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.

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.

ChapStick Overnight Discontinued?

Pat P. writes:

Just wondering if you know why Chapstick stopped making  ChapStick overnight lip treatment?  Does it have anything to do with the ingredient Dimethicone and is this harmful? Thanks Pat

ChapStick Overnight

ChapStick Overnight

Chapstick Overnight was designed to be taken at bedtime and it’s product use was described as: “Nourishes and conditions lips with a long lasting nightly moisture treatment. Contains 8 different moisturizers - glides on easily/angled tip. Helps prevent and temporarily protects chafed, chapped or crackedlips and helps moisturize and condition while sleeping.”  Yet another attempt by the Balm companies to keep your lips held hostage by their products now 24 hours a day.

As for Dimethicone, it is described as having side effects such as “burning, stinging, redness, or irritation may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.” So, while in theory this product has been declared “safe” you may still need to see a doctor. Doesn’t sound like a harmless ingredient.

It does appear that this product has been discontinued. A post by ChapStick on Facebook back in June 2013 indicated the product was still available.  But it is no longer listed on the ChapStick website.  Perhaps the product didn’t sell. Or perhaps our side won a small battle against the Balm companies who will not be satisfied until every single person is using regularly.

The Forty-Year Addiction and Blistex DCT

Hi Kevin,

dctI love your website.. Just brilliant. I always thought I was alone with this addiction.

I started using when I was 13 years old. I am now 53! Forty years of slathering grease on my lips. I started with simple Blistex chapstick and  gradually moved on to the heroin of chapsticks: Blistex DCT (not a stick, it’s a little pot of chemicals). I have chapstick everywhere…. Several in my purse, my nightstand, my desk…. I have to use it  every couple of hours during the day and once or twice in the middle of the night. A few times I left home without it, panicked, turned around and drove back to retrieve my stash.  I worry about running out so I stock up. Most retail stores have stopped selling this DCT brand (my chapstick of choice)  so I have to order it on line from amazon. I have about 20 tubs at the moment.

My husband teases me about my chapstick use and doesn’t believe it’s an addiction. My family look at me strangely when I whip out my goop at the dinner table. My friends think it’s just nerves… But I know the truth: I am terrified of withdrawal. Why? I went through withdrawal twice years ago and it was a nightmare. I sensed my chapstick use was excessive so I thought it was time to break the habit. I tried to stop cold turkey. To my horror, each day my lips got drier and drier and cracked and bled and shriveled. They looked and felt awful.This went on for 2 weeks and did not get better. So I finally gave in. I stuck my finger into the blistex pot, scooped some lifesaving goop and slathered it on my painful lips. Instant relief! All symptoms disappeared. I felt normal again.

Since my terrible withdrawal experience, I tried to switch brands. Something more natural from the health food store. They don’t work! Only DCT does the job.

I just wanted to share my story to emphasize that this addiction is real and can last a lifetime. Although I am fearful about trying to stop again I may try your 12 step program. Thanks for creating the website.. I had a good laugh and then here I am fessin’ up!

Regards,
Debbie

Sent from my iPad

I’m glad you found something on our site humorous, though I’m not sure what that would be. But, your story certainly illustrates the long-term dangers of using lip balms.

Blistex DCT is yet-another product in a long line of addictive products. Billing itself as “Daily Conditioning Treatment for Lips”, the product oozes addictive propaganda from it’s website. Some balms try to hide their addictive properties by saying they should be used when lips are chapped, but not DCT. The website text reads in part “DCT keeps your lips in perfect condition every day of the year, in all climates, through all activities.”

In other words, once you start you’re hooked! For the rest of your life! Think we’re joking? Have you forgotten Debbie’s story and her 40 year addiction?

Debbie’s story about only feeling “normal” while taking lip balm is not uncommon, especially after such a long time of usage. Given that weaning and cold turkey don’t seem to be effective, I’ve referred Debbie to a local LBA chapter where she can get the help she so desperately needs.

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