Book: Can You Get Hooked on Lip Balm?

A few weeks ago I came across this book at a used book store: Can You Get Hooked on Lip Balm?
I couldn’t resist and bought it.  I’ve read most of it now and while there’s a lot of just common sense advice “Do curling shampoos really work?” (no) or “Is it safe to use lipstick on your cheeks?” (yes), I also learned a few things. Today I’m sharing this one about the infamous Aspirin mask.

The book is written by the two men who are behind the blog The Beauty Brains, Perry Romanowski and Randy Schueller.  It’s interesting to see things from the perspective of chemists, who are purely focused on the science behind cosmetic products, and with no agenda (ie. pushing their own products).

On pg 59, the question is:

Is an Aspirin mask good for the skin?

Response (paraphrased):

The active ingredient in aspirin is the drug called acetylsalicylic acid.  After you swallow an aspirin tablet, it travels to your small intestine where this ingredient is broken down to create salicylic acid…  which belongs to the class of chemicals known as beta hydroxy acids, or BHAs.  BHAs are similar to AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids).  Both BHAs and AHAs are known for their ability to to help slough off dead skin cells when applied topically.

In theory, crushing aspirin tablets and rubbing them on your face could be beneficial because you’re delivering a skin-smoothing BHA, right?  Well, not exactly.

You’re really delivering acetylsalicylic acid to the skin – not salicylic acid, which is the active BHA.  And just rubbing the acetyl version on your skin won’t make it convert to the salicylic acid version… some of the salicylic acid is present, but it certainly isn’t an optimized doze.

The book goes on to recommend just buying a BHA product formulated for the skin.

Well!  I used to crush aspirins and mix it with water or aloe vera and slather it on my face, I thought I was so clever!   Did any of you make your own aspirin mask?

I’ll post a few more snippets from this book if you’re interested!

EDIT: Since so many of  you are asking, so can you get hooked on lip balm?  The Beauty Brains’ response: SORTA.
They said that constantly hydrating the lips doesn’t allow the dry skin to slough off, thus disrupting the natural renewal cycle, making the lips feel more dry – hence reapplying MORE lip balm. Creating a vicious cycle.

16 thoughts on “Book: Can You Get Hooked on Lip Balm?

    1. Haha after I scheduled the post last night, I thought, Hey, I bet someone is going to ask if you can really get hooked on lip balm! Duh! The answer provided by the Beauty Brains is: sorta. They said that constantly hydrating the lips doesn’t allow the dry skin to slough off, thus disrupting the natural renewal cycle, making the lips feel more dry – hence reapplying MORE lip balm. Vicious cycle.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh ok so sorta. Thanks! I do feel addicted in the winter time definitely. But in the summer I don’t finish lip balms at all. But last year I wasn’t on a no buy so we’ll see!


        1. For some reason this comment went into my spam box – you’re not trying to sell me cheap Viagra, are you?!
          You are definitely addicted to lip balms. But there are worse things to be addicted to!!! lol


  1. I never did the aspirin thing, but kind of always meant to. (Story of my life!) Guess I won’t need to bother now! But yeah, the big lip balm question?! That book sounds great…adding it to my w/l.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always heard you can get addicted to lip balm because lip balm manufacturers put in irritating ingredients that actually end up drying out your lips long term causing you to constantly reapply. I think I’m more amazed there’s a book on the subject. I’ll have to check it out!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel that I am addicted to lip balm…the feeling of it. I can’t go without! It’s not an option, I feel so ‘ugh!’ when it’s not applied. As for this aspirin mask, I am going to try it out. Sounds like a super interesting read…thanks for sharing!


    Liked by 1 person

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