Doctors Downplay Addictive Properties of Lip Balm in New Investigative Report

There’s a new investigative report about the harmful effects of Lip Balm Addiction from PhillyVoice. The investigators spoke with doctors who downplayed the issue:

I don’t think using it makes you use it more. Some like the way it feels and that makes them use it more, to maintain that smoothness.
Dr. Nazanin Saedi

The practical advice on the issue was provided by our own Kevin C. who said that medicated lip balms are designed to dry out your lips. It says so right on the package. And then people will use it more and more and more.

Lastly, representatives of Chap Stick and Carmex denied the claims that their products are addictive. Despite the evidence we see every day on the streets. So sad.

Addicts Wanted for Commercial Opportunity

We received this note recently:

I am Syaft Iadge, owner of small company Sunotan and inventor and of Sunotan skin cream and Too Lips Once-A-Day skin cream.  Our company has developed a skin cream that only needs to be applied once a day to prevent sun burn and reverses sun damage and is made with 100% food grade ingredients. Our products were developed in Scottsdale, Arizona during the summer in 110 degree heat a few years ago, so we know they work.

We are located in Oakland, California and I noticed you are located in Mountain View, I was born in Palo Alto, California.  Our spokesmodel BobbI is also a Sunotan and Too Lips user.  I would like to find out if our once a day unflavored lip cream would be able to help people addicted and mostly prevent people from becoming addicted. We are now approaching Whole Foods Stores also. Our website is Sunotan.com

I was wondering if you would be interested in doing or know any of your members that would be interested in doing a commercial spot for Too Lips lip cream. An outline of the commercial is as follows.

1. Person (or persons) would be sitting in chair in a room with he face blacked out and voice altered like a person in the witness protection program.

2. The person (or persons) would explain that lip balm addiction is real.

3. Person (or persons) would then say that the introduction of once a day lip cream helps overcome addiction because you don’t take it with you. You only apply it once in the morning and don’t take it with you. I realize it can be a serious problem some but the commercial would half serious and half comedy (with the blacked out faces and altered voices)

4. Something along those lines for a 30-40 second spot.

I have attached the information that in on the product labels and the in store product displays (that feature Bobbi). If interested e-mail me back.

finished-rectangular-lip-balm-label

headerstandbase

I don’t know what to make of this. It’s a commercial product that nicely tells customers to not use too much. That’s good.

But doesn’t this seem, well, a little tacky? The advertising isn’t high end.

Worst of all, the company intends to exploit the addiction and suffering of lip balm addicts for profit.

But, I know that times are tough and if you want to get connected I’ll be happy to pass your email to these guys.  Just email me: kevin@kevdo.com

The Guardian Positions Lip Balm Addiction as OCD

A major article chronicling our struggle with sobriety was published today. Are you a lip balm addict? by Morwenna Ferrier includes some interesting statistics, including that the balm industry is now expected to hit £1 billion this year.  Unfortunately, the article describes the affliction as not really an addiction but merely a compulsion.

While lip balm isn’t addictive in the actual, traditional sense because it doesn’t contain ingredients which generally cause physiological dependency – a spokesperson from mental health charity Mind said it’s not something they’ve come across – compulsive application is “a thing” and tantamount to an OCD. As Joel Rose, director of OCD Action, explains “the minute you define it it becomes a thing, the compulsion becomes real”. And if you like to apply lip balm 70 times a day, then you may be displaying compulsive tendencies.

Rose might be complaining that those of us in recovery from lip balm addiction are “playing fast and loose with language”, but when I was using Cherry Chapstick dozens of times a day it wasn’t because I felt a psychological desire to sooth. It was because my lips burned and I felt pain that could only be addressed using lip balm.

Still it’s nice that the Guardian article keenly plays it down the middle and acknowledges that regardless of the reason there’s pain out there for people who habitually use lip balm.

Are you one of those people who applies it multiple times a day? Yes. Do your lips still feel chapped? Yes. And yet do you continue to apply it despite evidence suggesting it’s not helping? Yes. Then you might have a problem.

Hallelujah!


Columbia Journalism School’s Lip Balm Expose

The very smart students at Columbia Journalism School put together this video about lip balm addition. In addition to a audio quote from yours truly, they also got the Carmex folks to go on the record that their products are not addictive, but according to the dermatologist who was interviewed Carmex does contain drying agents.

Columbia News Tonight: Paying Addiction Lip Service

Next Page »