Testimony from Grandmother

We received this as a comment on one of the other blog posts but thought it was so nicely written it deserved more attention. Thanks to Mary P. for the testimony.

I am a 53 year old mom and grandmother that finally quit cold turkey from using Blistex Medicated Berry lip balm.  I had used it for many years.  I had two in my purse (in case one got lost), one in my night stand, one in the bathroom drawer, one always in my pocket, one on a tray in the kitchen and even two in the living room.  They were everywhere like rabbits.

My lowest point was having to stop at Walgreen’s because I was on my way to a wedding and discovered I did not have any in my purse.  We had to make a quick detour to buy some.  I bought 10 of them, and had to carry them in my purse all day, so they wouldn’t melt from the summer heat in the car.

I was aware that I was always whipping out my Blistex Medicated Berry balm after every meal, and anytime my lips felt dry. A year ago, my younger sister encouraged me to just quit, but I was not ready yet.  Finally, after Christmas I was fed up with needing lip balm about four times an hour.  At that point, it was not relieving the dryness any more, no matter how much or how often I applied it.

On my own, I decided “Enough is enough!” I went cold turkey and stopped using the lip balm completely.  I told my husband what I was doing for his support.  After about two days, my upper lip was so dry, it was getting a crack.  I resisted putting on more of that lip balm, knowing I would be right back in its’ grip.  I did use a drop of unscented hand cream on the lips just once before I went to bed, to help heal the lip crack while I slept.  After that, I was fine.  If my lips felt terribly dry, I did not lick them, but touched a bit of water to them.  This may sound gross, but another thing that really helped….a few times I used the grease off my own nose to soothe the dry lips.  I figured it is my own natural chemical, and would help.  It did.  Now, I am free of Blistex Medicated Berry lip balm for about 3 weeks now!  I am so proud that I licked this problem!  I don’t use any product on my lips anymore, and am doing just fine!

I am here to say that…folks…don’t listen to detractors that laugh-off your addiction to lip balm.  It is an insidious addiction that is very hard to comprehend or appreciate unless you are a lip balm addict.   I also want to add that I was addicted to Carmex (little white jar with the yellow lid) when I was in my early 20’s.  I got off that when my first child was born because I wanted to kiss my newborn.  Years later during a conversation, I learned that my mother-in-law’s sister (who was a nurse on the other side of the country) told me that she too once upon a time was addicted to Carmex.  I thought I was alone with that problem.  Somewhere on the web, I read that Carmex is called “Crack for the Lips.”  It was made to dry up cold sores and has drying agents in it.   Carmex was as hard to stop as Blistex Medicated Berry Balm.

If you are a lip balm addict, you can quit if you are ready to do so. I went years and years before I just got fed up with the routine.  It will happen suddenly, and if you are reading this, you are searching for help.  I think there is a market driven industry that loves if you continually use their product.  I was shocked to read about the little girl that applied crayon to her lips at school when she realized she left her lip balm at home.  Remember this mantra…if you don’t start, you don’t have to stop. If you are addicted, you are stronger than you know! Sign me…lip balm free! So long Blistex!  All product into the trash where it belongs.

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8 Responses to “Testimony from Grandmother”
  1. Sarah says:

    I’m 24 and i’ve been addicted to lip balm since i was 15 and my rate of consumption has increased over the years. Nothing seemed to work with me for the past 2 years except vaseline, so I literally go out with a box of vaseline everywhere ( not their lip balm, but the original jelly can u imagine ! ) If i don’t reapply for an hour my lips go completely dry and i can see a slight change in colour they become more pale. I really need advise on how to quit using vaseline

