Does Chapstick Actually Make Your Lips More Chapped?


Lalia Williams

The world is full of conspiracies, and full of people who believe in them. While many of them are obvious hogwash, there are a few with a lot of merit. And if you think about it, considering how many there are, some are bound to be true.

Recently on Twitter, I saw a conspiracy thread that chap-stick actually dries out your lips. Most of the times, I do not even bother to read these kinds of things all the way through, but this one interests me. Because I have noticed that when I start to use chap-stick, I have to use it multiple times in a day.

The thread continued to say that the writer of the tweet had much less dry lips before they started using chap-stick regularly, and that they believed it was  technique used by the company to increase sales.

I did a little bit of research on my own, and I found that this theory may be true. A lot of lip balms use ingredients such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, which actually serve to pull the moisture out of your skin. Unless these ingredients are used alongside an occlusive material (which are materials that prevent water loss), such as shea butter or beeswax, your lips will end up dryer than they started.

So how can we fix this problem? Dermatologists and doctors recommend medicated lip-balms and “Burt’s Bees” brand chap-stick (which does, as the name implies, contain real beeswax). These items might be a bit more than the 1-dollar lip balms many of us make due with, but it seems they will be well worth it in the long run.