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.

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.

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26 Responses to “Ask the Addict: Embarrassing Lip Lines”
  1. Laken B. says:

    Thank you so much for your feedback, Kevin! I appreciate it. Someone working at the MAC Cosmetics counter in Nordstrom told me, “use vitamin E, it heals!” Hmm. I’ll attempt to keep my lips as dry as possible for a drying out phase. Thank you, I feel anything but sexy with this current situation.

  2. Melanie B says:

    Don’t switch to lipstick like I did many years ago; same problem with color. Now I prowl ebay for the best deals on Clinique soft shine lipstick in the shade called Beauty. Ironic, since the ‘addict’ lip lines I have sure aren’t those of a beauty. Juvederm is very expensive, and in a few months I’m having a facelift with fat injections in my lips. Hope the fat injections outlast the Juvederm. My older sister is a Blistex addict, so maybe it’s genetic. Don’t fall into the abyss of lip balm addiction again by replacing one substance with another.

  3. leslie says:

    Is it bad I cry a bit when my eos is really short and it pushed in

  4. Marie says:

    So I realize I have a lip balm addiction. I used to use varied brands but ended up sticking with Carmex. I noticed my lip got severely sensitive. If I didn’t apply it frequently my lips would feel as if they were on fire and only relief was to apply more carmex. I started to even get red little bumps on my lower lip if I didn’t apply soon enough after I felt that burning sensation. In my younger days I could go days without applying anything to my lips and now they are so sensitive that I can’t put on regular lipstick because they get too dried out and give me the burning sensation followed by red bumps on my lips. I have since moved onto another product that has safe ingredients that has cut down my usage by 90% However, I feel like I can’t let go of it completely. It’s just to unbearable when they dry out to the point of red irritation bumps come. Not to mention I don get cold sores from time to time and the dryness triggers that for coming out. So any advise on getting away from using nothing at all? thank you in advance

  5. Sarah says:

    It started when I was 7 and I suffered from excema around the corners of my mouth. My dr prescribed steroid cream. I moved to ‘lypsyl’ as it hydrated the corners of my mouth and kept the excema at bay too. I’m now 33 and if I don’t use it the entire area around the corners and my lips become tort. I use it maybe 30-40 times per day. I’ve been 12 hours without it now and I can barely open my mouth it’s so tight. I really hope I get through it and come out the other side as I’m totally sick of this silly addiction. I guess my lips and corners stopped producing oils a long time ago. I hope they start producing soon. It’s going to be weeks of hell I know.

  6. I am also addicted to lipbalm. Here’s my situation: I am 19 years old, my middle name is courtney, and I am 22 months pregnant. Yes I am a guy but that doesn’t matter. I use two packs of lip balm every day and I believe in the religion of the flying spaggetti monster. When I first got pregnant with my baby, I began eating lipstick and I am still doing it its so good. How can I stop if I cant be orange? PS Im naming my child after you (Kevin). she iz a butiful baby and i love chaptick in my pants ;)

  7. Black jesus says:

    I’ve been addicted to lipstick since i was 7, Now i’m 32 and I can’t live without it. I use about 15 things of chapstick erry day, and sometimz i eatz it. but sinz im preggers ive foubnd e-zr ways to consume it. i melt it on a poon and inject it into my skin

  8. Chris says:

    Hi Marie, what is the ’safe’ ingredients product you mow use for the burning sensation you have on your lips as I have the same problem, thanks Chris

  9. Ruthie says:

    I stopped using lip balm a month ago. My lips dried, then crusted and crusted and crusted…but now I’m free!!! It took prayer and lots of self control to keep from peeling the crusty dry skin and also just choosing to ignore the looks from people at my crocodile lips…I’m grateful that I was home for some of those weeks so I didn’t have to get out as much and show my face…now my lips are back..not as they were..but getting there.the dry crusting has lips are still pinkish (I’m black so my lips are naturally dark) and a bit sore (my bottom lip was a lot worse than my top lip) but the crusting is gone and they just feel different…less dry and way more supple than through the healing OR with lip balm..I just wanted to share this to encourage anyone wanting to quit…you can do it!!! Our lips weren’t meant to have as much oil on them as we subject them to…it’s possible to get your lips back to their natural state..don’t give up…once the worst part is over, you are on your way to recovery…a tip that I can share is when you quit cold turkey (which is what i did…I quit carmex..aka lip-crack..-haha pun intended- after about 5 years) go a few days without anything on your lips, but then after, when the crusts form, don’t let your lips stay completely dry..I used to Pat a little RAW and pure Shea butter on my lip after my shower and just before going to bed…it was so little I couldn’t even see it on my lips and NOT glossy like the layering sheen that I was used to…this kept my new skin from cracking as it formed under the crusting. Also drink lots and lots of water..I would drink warm water with with my ‘outer’ crusty lips to get them wet. It made the crusting seem whitish and kinda disgusting, but only for few minutes and I truly think it helped..and when you feel that urge to spread balm, dab some warm water on your lips, to keep them moisturized and to keep you from losing your mind with that’lip balm itch’ and DON’T PEEL THE CRUSTS…above all…STICK WITH IT.