  2. Pat Martin says:

    I have used X-Balm or other lip balms for years. Keep 3 in my purse, 1 in a drawer in each of our bathrooms, 1 on my dresser in the bedroom, 3 in my drawer at work. I got to where I applied it about every 30 mins. Even got up at night to apply. My lips needed balm all the time. I searched sites on how to stop using these products. Was horrified at some of the posts I have read, going cold turkey and the results were dry bleeding lips for days. I came across a segment from Dr Oz discussing the problem. Dr Oz suggestion was using pure lanolin, shea butter or coconut oil. Coconut oil was his choice. I went to my local health food store and purchased a large jar of coconut oil $9.99. I started using the coconut oil and I must say the 1st 30 hours I was applying it every 15 mins. 24 hrs in I reached for my lip balm but didn’t use it. My lips were burning like I had ate hot peppers and were flaming red. I WAS MISERABLE!!!! They didn’t bleed or crack. I did use a steroid cream when I went to bed last night. I am 48 hours in today and my lips feel so much better! I am still using the coconut oil but only applying every few hours. My lips look healthy already, I am thrilled!!! They were always pale and puffy. They are now bright pink and the puffiness is gone. I couldn’t have done this without the coconut oil. I am going to make it!!! So glad I saw Dr Oz segment to use a natural oil that will soak in and not coat the lips. People need to know about this option. By the way the women I work with think I am crazy stating I have an addiction to lip balm. I know it is a true condition that I have…….licked :-)

  3. sally sue says:

    I’m on day 11. My entire bottom lip peeled over the last 2 days and I thought great, that wasn’t too bad. Now the new skin is turning white and drying up and peeling. I wonder when it’ll stop. I’ve used chapstick for the last 10-15 years, the last couple of years I’ve put it on about every 20 mins or so. Been going cold turkey except for applying aquaphor lip repair once a day or so. Hope this gets better soon.

  4. Annys says:

    I’m a 33 year old mum of 2 and I’ve been addicted to Chapstick for about 20 years!! I really can’t believe myself that I’ve used it for that long. My 3 year old daughter has recently started to ask if she can use it (I was applying about every 20 mins) and it made me realise that I could easily pass on my addiction to my children so its time to stop. I decided to go cold turkey and I’m now on day 6! My lips are so sore and look hideous. Today whilst out shopping they started to bleed and I felt so self conscious. Could anyone tell me how long it took to have normal lips again after going cold turkey. Would love to have a rough idea of how long it will take as its so awful at the moment. I’m determined to succeed though

  5. A.W. says:

    Hi there,

    I just wanted to share my experience with quitting my lip balm addiction. I came to this site through a search engine, hoping for answers on how to cope, and I found it helpful to hear the stories of others and tips and tricks that had worked for them.

    Officially today it has been 5 weeks since I stopped using lip balm. I am not addicted to drugs or smoking, so for me, this will probably be one of the biggest addictions that I kick (hopefully) in my life. It was the biggest struggle, and one that I am continuing to go through daily, but I am so glad that I persevered.

    I had been slathering Nivea lip balm on my lips for 10 years constantly (many times an hour). My lips were never in a state of being dry. It became a terrible obsession, and I had to carry it everywhere. If I forgot it one day, I would panic and think about it incessantly, and I would get angry if I was in a position where I wasn’t able to put it on. Seriously, it sounds silly, but it was bad. So for 10 years I had a love hate relationship, and then finally I started getting tiny bumps on my lips. I figured it was one of the 10 lip balms that I had around the house/in my pocket that had gotten dirty along the way that was giving me an infection. I threw everything I had out and bought new ones. The bumps continued to form, and I figured I had developed an allergic reaction over time.

    I started using vaseline, which at first felt disgusting on my lips, but I slowly got used to it. I sought out natural lip balms to replace my vaseline since I didn’t love the consistency and having to get it on my hands to put it on. I tried natural lip balm, and continued to break out in a rash on my lips. I succumbed to using only vaseline, and to my dismay, it too started making me break out. I decided enough was enough and decided to quit.

    I want to share the ways in which I’ve been coping, since I think it is useful that remedies that have worked for people are here for others to try. I don’t guarantee it’ll work, but these are things that I’ve been doing that have helped or hindered.

