Ask the Addict: Medicated Lip Balms

A read who chooses to remain anonymous wrote in:

I keep Googling to find lip balms or chapsticks that don’t have the drying ingredient in it. But every time I look it up I can’t find anything it’s just talking about you know the ingredients I just random stuff that does not lead to a list of good lip balms are chapstick. Right now I use Vaseline Lip Therapy cocoa butter. I love the way it feels. But the thing is I’m constantly reapplying. Everyone at work thinks I’m weird. I over use it too and put too much on my lips. I have major anxiety and I’m pretty sure it’s my anxiety that’s doing it.

But it’s like as soon as I apply I’ve sometimes apply a couple of minutes afterwards. Like my lips are dry or something. I’ve tried other brands but sometimes I just feel like they’re always dry or they don’t give me that comfortable feeling. And if I don’t put the lip Blum on I get so uncomfortable and its all I can think about. It’s just really annoying. I want to keep using something so my lips will be smooth. But I don’t want to apply it constantly like that. Just every now and then. Not every few minutes.

So my question is do y’all have a list of lip balms that don’t have the drying ingredients? I kept trying to look on the site but I guess I got lost. Thank you.

Medicated lip balms, those designed to treat cold sores, are the ones with drying agents. Carmex is the leading brand in this sector.

Standard “non-medicated” lip balms do not contain drying agents. They are however still potentially addictive, so use caution.

Ask the Addict: Embarrassing Lip Lines

Hi there Kevin,
lipsJuly 11th, 2014 I quit COLD TURKEY from my 13-year chapstick addiction! Woohoo! To you addicts, PLEASE trust me when I say the first few days are uncomfortable but nothing horrific. My trick was starting it during a weekend with no plans. I drank water constantly. Shockingly, I never went through a ‘chapped phase’ and my upper lip has been completely unaffected by this. However, it has been 6 months since and my lower lip has gone through this yucky cycle since day one. Dry, very dry, crack in certain spots peel in those same spots. Almost the same cycle as when I worn chapstick! My only relief from it is picking the dry parts and exposing soft, skin underneath it. TERRIBLE I know but I’m at my wits end!!

Also, the ‘lip line’ ON my lower lip, right in the middle, is very deep and noticeable 24/7. It’s very embarrassing because I wear lipstick on special occasions and it looks like a crazy scar when the lipstick settles in it. I’m concerned because my lips never went through that ‘white powder donut phase’ where they got bone dry. I feel like my lips need to kind of dry out completely and then they’ll crack, and peel, and expose beautiful lips once and for all. I drink tons of water daily so maybe that’s why only three little spots on my lower lip dry out. Should I try small amounts of my Fresh brand lip treatment balm? Wait it out? I’m so frustrated and ready for smooth lips! I already did the hard part!

Oh fyi, I’m 22, never smoked, have only worn Fresh lip balm once for a photoshoot and have a large lower lip.

I’m about to buy a costly ‘lip treatment’ from Sephora. What do I have to lose?

Ugh. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.

Here’s the nasty lines I get after applying lipstick. Even without, they’re visible.

Best,
Laken B.

Thank you for sharing your story. It’s an example of the kind of trauma that can affect addicts even years after they stop abusing lip balm.

I’m not an expert on lipstick and maybe some of our female readers can chime in. It does sound like you’ve never really given your lips a chance to heal, which I know can be hard for women when there is pressure to “look beautiful” with lipstick or lip gloss. Especially if you’re a model.

I would say that going back to any sort of lip balm is not the best approach, including Sephora “lip treatment.” At best you’re not really addressing the long-term problem and at worst it could start a downward spiral that eventually could lead you back to rock bottom. None of us wants to see that.

There is absolutely nothing visually wrong with your lips, at least as far as the photo you provided goes. They look very sexy to me.

The Guardian Positions Lip Balm Addiction as OCD

A major article chronicling our struggle with sobriety was published today. Are you a lip balm addict? by Morwenna Ferrier includes some interesting statistics, including that the balm industry is now expected to hit £1 billion this year.  Unfortunately, the article describes the affliction as not really an addiction but merely a compulsion.

While lip balm isn’t addictive in the actual, traditional sense because it doesn’t contain ingredients which generally cause physiological dependency – a spokesperson from mental health charity Mind said it’s not something they’ve come across – compulsive application is “a thing” and tantamount to an OCD. As Joel Rose, director of OCD Action, explains “the minute you define it it becomes a thing, the compulsion becomes real”. And if you like to apply lip balm 70 times a day, then you may be displaying compulsive tendencies.

Rose might be complaining that those of us in recovery from lip balm addiction are “playing fast and loose with language”, but when I was using Cherry Chapstick dozens of times a day it wasn’t because I felt a psychological desire to sooth. It was because my lips burned and I felt pain that could only be addressed using lip balm.

Still it’s nice that the Guardian article keenly plays it down the middle and acknowledges that regardless of the reason there’s pain out there for people who habitually use lip balm.

Are you one of those people who applies it multiple times a day? Yes. Do your lips still feel chapped? Yes. And yet do you continue to apply it despite evidence suggesting it’s not helping? Yes. Then you might have a problem.

Hallelujah!


Ask the Addict: EOS

Jay B. writes:

Have you heard Eos lip balm?  My wife can go for a day or longer without thinking of applying more. Before that she was six times a day or more.
eosWe just added an EOS page to our website. It’s great to hear your wife is reducing her lip balm usage, though I’m not sure I’d assume it has anything to do with the ingredients in EOS. The egg-shaped container seems to me to be less portable than traditional tubes so it’s possible that’s a factor in the reduced usage.

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