Admitting that you have a problem is the first step toward healing, and last week I admitted that I have a serious problem when it comes to lip balm. I’ve managed to cut down from carrying 10 tubes with me at all times to carrying two or three, but I still reapply constantly and buy new varieties all the time under the premise of market research. So I decided to get at the root of my addiction to lip balm, and everything went back to one source: my mother.

Like many women, I learned about beauty from my mom and imitated what she did. Thanks to her, I still love Pond’s Cold Cream and keep my makeup routine pretty minimal. But there’s another, more sinister side to our mother/daughter product allegiance. My mom owns about a million kinds of lip balm. I asked her how many kinds she keeps in her desk drawer and she responded “about 2o.” Now that I’m thinking back, I can’t remember my mom without four or five kinds of balms in her bag – and her glove compartment.

So now that I know how I ended up with my lip balm addiction, will that help me to curb it? Step one: palm off excess balms onto my mom. At least I will know they’re going to a good home, where they’ll have a lot of friends to hang out with.