You can’t go on a first date, head outside in the winter, or spend a day at the beach without lip balm. No matter if you go with classic Chapstick or a Dr Pepper flavor, this beauty product is a must for any cosmetic bag!

With talk of being addicted to Chapstick and all kinds of other mythos and lore surrounding lip balm, it can be tough to know whether or not you really need the stuff. Here’s the lowdown!

Do You Really Need Lip Balm?

Yes, you should use lip balm and here’s why. Our lips are made up of only 3 to 5 layers of skin. They’re also missing the same oil glands as the rest of our body. This combo makes them extremely prone to drying out without a moisturizer.

Here are the main reasons why everyone needs lip balm:

Lack of Moisture

The lack of humidity in the winter causes your lips to crack. In the summer, they’ll feel dry due to sun exposure. Lip balm helps bring much-needed moisture to your mouth all year!


Chapped or flaky lips never look very good. You can avoid this embarrassing issue by applying lip balm in moderation at times when your lips are feeling insanely dry.

Natural Thinning

Unfortunately, your lips naturally get thinner as you age. When those extra layers of skin are missing, you need another layer of protection. Plus, lip balm helps your mouth appear fuller.

SPF Protection

Your lips are missing the outermost layer of skin known as the stratum corneum, which protects you against the sun. As a result, they require additional protection from harmful UV rays. Look for a lip balm that contains at least SPF 15.


You’re going to want your lips to be smooth and soft if you’re puckering up for a kiss. Make sure you have a good lip balm on hand for that big date!

Adds Color

Are you taking pictures? Swipe on a little lip balm beforehand. This helps add a little bit of color to your lips, which is particularly great for wedding photos or Instagram pics.

How to Apply Lip Balm

It might seem pretty simple to apply lip balm. You just take the cap off and put it on your lips, right? Well, there’s actually a “right” way to do it!

Here’s how to apply lip balm for the best protection:

  • Step One: Uncap the container.

    If the balm is in a tube, you only need to raise it about a half centimeter. If it’s in a container, apply a pea-sized amount to your finger.

  • Step Two: Apply to the bottom lip.

    Rub the balm on your bottom lip, just along the outside.

  • Step Three: Apply to the top lip.

    Rub the balm on your top lip, just along the outside.

  • Step Four: Rub your lips together.

    Rub your top and bottom lip together. This helps spread the balm evenly over your entire mouth.

You don’t have to overdo it when it comes to applying lip balm. A simple swipe on your bottom and top lip is all you really need!

Can You Be Addicted to Lip Balm?

Experts say that you can’t be addicted to lip balm, but you can develop a habit of using it too frequently. Luckily, you don’t have to go to rehab to combat the problem!

Here’s how to kick a Chapstick or lip balm addiction:

Identify your triggers

Think about when you’re applying lip balm. Is it when you’re bored? Is it when you don’t feel like talking to someone? This will help you stop yourself before you reapply.

Do something else

If you feel the urge to put on lip balm and you don’t really need it, occupy your hands with something else instead. Taking a sip of water is always a good option!

Use natural ingredients

Look for lip balms that contain organic ingredients. Shea butter, aloe vera, beeswax, and petroleum jelly are all safe choices.

Cover your mouth

Is it cold outside? Bundle up and cover your mouth with a scarf or face mask. This limits your exposure to wind, which helps keep your lips from drying out.

Avoid licking your lips

Saliva will strip your lips of their natural moisture. For that reason, try not to lick your lips if they’re feeling dry!

Distract yourself

Your brain might be telling you that you need lip balm, even if that’s not really the case. Picture your to-do list, daydream about a vacation, or read a good book, and you might forget about your burning lips. It’s all mind over matter!

Is It Good to Use Lip Balm Every Day?

You should try to use lip balm in moderation. In fact, some dermatologists believe that overuse could cause your lips to stop producing natural oils. They also caution that you could feel dependent on the balm for moisture.

Despite these warnings, it’s still safe for you to use lip balm every day. It’s just about being strategic as to when you apply it. You should never go through a whole tube or container in a single week!

How Often Should You Apply Lip Balm?

