True or False: Is ChapStick Bad for You?

Let's settle this, once and for all

There are two types of people in the world: Those who apply ChapStick compulsively and those who do not. (Disclosure: There are many more types of people in the world, but for the purpose of this story, there are only two.) We’ve long heard rumblings that ChapStick might actually be bad for you, so we set out to investigate. Here’s what we found.

You can’t become addicted to it. Contrary to semi-popular belief, this isn’t anything to worry about. According to Julia Tzu, M.D., a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at New York University, "There is no known inherent addictive property to any of the ingredients in ChapStick.”

It’s fine to ingest. In tiny quantities, like the ones you apply to your lips. ChapStick’s ingredients are FDA-approved, so unless you’re snacking on entire sticks, the little bit you accidentally swallow won’t do any harm.

But it doesn’t actually moisturize your lips. ChapStick doesn’t add moisture to your lips, it just creates a barrier to seal existing moisture in.

So basically, if your lips are dry and hydration’s what you’re after, ChapStick is fairly useless, and you’re better off with a moisturizing balm or oil. When our lips are gross and pretty much cracking off of our face, we reach for miracle workers like Glossier’s multipurpose Balm Dotcom ($12) or Josie Maran’s lip oil ($28).