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How do I stop using chapstick?
May 2, 2005 10:37 AM   Subscribe

I use it way too much, and find that whenever I start using less then normal, my lips quickly dry out and then crack and peel up. So I lick them, which just dries them out.

I've tried to just stop using the stuff (cold turkey), but my lips just turned to sandpaper, and I couldn't stop licking them and rubbing them together, and they even got to the point where they would bleed a little. Is there anything I can do besides buying a little tube of smack? How do I stop needing to us the stuff so much?
posted by kjell to Health & Fitness (23 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
You could start by taking vitamin E.
posted by bh at 10:39 AM on May 2, 2005




As soon as I read this I got out my Carmex.
posted by matildaben at 10:49 AM on May 2, 2005 [1 favorite]


You need to taper off how often you apply it.

When I was in high school, I carried a tube of "cherry ice" in my pocket. I must have applied it 100 times a day. If ever I forgot it, I was miserable; seemed like my lips dried out instantly. Once I stopped carrying it in my pocket (college), I was able to resist the urge to reapply it every 10 minutes and found I needed it less and less. Now I apply it in the morning before I leave the house, after lunch, before I leave work, and before I go to bed. Obviously more often if I've been outside a bunch and my lips are begging for it.

Try using something other than chapstick -- I find it to not really help my lips when they are chapped, and it makes me want to apply it over and over because it really doesn't do jack. Some things I use that I haven't become addicted to: Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm, Lip MedEx, & DCT.
posted by suchatreat at 10:49 AM on May 2, 2005


can you do me a favor? can you bring me my chapstick? my lips are really dry!
posted by LilBucner at 10:53 AM on May 2, 2005


I used to have a Carmex addiction -- because I needed it to keep my lips from turning raw. Then, I started drinking more water (the recommended 8 glasses a day). My lip issues have completely disappeared. I have not bought any lip moisture products in years.
posted by rw at 10:54 AM on May 2, 2005


my lips are really dry!

I think it's actually, "But my lips hurt real bad!" (oh man, I'm one of THOSE people).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:59 AM on May 2, 2005 [1 favorite]


Why would Carmex have ground fiberglass in it? (Not to hijack this thread.)
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:00 AM on May 2, 2005


pink superhero i think you're right.
posted by LilBucner at 11:00 AM on May 2, 2005


Try Vitamin E - the gelcaps. Break one open and smear the goop on your lips. Once or twice a day. It's really sticky so it's probably best to do right before going to bed. It should help your lips heal up pretty quickly and you won't need chapstick if you keep using it. (I do this in the winter when my lips get dried out and cracked.) Also, yeah, try drinking more water.
posted by Melinika at 11:07 AM on May 2, 2005


The lip balms containing irritants can be addictive because they actually cause the problem they aim to solve. Namely, they dry you out. Irritants are things like camphor, peppermint, menthol, etc. Other lip balms without these ingredients that just contain the normal list: cocoa butter, various oils, shea butter, beeswax, etc... they aren't addictive, but we get very used to the way they make our lips feel. Plus, they do actually protect, esp if they contain a waxy ingredient. My solution is to avoid irritants and to keep using the non-irritating stuff. I don't mind reapplication.
posted by abbyladybug at 11:33 AM on May 2, 2005 [1 favorite]


Rub some oil off your face and apply it to your lips. I stopped carrying balm during my ski trips after reading this tip in some article somewhere. It sounds a little disgusting, but I've used it with pretty good success while skiiing and otherwise, so give it a try if you need a fix.
posted by Mrmuhnrmuh at 1:19 PM on May 2, 2005


I stopped getting chapped lips when I started drinking enough water (100+ fl oz per day).
posted by knave at 2:41 PM on May 2, 2005


Stay hydrated while you wean yourself from this debilitating addiction. OK, just stay hydrated and your lips should be fine.
posted by caddis at 2:45 PM on May 2, 2005


Carmex in particular is designed to make you dependent on it. It damages the skin cells in your lips every time you use it until you're completely unable to go without it. I suggest using something palliative yet unpleasant, like pure vaseline, until you can wean yourself off.

Carmex is kiddie crack. Put the crack down.
posted by scarabic at 2:47 PM on May 2, 2005


Nothing feels quite as good as that tingling Carmex rush.
posted by matildaben at 3:04 PM on May 2, 2005


The lip balms containing irritants can be addictive because they actually cause the problem they aim to solve. Namely, they dry you out. Irritants are things like camphor, peppermint, menthol, etc. Other lip balms without these ingredients that just contain the normal list: cocoa butter, various oils, shea butter, beeswax, etc...

Exactly. I love Nanak's when I need it.

And I second the recommendation of drinking water.
posted by Specklet at 3:14 PM on May 2, 2005


knave and caddis have it on the money. My lips are never dry or cracked now that I drink plenty of water and I used to have some seriously cracked lips and a balm addiction. I don't even know where my balm is anymore.
posted by FlamingBore at 3:21 PM on May 2, 2005


Oil from my face on my lips? You clearly don't have the dry skin problem I have. There isn't any oil on my face! Only dry flakes!! I think some of us really need lip balm to a certain extent!
posted by abbyladybug at 4:03 PM on May 2, 2005


abbyladybug - you want to swap skins with me? ;)

What about behind your ear (iow - where some might have built up)?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 5:58 PM on May 2, 2005


When I lived in dry, windy Boston, I found that exfoliating my lips regularly (like, every morning) helped -- it gets rid of some of the flaking and makes your lips feel smoother, which makes you feel like you need lip balm less. Just put a little bit of regular sugar on your lips, rub them together, then rinse or lick the sugar off. I generally followed that with some lip balm, and was good to go for most of the day.
posted by occhiblu at 6:40 PM on May 2, 2005


Thanks for all the answers - something that I wish would work is the oil off my face trick, but there isn't any there. Not even behind the ears. I'll see what drinking more water does, but I already feel like I drink quite a bit. But more probably can't hurt... I haven't put on any since this morning, but my lips are reaching their limit. Oh well.
posted by kjell at 1:01 PM on May 3, 2005


I think that lip balm will keep skin that should have sloughed off long ago on my lips. Like voodoo zombie-skin. A little bit of rubbing with a washcloth or toothbrush to get older skin off once a day seems to help quite a bit.
posted by stavrogin at 2:09 PM on May 3, 2005


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