  10. Militsa says:

    Thanks I use brands like Sierra Bees, Aubrey Organics, badger Company, Eco Lips and so on.

  11. Rebecca says:

    I am 35 years old, I grew up in Florida, and never used lip balm growing up. I never even thought of it. Then, I moved to the mountains of North Carolina for college and in my Freshman year, I got a severe case of chapped lips during the winter. My lips cracked and staph got into them. It turned into Impetigo! My lips pussed, bled, and I lost all of the skin on my lips. Locals told me that I should have used lip balm to prevent the chapped lips. So once the new skin grew in, I habitually used lip balm thru the next 3 years of college in the cold weather. By that time, I was addicted. I never went anywhere without my lip balm. I never knew that it could become addicting and that my lip tissue could become dependent on it.

    In the past few years, I started noticing that the lip balm just doesn’t work as well anymore. My upper lip still felt chapped between applications and even after I applied. If I didn’t apply at all, my lips started feeling very chapped and painful. So two days ago… I thought “That’s it! I’m quitting cold turkey and I’m never using it again no matter what!” I’m a pretty stubborn person and I know I can do this. Luckily, it’s the perfect time for me to take this stand because I work from home and it’s summertime in FL. I’m 48 hrs now without lip balm and my lips are very painful. They are very chapped, dry, cracked and just started bleeding this morning. So this is a REAL problem caused by lip balm. I made a honey/sugar mixture to help exfoliate. I have been drinking lots of water and I have NOT been licking my lips. Like many people, when I first saw this website I thought “these guys are a little radical” and now, after my 48 hours of pain, I am so thankful for this website and so grateful for all of the support on it. I can’t wait for the light at the end of the tunnel…I know I will get thru this!

  12. Hikkigaya says:

    Seriously, this is funny.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Bruuuhhhh I can’t believe there are other people like meeeeeeee ????????????????????????

  14. Maheen says:

    I have never been a lip balm addict. I was more of a peeling-my-lip addict. I was just always so lazy in buying lip balms or putting it on, I would just peel the dry parts of my lips off. I’ve been starting to get into lipsticks and you girls know how ugly lipstick can look on dry lips. And since I always had those chapped lips that I would just try to peel and would cause it to bleed and look even worse, I’ve been starting to put on lip balm and Vaseline constantly and scrubbing my lips with homemade lip scrub (sugar and coconut oil). I did some research and blistex’s DCT was the most popular lip balm. I actually just started using it yesterday.

    My lips are definitely a LOT better by doing all that. I always knew menthol and camphor were bad for your lips and cause this addiction. And since the websites said that DCT was a better alternative to carmex, which is famously known to have menthol and camphor. But of course, after finding this site I checked the ingredients in DCT and it has those ingredients. Which is just great since I bought a 20 pack thinking it would be so good for my lips. Now I’m trying to think of something else to do to keep my lips from getting dry and having me peel them and make them bleed and hurt because honestly there’s no way I can keep myself from peeling them.

    Basically my question is, would putting regular lotion help my lips? Also I just started using coconut oil for both the inside and outside of my body. I’m loving the natural benefits. I don’t wanna put anything on my lips that could hurt it, but is there any way that putting coconut oil as my lipbalm could be addictive?

    It just seems like coconut oil would be a good alternative since it’s so natural and organic. I want to make sure!

    Please let me know as soon as possible!!

  15. I would suggest that you get started with raw honey. It helps to retain more water in your body since the raw honey will work with all your essential nutrients. These nutrients will run out at times if not getting more when using them up. You also need to take some extra virgin olive oil that puts it all comes back in your body as time goes on. Believe me & try this since these products are a natural part of our systems in our bodies.
    Never use synthetic products that leave you messed up later on.

  16. Emily Z. says:

    hey guys, one thing that worked for me was some kind of vegetable oil/sesame oil/jojoba oil that i would apply on my lips if they felt dry. make sure you’re well hydrated and try this, it works really well!


    How is this actually a thing?! Chapstick is not a drug, and it is non addictive…Do you even know what you’re talking about. What the hell? P.S. you’re dumb..

