Is Lip Balm Addictive?
History of LBA
Lip Balm Anonymous Presents the Industry of Addiction
The Body ShopThis "environmentally conscious" company was founded in 1976. Today, they span the globe selling skin, hair, color cosmetics, and yes, even lip balm! When Lip Balm Anonymous contacted The Body Shop for information, we were shocked when we received their material. The press release they sent was full of sexual metaphor.
Have your kiss and eat it too -- with The Body Shop's flavor-packed Moisturizing Lip Balms ($4.35 each)! The gender, age, culture-crossing necessity to moisturize the lips is accomplished with these startlingly fresh, fruit-scented balms...
Dictionary definitions can't help but fall short in relating the many symbolic and sensory meanings of a kiss. There's the farewell kiss, the brotherly kiss, the kiss of thanks, the double kiss, the kiss of honors, the kiss of death, the kiss of honey, the kiss as blessing, and, aaah, the kiss of love, among others.
There are even kisses that have gone down in Hollywood history, like:
The Longest Kiss: In the 1941 flag-waving favorite, You're in the Army Now, Jane Wyman and Regis Toomey locked lips for a record three minutes and five seconds.
The Wettest Kiss: Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster smooch in the surf in the 1953 film From Here to Eternity.
The Most in One Movie: In Don Juan (1926), screen star John Barrymore puckered up plenty. The official kiss count is 127 split between his two leading ladies, Estelle Taylor and Mary Astor.
Ironically, though, despite the meaning kisses convey, and despite our obsession with decorating our lips... we tend to treat them cavalierly, conditioning them only in winter. Often overlooked, our lips require constant care: they have no sweat glands, few sebaceous glands, and few malanocytes. Their only protection from outside aggression is saliva--not much help when you consider that the constant evaporation of moisture put on the lips by licking them leads to chapping and cracking.
The Body Shop's Moisturizing Lip Balms also help keep a smile on your face-- and on that of the person receiving your kisses--thanks to their mouth-watering, lip smacking flavors. Past fans of our lip balms with notice a few additions to the cast of characters in the range. Joining favorites like Apricot, Kiwi, and Strawberry are tangy Black Cherry, tropical Coconut & Pineapple, and citrusy Mandarin.
If you're old enough to be kissing (ha! ha!) and want to make your lips their smooch-worthy best, use The Body Shop's Moisturizing Lip Balms after removing chapped skin with Colorings Lipstuff.
It doesn't take a genius to see what The Body Shop is selling in this press release-- sex! They're pretty blatant too, using terms like "gone down" and using colorful ways to describe kisses: smooches, lip smacking, and puckered. And what categories did they choose for their movie list? Longest, Wettest, and Most in One Movie? Longest and Wettest are pretty blatant sexual metaphors. They're going for an orgy or threesome with their Most in One Movie, apparently. In these days of safer sex, do we really need to encourage kids (or even adults) to partake in this kind of activity?
And, what is the deal with "if you're old enough to be kissing (ha! ha!)"? Are they encouraging toddlers and children to start using lip balms and kissing? That sentence is just plain weird!
LipscuffLipscuff is the Body Shop's new lip care product. The product looks like textured lipstick but contains "natural exfoliators and moisturizers". Exfoliation is the deliberate removal of skin cells! This removal of dead skin cells is claimed to promote smooth, healthy skin. Lipscuff also contains blue corn, walnut shell powder, pineapple juice, macadamia nut oil, avocado oil, vitamin E, and peppermint oil. After rubbing this concoction on your lips, you wipe it all off with a tissue. Boy, these folks sure have devised an efficient system! Apply the product, then wipe it off? No chance of keeping that Lipscuff for very long! Soon, you'll be back at the store buying more. Or so they hope!
Folks, dead skin is shed naturally by your own body! You don't need to apply this product to shed skin! And you certainly don't need to pay the expensive Body Shop price to get a mixture of pineapple juice and peppermint oil!
We also wonder if the shedding of protective skin makes lips more susceptible to becoming dependent on lip balm for protection, causing users to become hooked on the balm.
Little LicksJust when you thought the balm industry couldn't stoop any lower, they give us Little Licks. It is one thing to use sex to sell lip balm. And it is one thing to sell to children. But it is another to use children to sell sex!
Look at this stuff. You can't help but notice the famous image of the little girl with her behind showing. That would be bad enough, but look at the rest of the packaging. What are all those cherries doing there? A subtle message regarding the chaste status of the little girl? And what about the name itself. Little Licks? Are they saying that little girls will actually lick the balm? Or are they implying the girl will be licking something else? Truly sickening!
LipsexYou know, we've been doing the LBA thing for a few years now, but we've never seen a company so anxious to be added to our pages. You'd think that the negative publicity regarding the harmful effects of balm addiction would cause companies to avoid us. But, one company took a different approach.
In fact, Lizard Lipcare of Palm Desert, CA mocked our entire site with their letter to us. Jeffrey S. Goolst wrote to LBA, enclosing several samples of their products. The second paragraph read "The first ones are free to get you ADDICTED, in case you've relapsed already. I'm about to check myself in if I can't find a meeting today." Maybe this Goolst fellow thought he was being funny, but we weren't laughing here at LBA!
Lizard has several lip balm products. Lizard Lips is their main product, an "exotic lip balm" made with 100% natural and organic ingredients. On the tube itself is a phrase "tested on friends." I don't know about you, but I don't "test" things that might be harmful on my friends. Goolst says that the products are tested on "friends, not animals... although, a few lizards have been spotted trying to score some Lipsex." There you go again with the mocking tone, Jeffrey.
Lizard's most famous (or infamous) product is Lipsex ("the best for your lips"). It's not hard to imagine why this product sells so well. Since lips are among the most sensual of body parts, it is no wonder that Lizard has stooped and exploited this factor. Goolst even claims the name was coined by high-schoolers. Why am I not surprised?
Last updated on August 21, 1998