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People are Putting Lip Balm on Eyelids to "Get High" and Experts Warn Against it

Why people are rubbing lip balm on their eyelids to feel high and alert. 

There's a dangerous TikTok trend happening that could potentially be harmful and experts are strongly advising against it. People are rubbing Burt's Bees lip balm on their eyelids, which some people claim can intensify the feeling of being high or drunk. It's called "Beezin" and doctors say it can cause skin conditions and infections, which could possibly threaten eye-sight. The product has ingredients including peppermint oil, which can also reportedly make you feel more alert according to people who have applied the lip balm to their eyes, but health experts are skeptical. Olivia J. Killeen, M.D., a clinical lecturer in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Michigan Medicine said in a press release, "To start, beezin' isn't actually effective," Killeen says. "It's likely that doing it will create the same feeling on the eyelids as it does on the lips." But that isn't stopping people from trying the latest TikTok craze. Read on to learn more.

TikTokers are Obsessed with the Trend


There's countless videos of people talking about Beezin' or showing what the trend is, and the hashtag #beezin has over 20 million views. One clip has even gone viral with over 8 million views. In the short TikTok a man puts Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm to his eyelids in a nightclub and writes over the video "All my homies beezin in the club." Kids are seen in clips passing the lip balm around and putting it on each other before going to a party. "Yes me and my friend are obsessed with this," one user commented. "I do it to try and stay awake," another TikToker said. "This was my gateway drug," another said. The app is now starting to put a banner over some of the videos that warn "Participating in this event could result in you or others getting hurt."

The Trend Isn't New


While people who are getting into the trend now might think it's a new thing–it's not. It's actually making a comeback and gained popularity in the early 2000's, but was short-lived. Gothamist did a piece on Beezin' in 2014 and reported, "Turns out, beezin' has been 'a thing' since at least 2005. Cooper Lund, 25, of Washington D.C. told us about his first time (ab)using Burt's Bees nearly a decade ago. "We were feeling particularly squirrely one night in high school and I got dared to do it," Lund said. "It was the same concept as smoking banana peels, for kids who didn't have access to drugs to pretend that they were hardcore. It was like getting VIcks VapoRub in your eye. It isn't unpleasant."

Beezin' Can Lead to Vision Loss


Trying the TikTok trend is risky and could lead to vision problems, experts warn. Dr. Killeen says, "Beezin' can cause chemical irritation to the eyelids themselves, resulting in redness, swelling, and inflammation. She also notes that it's easy for products to accidentally get into the eyes themselves.  So, Beezin' can end up causing tearing, redness, and painful burns to the surface of the eyes. In severe instances, it could lead to scarring or vision loss."

What Menthol Can Do To Your Eyes


According to medical experts, menthol is likely to  burn your eyes and won't make you feel high. "The peppermint oil or menthol in the balm can cause a tingling sensation, but it is not actually getting people high or causing the same type of chemical reaction in the body that's produced by drugs or alcohol," Dr. Killeen said.  

Others agree. Dr. Mike Balgemann, an optometrist told, "The menthol gives eyes a cooling effect from its alcohol nature. However, that is only a temporary effect that pinches blood vessels and also dries the eyes out with repeated use. Getting menthol into the eyes will generally just irritate the eyes, leaving a person with the mistaken impression that they're more awake from the discomfort. This will make the eyes water to flush the foreign agent." He added, "'Applying menthol-based balm to the eyelids is taking a risk. Using someone else's lip balm, used on the lips, then on the eyes, is a vector for infection. Any infection on the surface of the eye is potentially sight-threatening."

Why Using Someone Else's Lip Balm Increases the Health Risk


Scroll through the beezin' hashtag and you'll see plenty of people sharing the same lip balm someone else just used. Experts reveal how unsanitary that really is. "Using a lip balm on an eyelid that may have come into contact with a viral infection such as a cold sore on the lip can increase the risk for a herpes infection of the eye which can do significant damage to the window of your eye, the cornea," Dr. Balgemann said. 

You Can Try to Prevent Your Kids From Seeing Beezin' Videos By Turning the Restricted Mode on TikTok


While there's no guarantee your kids won't see something on social media you don't want them to, you can try to prevent it from happening. There is a restricted mode on the app. According to TikTok, "Restricted Mode on TikTok limits exposure to content that may not be suitable for everyone. We're always working on improving this feature, so if you find a video in Restricted Mode that you think should be restricted, you can report it."

Here's how you can turn the mode on or off. 

1."In the TikTok app, tap Profile at the bottom.

  1. Tap the Menu button at the top.
  2. Tap Settings and privacy.
  3. Tap Content preferences, then tap Restricted Mode.
  4. Follow the steps in the app to set or enter a passcode to turn Restricted Mode on or off.

Note: This feature is available only on the TikTok app and not available on mobile and desktop browsers."

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more
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