two days,” says Kevin Crossman, who will share his full name now that he’s gotten past the shame. “I went cold turkey.”
Crossman is just one of millions who are, let’s just say, quite attached to their lip balm. According to ACNielsen Co., sales of lip balms grew last year to more than $378 million.
Dr. Marcia Driscoll, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at the University of Maryland, says lip balm addiction is real – albeit a bit surprising.
She said she recently asked some residents on her staff about it, and three of them pulled lip products out of their pockets.
She said to herself, “This might be more common than I believe.”
On Facebook, there are 192 groups dedicated to lip balm, many of them addiction-oriented. They include: “I Think I Might Die Without Lipgloss, ChapStick or Some Form of Lip Balm,” “Lip Balm Appreciation Guild,” “I forgot my lip balm, my life is over!” “I Think I’m Addicted to Lip Balm,” and “Addicted to lip balm like CRACK.”
Balm companies, well aware of people’s predilections, have started packaging the tubes in packs of two or three to capitalize on what’s often an impulse purchase, says Drug Store News.
Crossman, who’s a Web-site manager in San Francisco, says his addiction started with cherry-flavored ChapStick. It tasted good and felt nice on his lips. “It wasn’t very cool to have pinkish lips, but I couldn’t help it,” he says, adding that before he quit, he was using dozens of times a day and that his lips felt naked without it.
Lipbalmanonymous.com hit a nerve. People from all over the world have visited it, and although Crossman hasn’t been actively updating it for years, people are still tracking him down to talk about it.
OK, now. I am not a lip balm addict. I use it very rarely. But I was reading someone’s blog this week, unfortunately I can’t remember whose it was, and she was talking about lip balm and then I just happened across the above article today. So who’s addicted? Come on, admit it. There’s help out there for you. It will do you go to let it out. No holding back. What’s your favorite brand? I want to know your deepest darkest lip balm secrets.