  18. Advice says:

    I found this page after my 12 years old daughter kept getting Red lines around her lips. I use chapstick for years, I would say I am addicted to using it.
    I believe the lines around her lips could be eczema and is a result of food allergy with a combination of dry climate.
    My lips are burning today too, way below my lip line as well so we can’t just say it is from chapstick. I hydrate constantly so it won’t get worse. I do believe some people suffer from dry lips their whole life, even before they use chapstick. I am one of them, living in dry climate doesn’t make it easier.
    We were out today and it was hot, me and my daughter ate a plum, my lips and below them started burning, even my tongue a bit . My daughter’s line around her lips got real bad as time went today. It must be food related.
    Also when I was a teenager I had eczema on my chin, it stopped when I immigrated to the states. There must be relation to something I was eating and exposed to.
    The irritation on my chin and lips came back in the past year, certain food would aggravate it, mainly certain types of bread and dairy products, maybe fruits since the plum irritated my lips today.
    I would look into food sensitivity as well as I notice irritation after certain foods I eat. Some foods get the sides of my lips to dry and burn.

  19. Lynn S says:

    I have been using Blistex constantly for more than 10 years. Last week I woke up with what looked like clown lips (bright red thick lipstick with little red bumps), only I never use lipstick, just Blistex. I thought I had some form of dermatitus and couldn’t get in to see a dermatologist (so I went to an urgent care center). The doctor started asking all the usual questions concerning facial soaps and creams and only as a joke did I mention my Blistex usage. He googled it and found your website. This was just yesterday and he told me to quit using immediately and start using Vaseline. My lips are no longer bumpy around the edges, but are real dry. I have never been a water drinker so that will be my ’step 2′. Thanks for the website! Kind of nice to know I’m not the only one with a tube in every coat pocket, purse, and side table in my house. (Had to stop taking it in my car though) It melted ????

  20. Deena says:

    I you asked me over a year ago, is there such a thing as lip balm addiction, I would think you were nuts, but here I am researching it.
    I don’t even remember how it started, did I have chapped lips one day and used it too long?
    I am at the point, I use lip balm a few times a day, but making sure I have them everywhere, purse, bathroom, desk drawer at work, end table in the living room, you get it.
    If I don’t use the lip balm I start to feel my lips burning like they are instantly getting chap, like I have been in high dry winds outside.
    I cannot go to sleep at night without it or my lips or the dry burning feeling gets to be where I can’t sleep. I have to get up and put on chapstick.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I have not used any chapstick for almost two weeks now. The only thing I have used on my lips is coconut oil and honey. My lip are defiantly not as bad as they were the first couple days. But, it’s still an endless cycle of them getting flakey and me peeling them off only for them to flake again. I found a chapstick brand called “Hurraw!” And was wondering if I put that on my lips will it make my lips addicted to it again? It’s supposedly all natural but I’m not quite sure! Please help!

  22. Raeya says:

    I started using Chapstick when I was 8 I have been using it for 5 years now it started off harmless only using it in morning and at night (baby lips) gradually it started getting worse now I have to use it every half hour and I have a mini pannick attack when I don’t no where my Chapstick is and I wipe OFF a coat to put a new one ON I just realized I was addicted to it this year and have been trying to get rid of it now I only use it once every hour to hour and a half and I feel like my lips are cracked and peeling all the time and it sucks because when I try not to use it my lips go beat red and the skin around it does to I drink lots ignore ice water throughout the day and I use a lip scrub at night to take the dry skin off of my lips any advice to speed up the recovery?

  23. Roy says:

    I have a different addiction problem. I usually only use chapstick once a day but I have a collection problem. I want to have them all! I like to have a stash or horde of it. When I am at the store I have the urge to buy some even though I barely use it. I usually don’t buy the same chapstick twice, I like to buy chapstick that I don’t have yet. Is their a way to break this type of addiction?

  24. Teresa says:

    Update: I quit using lip balm over 4 years ago and I mostly use virgin coconut oil on my lips (and hands) a few times a day. However, this past winter I also started using Tea Tree Lip Moisturizer from Tropical Traditions a few times a week (when I go out). And last month I found this brand: Hurraw! Tinted Lip Balm, Black Cherry. This is the first colored lip balm that I have worn since 2012. As you probably know, most brands contain petroleum jelly, which is toxic. I love that I can (occasionally) wear some lip color again that is very natural. Ladies, I know you know what I mean by that. Best wishes to you!

  25. Kc says:

    I was addicted to chapstick and it’s been months since I stopped my addiction. Now i feel like I’m going crazy because I’m very conscious about my looks. And i used to have this really nice lips and now my lips are really dry. I don’t have the confidence that i had before. I just want my lips to go back to normal. I don’t know what to do.

  26. keith says:

    wow unbelievable facts about chapstick. Ive spent my whole adult life trying t figure out the difference between chapstick and lip balm. this site helps so much thanks! Ive used similar products for the masterbaition process and with a little tingling in my right nut it works great

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