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Lip Balm Anonymous Presents the Industry of Addiction

Balm for the Holidays

Bath & Body Works

photo of Candy Cane Lip BalmBath & Body Works is the leader in Christmas-oriented lip balm. Their Candy Cane Lip Balm made a splash in 1996. This balm is available in a round glass container and lid unveils a red mass that does indeed smell a bit like candy canes.

One colorful product is their Winter Berries Lip Balm Collection. Each tin contains three different types of lip balms: cherry vanilla, mixed berry, and raspberry plum. The Winter Treats collection available in 1997 has these flavors in holiday shapes like Christmas presents and ornaments. The fragrances of these products are not to be believed. In other words, you don't need "lip balm radar" to smell these things from across the room!

Bath & Body Works stocks their lip balms right at the counter to entice "impulse buyers." Worse, they provide open containers for people to sample. Now if this doesn't sound like a bad idea, we don't know what is. Who knows where the last person's fingers were last? Do you really need to try the lip balm that badly that you will risk injection and disease from some other desperate shopper?

photo of Winter Berries Lip Balm Collection


photo of Snowden Lip BalmTarget is the latest retailer force lip balm onto the lips of our children. They are making a big push in 1997 with their Snowden character. He appears on products throughout the store, and Target's extensive lip balm collection was not missed. In addition to Snowden, Target sells numerous kid-oriented lip balms. Most of these are product tie-ins from Disney, Star Trek, Power Rangers, and Barbie. The major manufacturer's of these balms are KidCare and Bonne Bell. Target even places these sort of lip balms near the cosmetics counter so that young girls can purchase the lip balm to act "grown-up."

It's easy to see how kids could be enticed into using. Snowden is a lovable snowman, as harmless as can be. Harmless for a while... until the addiction starts to kick in.

Holiday Balm Testimony

Kevin C. writes:
I don't know why my mother thought that Chap Stick in the stocking was a good idea. But every year she got me Cherry Chap Stick along with all my other favorite presents. For the first few years I rarely used the entire stick before Christmas was coming around again. Sadly, in my late teens I began to use the entire stick by the time school started in September. By college, the stick would last only a couple months. I don't blame my mother. After all, she was just trying to give me something nice for Christmas. Balm is so cheap it's a wonder every kid doesn't get it. That give me hope for the future.

Joe M. writes:
Are you kidding me? The various flavors of Chap Stick (ahhh, there goes Suzy Chap Stick skiing down the slopes) were more familiar than tangerines in my family's Christmas stockings! Cherry, grape, cinnamon? You name it. I think we put that on even before eating our chocolate Santa's... not getting one would have been like getting a piece of coal!

Jolene K. writes:
I have a frightening story to tell. I was baby-sitting a friend of mine's son who just turned 2 a week ago. He was playing with a puzzle about 20 feet away from me when I {sigh} whipped out my balm (I am a recovering addict, and I had a relapse that day :[) Anyhow- at the first sight of my balm- he gets up, and runs over to me while frantically yelling "My turn, my turn!!" This Child of two years wanted me to give him some balm!!!! this is what's wrong with America- what are we going to do-this situation is killing our children!
Thanks for letting me vent-

Cindy E. writes:
Apparently, there are few of us who will admit this addiction. My LB problem has grown beyond the norm. It is true, I started out with run of the mill, cheap balms in a tube. But, they are merely gateway balms. I moved on to Carmex. In fact, I'm a pusher. I put a jar of Carmex in every one of my children's Christmas socks. I am ashamed to say, I now use Vicks Vapo Rub because of the tingle it gives my lips. Sucking in cold morning air across Vapo Rub is the ultimate high.

Christine F. writes:
I know you told me to write back to let you know how my recovery was going and I wish I could say that it is going great, because it really was, until... I got LIP BALM IN MY CHRISTMAS STOCKING.

Jill H. writes:
Last favorite present? The 10 tubs of Blistex DCT (daily conditioning treatment) I found in my stocking. I can't remeber what else I got for Christmas, but I sure remember the pots of gold waiting for me in my stocking! I almost cry in thanks to the heavens when I saw thee one....33% more!!!!! (I named it Big Mama)
My friends and roommates at school truly feel I am addicted and I know that I am. I can't go more than half an hour without reapplying. I use it when I first wake up, after brushing my teeth, after eating, after, well, after just about everything I do. I can't leave the house without my DCT. I have one in every room of my apartment. I even get pissy when I see someone else using it without my permission. (The nerve of some people!!!)
To be honest, I actually found the LBA web page while browsing the 'Net. I typed in "Blistex" in hopes that they would have a web page that would send me a free-bee!!! (umm, is that a cry for help?) Instead I found this page and am glad that I did. Now, I'm a justifiable freek!!! Thanks, LBA!! I needed to know there were others!
Thanks for caring for me and my phenol-coated lips!!

Meg G. writes:
Okay, so I've read a lot of your testimonies, and it seems that some of you have truly gone off the deep end. Yes, I relish in my lipgloss/balm. There is hardly a day that I do not put it on before school and then frequently apply during school. For Christmas, one of my best friends gave me a collection of 6 flavors of gloss in one container and I almost flipped out, I was SO happy. However, I don't see my "addiction" as something bad. I'm a self-proclaimed "lip gloss freak" and am proud of it. My friends know this and support my love for gloss, supplying me with some whenever I've misplaced mine or forgotten to bring it with me. Is it really that *wrong* to have an "addiction" to lip gloss? I don't see any health issues and I *enjoy* using lip gloss and trying all the new flavors. One of my favorite things to do when shopping is to simply look at all the new colors and flavors in the makeup department. I don't believe that my addiction is wrong, but I AM willing to admit that I have one.

If you would like to contribute your own story, please send email to

Last updated on June 19, 1998
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