Can I Become Addicted to Lip Gloss?

We’ve all seen it go down. A lip gloss hobby turns into a lip gloss habit. Finally, it becomes a lip gloss addiction. Not deadly, but definitely a total pain in the neck.

More people than you might think have experienced a compulsive need to continually apply lipstick or lip gloss, leading to chapped and dry lips—which, ironically, make the use of lip products even more necessary. This vicious cycle could potentially go on forever.

It’s becoming clear that lip gloss and lipstick addiction are real and problematic—but avoidable. If you don’t overuse certain products, you’re most likely in the clear.

While it’s not usually a true psychological addiction, a chronic reliance on lip gloss, lipstick or lip balm can be a sign that you’ve become sensitive to an irritating agent in your lip product of choice. In this case, people may experience a rebound effect if they start using the product more often, which can lead them to think that they simply need to reapply—which continues the cycle of chapped lips endlessly. In some extreme cases, dry skin from product usage can lead to an uncomfortable rash.

To avoid this, watch out for ingredients like sunscreen components, or anything that might have a tingling or plumping effect on lips. If you simply stay away from potential irritants, you’ll likely never experience a lipstick addiction. And choosing a balm that’s free of drying ingredients is one way to avoid a potential lip gloss addiction.

Experts have also identified occlusives, compounds that form a barrier on the skin, as an ingredient that could trigger a lipstick addiction. Because products that contain occlusives keep your lips well-hydrated, using them often—and then suddenly going without them—can quickly lead to dry, chapped lips and discomfort.

Fortunately, we know how to keep your lips soft and supple without relying too heavily on lip balm, lipstick or lip gloss. Use your favorite products a little less frequently and not repetitively, say experts. Applying lipstick once in the morning and again after lunch isn’t likely to affect the overall condition of your lips. The same goes for lip gloss, and even some types of lip balm. Moderation is key, and it’s easy to treat your lips with a healing balm before bed. Apply the balm generously right before bed, ideally after you brush your teeth, so it can work all night.

So, how can you really tell if you have a lip gloss addiction? Well, it’s a major red flag if you discover that you need to use more and more of the same product to get the same results. Additionally, if your need for lipstick or gloss is actually causing you emotional stress, that’s a clear sign that something is wrong. In that case, it’s best to seek a counselor for advice.

Luckily for us all, the average lip gloss addiction can be solved by a more conscious approach to lip gloss. And paying better attention to how often you apply can help you identify whether it’s a small annoyance—or a bigger problem.