According to dermatologists, you should only put on lip balm a few times throughout the day. Most experts recommend that you apply it in the following situations:

  1. When you wake up in the morning
  2. After eating or drinking
  3. When you go to bed at night

When You Wake Up

Some people sleep with their mouths open, which will cause their lips to feel dry in the morning. If this sounds like you, take a big sip of water and then apply lip balm before you get out of bed.

After Eating or Drinking

Your mouth will naturally feel dry after you’re done eating a meal, especially if it’s something hot or spicy. Swipe on lip balm to help bring back moisture.

When You Go to Bed

The day is done, and it’s finally time to hit the hay. Make sure your lips are moisturized after you brush your teeth. This is a good way to avoid any discomfort while you’re trying to snooze.

If you stick with the morning, after you eat, and bedtime, you’ll probably only apply lip balm about five to eight times every day. This is a good number to aim for if you feel like you’re overusing your favorite Chapstick tube.

What Can You Use Instead of Lip Balm?

Are you trying to kick a lip balm habit? There are plenty of things you can do instead to bring moisture back to your lips. Try any of the following!

Drink Plenty of Water

Your lips might feel dry because they’re dehydrated. Aim to drink about 3 to 4 liters of water every single day. It will help your mouth feel way more moisturized.

Eat Fish or Take Fish Oil Pills

As weird as it might sound, a good fish meal could cause your lips to feel less dry. This is because most dishes contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are proven to keep your skin hydrated. Not a seafood person? Try fish oil pills instead!

Try Sugar & Honey

Sugar is known to attract moisture, making it a good substitute for lip balm. If you want more flavor, consider adding honey to the mixture and applying it to your lips.

Dab on Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is an extremely popular beauty product in Asia. It can be used to soften skin, hair, and of course, your lips. Mix the coconut oil with hot water to make it extra silky. Canola, almond, or olive oil also work just as well.

Rub on Cucumber

Cucumbers over your eyes is a common trope when it comes to a spa day. This tasty salad food is also a good moisturizer for chapped lips. It contains vitamin B, which soothes skin and reduces inflammation.

Brew Green Tea

Soak a green tea bag in your favorite mug and let it cool for a few minutes. Press it to your lips, and you’ll feel instant relief. Green tea is anti-inflammatory in nature, which is great when your lips are feeling cracked and raw.

Apply Vaseline or Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a plant with a multitude of healing properties. Vaseline, on the other hand, can be found at most drugstores or grocery stores. Both are great for chapped or dry lips.

Use a Humidifier

It could be that there isn’t enough moisture in the air. Plug in a humidifier, especially if you’re going to bed with the heat on during the winter. This will stop your lips from feeling dried out.

Which Lip Balms Actually Work?

The best lip balms contain no artificial flavors and are made with organic ingredients like shea butter, beeswax, and petroleum jelly. You should avoid lip balms that contain phenol, menthol, or salicylic acid as they will leave your lips feeling even more dehydrated.

What is the Best Organic Lip Balm?

Burt’s Bees and Dr. Bronner’s are just a few companies that make lip balms that contain natural ingredients like shea butter and beeswax. These brands are strongly recommended by dermatologists as they’re less likely to dry out your lips.

Natural lip balms may also contain organic flavors like coconut, eucalyptus, and chai. It makes them just as tasty as any other option, but with the added benefit of containing no artificial ingredients.

Does Lip Balm Expire?

Lip balm does expire, but the exact date varies from brand to brand. Most experts recommend tossing away lip balm after 1 year, especially if it contains SPF or zinc oxide.

Non SPF lip balms, on the other hand, might last a little bit longer. It’s ultimately your judgment call! Dermatologists note that if it looks or smells funny, it’s time to toss it in the trash.

The Bottom Line

You definitely need lip balm, even if you don’t have to use it all the time. It’s a good cosmetic to have in your bag or pocket, especially during the winter. Just make sure you don’t overuse it. A few slices of cucumber or a sip of water could be all you really need!


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About the author

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a promo expert with over four years of experience in the industry. She is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products and has had work published for the Promotional Products Association International and the Advertising Specialty Institute.