"There are two potential issues that arise when using lip balm. First, if it has a potentially irritating ingredient, it can cause inflammation and loss of hydration. This, in turn, causes your lips to need more moisture so you keep applying the product and it turns into a vicious cycle," New York dermatologist Joshua Zeichner told Real Simple.
The second problem involves the use of lip balms with occlusive, a product which creates a barrier on the skin. "These formulas create an artificial barrier to lock in moisture, but when overused, can cause lips to become lazy because the skin doesn't have to work to maintain its own hydration level," Zeichner says. Your lips gets used to having balm slapped on so they stop producing oils, and you end up having to add more balm, kicking off a vicious cycle. If and when this happens, the trick is to leave your lips alone to let them return to normal. "You have to go through the dry spell to get lips back to normal and working on their own again before applying another balm," he says. This doesn't mean you can't use these products; just do so in moderation.