    Coconut oil. Plain old coconut oil. It doesn’t stay on there long, but it eases the craving of having to put something on in the beginning. Coconut oil is an amazing thing, and is cheap (and you can do about a million different things with the giant jar you end up buying) but I put some in a small free sample container and I carry that around with me for emergency situations. In the beginning, when my lips were at their worst (cracked, peeling, bleeding) putting coconut oil really soothed things. It wasn’t perfect, but at least it was actually natural and helped ease the pain.

    Licking your lips is basically the worst thing you can possibly do. It helps in absolutely no way. Your brain tells you that your lips are dry and that you should lick them, but don’t listen. I licked them a lot in the beginning and it made things so much worse. If you need to make your lips wet, drink some water and moisten them that way.

    Peeling your lips and ripping that skin off that has chapped and formed is also a terrible idea. I have spent weeks with red, puffy, irritated, bleeding lips and while at the time it felt great to remove it, almost immediately afterwards it bleeds and then as it heels, it re-forms that hard leathery skin and the whole stupid cycle begins again. Exfoliate your lips very gently just with the tip of your finger and some water to remove some of the dead skin, but don’t rip it off. As tempting as it can be sometimes.

    I’ve been taking vitamin B pills because I read somewhere online that it helps for dry chapped skin and lips, so I have been taking one a day for about 3 weeks. I have no clue if it is helping at all with the process, but it’s worth mentioning just in case it is.

    And lastly put polysporin (I have the lotion kind that comes in a blue and white bottle, so I’m not sure if the petroleum jelly looking kind would work) on your lips right before bed. I’ve been using it for the last few nights and my lips haven’t looked this great and felt so wonderful in 5 weeks. It is honestly phenomenal. I barely put any coconut oil on my lips all day, and they still look fantastic. Normally by this time of the day my lips would be leathery if not full out cracked and bleeding. I put it on right before bed so that it has time to work its magic and I am not tempted to lick it off my lips.

    I tried researching polysporin for dry chapped lips online after I noticed it was working, and one person had said that their dermatologist recommended putting polysporin on, so I only wish I had known this ages ago. The next step for me is to stop the use of polysporin at night, and hopefully my lips can figure it out on their own without the use of anything at all.

    So there’s my journey. I hope that this remedy helps others as it has for me. I went from having dry, incredibly painful, cracked and bloody lips, to having ones that actually look normal again. The addicted feeling has been kicked, and my lips are starting to look great once more. It was an incredibly difficult journey, but I’m glad I stuck with it. Good luck!

  6. Melmo says:

    Hi… I stumbled upon this website hoping to find the strength and courage to quit, after finally hitting rock bottom. I have obsessively used lip balm for as long as I can remember. Started on lipsyl as a teenager, chap stick, and now it’s all about the little tubs. I compulsively need to carry at least 2 around with me at ALL times in case one gets lost. Ive known I cant go without it for years but thought it was harmless enough.. why stop? Then, this weekend, in the darkness in the early hours on a camping trip, I wake up in the night with that burning sensation around my lips. I find myself frantically ripping apart everything in my tent searching for one of the 3 pots of Vaseline ‘lip therapy’ I knew I had packed. I knew I had them, but I couldnt find them. The tent was a bomb site. The anxiety was unbareable, I felt panicked, uncomfortable and helpless, my lips burned, and I screamed at my boyfriend ‘Where is it? I can’t get back to sleep without it… I know i must have left one in the car, we have to go get it.’ Like a proper crazy person… He said ‘I think you might have a problem Mel’ and went bk to sleep!! But he was right. This was a dark time- So here I am. But knowing how I felt that night, and hearing stories of dry, sore and bleeding cracked lips I just don’t think I can do it. It sounds like a tough journey. Thanks to all those who have posted their cold turkey stories and advice- coconut oil sounds like a good shout to try. I don’t think I’m ready to go cold turkey just yet, I’m going to try and wein myself off a bit first, but I’m hoping soon I can be free of this pathetic addiction like others that have shared on this site! x

  7. kristi says:

    Had 10 year addiction. Have found Aquaphor and used 5 times to n 12 hrs. My lips don’t burn anymore and I don’t feel the need to pick any more all of the sudden! So far, it’s a miracle cure. From every 30 min to 5 times in 12 hrs and no burning. Also, I brushed my teeth with water only last night and this morning.

