If you think your frequent Chapstick habit may be out of control, you’re not alone! Thousands of others experience instant gratification from fulfilling their need for ultimate lip moisture, and for good reason. You and fellow Chap Stick lovers have the opportunity to join the ever-growing population at Lip Balm Anonymous; this group is more certain than ever of an actual ‘Chapstick Conspirancy.’ If a constant Chap Stick habit is taking over your life, some believe it may classify as an actual addiction. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, addiction is defined as:
1. Compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming substance
2. The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or or involved in something.
Lip Balm Anonymous advocates concern and awareness of the trends associated with Chap Stick, and other lip balm brands. The group website even touches upon the subject of Hemp and Menthol-based lip treatments that have come and gone over the years; as a result of frequent use, many lip balm users may have experienced the process of accommodating for a compulsive need.
Chap Stick was first discovered in the early 1880s by a physician in Virginia; it was a new idea and concept, and wasn’t initially successful. However, a takeover of rights in 1912 by John Morton prompted the formulation of the actual stick shape we are all familiar with today. It wasn’t until Morton Manufacturing created the official Chap Stick Lip Balm in 1963 that the consumer market flourished. Available in a variety of flavors and combinations, Chap Stick became available in the molded stick, a squeezable pouch, and even a jar. Today, most of us are familiar with the Chap Stick as it is a standard stock item in almost every grocery store. Devoted Chap Stick fans purchase Chap Stick in a variety of flavors: the line includes Regular, Cherry, Mint, and Strawberry. Variations include the Flava-Craze line full of fruity combinations, the Sun Care line, and ‘All Natural’ versions made with Aloe Vera.
The mass appeal of Chap Stick can be traced to one of its first marketing campaigns. Offering coupons nationwide with a ‘First is Free’ promotion, thousands of Chap Sticks were distributed and gained appeal for their healthy lip moisturizing benefits. Chap Stick advertises that it ‘keeps lips looking and feeling healthy.’ Sales do show that consumers agree.
There is concern that the ‘medicated’ versions may be truly addictive; the menthol combinations that create a tingling and soothing sensation have often been attributed to ‘suspect ingredients.’ Menthol and camphor have been long used as soothing aids for a variety of applications, but for severely chapped lips it can be a godsend. Many people report that their lips are healed almost instantly, but they tend to reapply consistently after. Why the surge in subsequent use?
Fellow Chap Stick users have reported that the benefits of soft lips don’t stop after the first application; the menthol seems to be the addictive culprit, increasing the pleasant effects of tingling. Many people who are consistent Chap Stick appliers, also follow the Carmex ‘pattern of addiction.’ Carmex has long been touted as being chemical free, yet the tubs fly off the shelves and the brand is now available in a handy, tube form. AOL investigated this trend in 1997, reporting it is a mere urban legend; however, Carmex users have indicated that they feel like something is missing without their familiar yellow companion.
Since many, if not most, people feel that they simply ‘cannot live without’ their Chap Stick, it is clear that this product offers something that its consumers want. Whether the addiction is purely psychological, or due to an actual ingredient, is an ongoing debate. Menthol does provide a pleasant sensation, and consistent application of Chap Stick may make dried lips more frequent. Still, maybe it’s just the convenience and trustworthy item everyone needs for comfort, and what continues the trend for Chap Stick today.
An ongoing compulsive buying habit of Chap Stick may still classify it as an ‘addiction.’ See for yourself where you fall, by eliminating your Chap Stick habit for a few days. If you find yourself yearning for an application, it may be time to reconsider your motive! Time will tell whether the leader in this domain will be Blistex, Carmex, or another contender in the lip balm market. In the meantime, Chap Stick has thousands of fans and buyers.