We received this question from Karolee A.
Hello I’m 16 years old and I have been using lip balm for years and of course you’ve heard it before, my lips get dry and cracked when I don’t use it but just one question will my lips ever resume to creating there own moisture?
Well, technically your lips do not create moisture, at least not in such a volume to make a difference here. The issue most probably is that your lips are so sensitive to the elements that when you go without the balm it actually is very noticeable and distracting to you. It is for this very reason why it is so hard to kick the habit.
I would say that yes, “it gets better” but it can take a long time and it can be painful - especially as we head into winter. I do sense a potential need for you to see a dermatologist, so consider that as an option. Best of luck.
We received this note from Monica P. (emphasis mine):
I’ve been using chapstick since I was 14, I’m now 20. This is not a once a day kind of thing, I use it maybe 2/3 times in a single hour, if something happens and I can’t find it, I search franticly for it until I find it, It’s never more than 3 feet away from me unless I’m at home, if I’m out doing a photoshoot I’ll take 3 things, my camera, my keys and my chapstick, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, this is the 2nd time I’ve tried to quit, which tells you the first time I failed, but this time I’m quitting cold turkey, I can’t do the weaning off thing, It’s been 30 hours and my lips sting, they’re peeling, I’m bleeding, I’m crying, I can’t go out in public because I’m ashamed, a few months ago I thought using the new EOS brand would help, but it hasn’t, I want out, I hate being chained to something so stupid as chapstick addiction. I just want to be able to get out my car without making sure I have my chapstick.
Monica, I am truly sorry to hear about your plight. It is heartbreaking and serves as a reminder to those who mock our struggle.
You didn’t mention your family or friends but clearly they are going to need to be a help to you during this time. They might be able to make the weaning process easier, and certainly will help you during the dark times if you go cold turkey. If your lips are bleeding you should consider seeing a medical professional.
Please do a search for a local LBA chapter in your area. There you will find the support structure that knows exactly what you’re going through. Best of luck.
We received this note from Joe G.
I recently decided that I was going to quit my 4-year Chapstick addiction once and for all, cold turkey. I hadn’t done much research on lip balm addiction, the only thing I knew was that it was a real thing, but I hadn’t seen your website until today. I’m currently in the 48th hour of no Chapstick, and the blood has started to flow out of my lips, but I’m still going strong.
My question is… how long should a cold turkey recovery take? Because while this website is certainly helping, I don’t know how much more I can take of this. If it’s a couple more days, fine. But if it’s any longer than that I might have to consider switching over to weening.
Great site by the way, informative, interesting, and humorous all at once!
Thanks Joe. We’re not sure what you’re talking about with the humor, but we’re always happy to hear from someone who is trying to kick the habit and get their life finally under control.
Cold turkey is a strange thing. There’s no set formula for how long the “withdrawal” of not having Chap Stick will last. But 48 hrs seems like well under what you should expect. I think 4-5 days or maybe up to a week would be most typical. But, seeing how your lips are bleeding, I would say that visiting a doctor might be wise.
I’m just an occasional user of lip balm, but I don’t want to risk becoming addicted. Can I make my own “safe” lip balm out of natural ingredients?
Natural ingredients are certainly better than many of the petroleum-based balms. But, as many have testified, natural balms can be addictive too (especially if you think using more and more is “okay” just because it is natural). So, as with any balm, use sparingly and if you feel you are using habitually be sure to address it but reducing usage or starting our 12 Step Program.