  8. Mary P. says:

    Hey there! It has been a full year since I posted “Testimony from Grandmother.” I have managed to completely stay away from using any Blistex products! Hooah! A couple times in the past year, I would stumble across a leftover, forsaken tube of Berry Flavored Medicated Blistex tucked in the back of a junk drawer. I had a quiet chuckle and a knowing, proud smile as I triumphantly swished it into the kitchen trash can like a basketball star.

    Over the past year, if I am in a drug store and see a puzzled customer gazing over the dazzling array of lip balm choices, I strike up a conversation and educate them on which products are the addicting “crack for the lips” that are designed to get you hooked-for-life, and suggest a better product that won’t make the situation worse.

    I tell them to look at the ingredient list. My sister is a physician and she told me last year that if someone absolutely needs to put something on dry, cracked, painful lips…find a lip product that has nothing in it except one ingredient: white petrolatum, which is non-addictive. Vaseline Lip Therapy or Neosporin Lip Health are brands that have that one, single ingredient.

    This is not to say that one should simply switch from using chemical-laden Blistex, Carmex or Bert’s Bees to these products! Your goal is to not need any product on the lips! First, you have a firm resolve to stop the habit and let your lips (and brain) get used to the sensation of dry, bare, natural lips, and allow your damaged lips to recover from the chemical mess applied for years. This is not fun. I did it cold-turkey in less than a week with the support of my understanding husband who kept me positive that I could “lick” this ingrained habit.

    Refrain from peeling your lips as this will make your lips hurt more. Do not lick your lips as that actually has a drying effect and will make matters much worse. Try a dab of tap water to soothe the dryness. A few times, I used a dab of unscented hand cream on my lips before I went to sleep, to assist in overnight healing. Remind yourself that you are strong and your resolve is fierce. Trust me, dry, natural lips are awesome, and you, too, will get there if you persevere.

    In cold weather, my teenage son will occasionally get a bloody crack on the side of his lip. The non-addicting products that I mentioned above can be used for temporary, emergency relief. Use it sparingly, like once for immediate relief and once before bedtime for one night only. Also, remember to drink plenty of water to hydrate your body. I remind my son not to lick his lips and make sure he understands why.

    Again I will restate that a year ago, when I was attempting to stop using Blistex Medicated Berry-Flavored Balm, and do so cold-turkey, I found that running my index finger on my nose and spreading the natural oil from my own skin onto my lips provided an immediate oil-coating to my dry, cracked lips and I am positive it aided in lip recovery. I felt like I was cheating doing that, but it is a natural body oil and it certainly helped. Within a week, I was lip balm free!

    I would like to remind parents not to use lip balm on their children, even though, to my horror, I see the products specifically marketed for them. And so it begins…..

    If you are attempting to rid yourself of the lip balm routine, understand that chemists worked hard to get you addicted to their product so you will come back and buy some more. Marketing told you that their product would improve your lips. It may take you years or even decades to wake up to the fact that you buy 10 tubes at a time, have it squirreled away in your car, purse, night stand, and pocket. You have become so addicted to lip balm that you panic if you find yourself without it, and you must halt what you are doing and go buy some and immediately apply it. When you get to the point that you find yourself applying it often, they got you hooked. Only you can decide when you have had enough.

    Take hope that you, too, can overcome lip balm addiction.

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