Teens Reportedly Applying Burt's Bees Lip Balm to Eyelids for Buzz
Last week, multiple news sources reported a questionable new activity among U.S. teenagers: rubbing lip balm on their eyelids.
The trend, called "beezin," involves rubbing Burt's Bees lip balm around the eyes. The lip balm contains a peppermint oil that irritates the skin, which some sources claimed "intensifies the experience of being high or drunk" while others said it merely helped kids stay awake in class.
If it sounds like a joke, that's because it may have started as one. Reason.com and Buzzfeed both reported that one of the original sources of beezin is a parody video on YouTube. Even so, affiliates of CBS and Fox News ran stories on the topic which were picked up by other sources, and within days there were real reports of teens actually using lip balm on their eyelids.
Even if beezin started as a joke and the effects were exaggerated, anyone trying it still runs a risk. According to doctors, it is unlikely that lip balm could produce any illicit effects, but that isn't to say the activity can't be dangerous. The burning sensation caused by the peppermint oil can also cause swelling, redness and inflammation in the eye and result in pink eye-like symptoms.
There are also risks of viruses and other bacteria being transmitted from the mouth to the eye. "Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus," Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor told WSAW.com. "If you use the lip balm on the cold sore and your friend borrows the lip balm, puts it on their eyelid, the herpes virus could be transmitted from the lip balm to a person's eye. And that person could go blind."
While the news coverage of the possibly-fabricated fad may have inspired some real world attempts, the buzz around beezin seems to be dying down.