I have admitted time and time again, I am no beauty guru. I can do a basic look (read: I can put on two colours of eye shadow tops, some mascara, and blush.) I try to learn how to be more capable with my make up, but I put on a tiny bit more than I normally do and then I feel like I’m wearing stage make up. My focus for the last few months has really been on keeping my face clean and moisturised, as I am continually being told that if I take care of my skin now, I will be thankful later. (If that’s a lie, I’m coming after all of you marketing folks. For reals.) However, there is one area of my face that I might have not been treating the best…
(Warning: This might be a tad on the grody side for some, but I will attempt to keep it to a minimum!)
The only ability I have make up-wise is my lips- I can do lipstick! I mean, it’s not overly difficult to apply lipstick with decent hand-eye coordination but I feel like I do have an eye for what colours and types work well for my complexion and make up style. However, I am absolutely terrible for using lip balm. I will apply it anywhere from 10-20 times a day, which is excessive when you think about the fact that we are only awake for 16-18 hours a day. Those damn little Eos spheres ruled my purse and my life! I couldn’t go to a meeting at work or to a different room in the house without making sure that I have a lip balm on me.
It turns out that when you obsessively use lip balm, your lips stop producing moisture because the lip balm does it for you… I realised at the end of last week that I have a problem, because I a) get worried if I don’t have lip balm on me, and b) my lips don’t function like they should anymore. So, last Saturday I decided to wean myself off of balm, and only allow myself to use it every two hours. It was a struggle, but I knew that I had to do something. A little uncomfortable, but that’s true of several things in life. On Sunday, it was three hours. A tad more uncomfortable, but I pushed up my water intake to balance out. Monday? I decided to only use it in the morning, at lunch, and before bed. I figured out that when I did use it, it provided relief for 20-30 minutes, and then the burning and throbbing came back for the next two hours. Again, I drank a lot of water and tried to leave them alone.
Tuesday, Tuesday was the day. I used lip chap once in the morning, and that was it. And boy, was that not a good idea. My lips were dry and flaky and peeling, and drinking copious amounts of water didn’t really seem to make much of a difference. I’m talking 5-6 litres of water in a day… I was trying to be strong. If you look at the Lip Balm Anonymous site, there is a split on weaning yourself off and going cold turkey. I was determined. Wednesday morning rolled around, and they cracked and bled the moment I got up. And it continued throughout the day. They were rough and cracked and peeling and bleeding, to the point where I was asked if I had impetigo. You know you have a problem when you can’t let your lips touch because they catch…
A coworker, the best coworker in the world, recommended that I use lanolin on my lips. Does it sound vaguely familiar? It is actually used in nipple ointment, for breastfeeding mothers, and it is gentle enough that a baby can eat it. It is actually the oil/wax that is found in sheep’s wool! I went to Shoppers directly after work, and stopped and bought the Lanisoh (brand name of lanolin) and vitamin E gel capsules to break open and use on my lips. I gave myself Wednesday night to keep the ointment on my lips the whole night. And guess what happened?? I could eat food. And not drink a bizarre amount of water. And they didn’t hurt in the shower. It doesn’t sound like anything crazy but when you are suffering like that, it means the world.
In the grand scheme of life, is this a serious issue? Debatable, but I feel like it’s fairly serious. People online speak about how it takes them four to five months before their lips and healed, quite frankly, that seems nuts to me. If I hadn’t used anything, I’m fairly certain that I would have been headed for an infection due to the cracking, not to mention just not being able to do anything with my lips. After doing more research than a normal person would, I came to realise that nearly every lip balm on the market includes some sort of irritant. Simply adding fragrance to a balm can change I do work hard to keep my face relatively clean and fresh, but I was completely ignoring my lips. While you don’t have to go to pure lanolin like me, I would recommend doing your own research and looking at what you are using!
Have you had an addiction to on of your products, lip or otherwise? What did you do to beat it? Here’s to a healthier future for all of us!