Does Using Chapstick Perpetuate the Need for Chapstick?

So the rumor goes, the more Chapstick (lip blam?) you use, the more you need.

But is it true? According to my lips, sometimes yes and sometimes no. This month, for example has seen my mouth feeling relentlessly dry regardless of the inordinate amounts of Balm dot com I smear across them. Last month, however, two simple strokes of the same ingredient could have nipped any lip flakes in their respective buds. So what is it — Chapstick: good for chapped lips or bad for chapped lips? This inquiring mind wants to know.

Original image via Spur magazine

  • Yes and No. I don’t use Chapstick, I’m a fan of Vaseline’s Cocoa Butter mini and I use it daily but most of the time I think my lips are pretty smooth. It’s this time of year that you might need more but that’s more based on the Weather. 🙂

    • Hanne

      i love it, used to have the little slightly flavored vaseline tin cans, sooo good, will definitely get a cocoa butter one now

      • EFFONI

        Guys you shouldn’t be using this because it has Petrolatum inside which makes your lips worse. Find another lip balm to use. Friends who have pharmasies told me that and they were true cause every time I use them they are very soft but after a while I need to use it again and again

        • From my own research, this is true. Petrolatum does not moisturize, it only acts as a barrier, and over time weakens the skins’ natural barriers. I like burt’s bees and other organic lip balms.

          • Issmene

            Oils also act as a barrier (which are in organic lip balms). This isn’t necessarily a bad thing (so petrolatum might be bad, or not, or for some people, but it is not because it acts as a barrier), it locks in moisture so it doesn’t ‘escape’. Of course this doesn’t work when there is no moisture to begin with. But then you could try applying a balm after drinking some water, or after putting some aloe vera gel on your lips (Which works really well for me).

  • Ninushko

    For me it depends on the type of balm. As of now only Labello Original seems to work, but other people told me that this product makes their lips dryer, hence I guess trying is the only way…
    About your lips being dry this months: winter is starting =)

  • Fensi Šmensi

    The same question has been on my mind lately as it seems that I have gotten addicted to the Maybelline Baby lips balm since I bought it last month. And it’s not a psychological addiction either. I am talking about the fact that my lips feel sore and dry as soon as I have no lip balm on them.
    Are there any dermatologists or people who know more about skinlips among us because I would love to know more? 🙂

    • soniadelvalle

      I love baby lips balms because PRETTY! But they really really make my lips horribly dry! Wtf is up with that. I’m sticking to clear, mint Labello at the moment ):

      • Fensi Šmensi

        I bought it ’cause of packaging as well, but now I think it’s better off on my bookshelf as decor and I’m back to vaseline (pink, in a floral box) I bought at Primark for 1 Euro.

  • Margaret

    Just reading this post made me reach for my lip balm, but I honestly wonder the same thing! I swear by plain old Vaseline.

  • sarah

    in my middle school there was a conspiracy theory that chapstick brand had mini shards of glass similar to chewing tobacco that cut your lips and made them dryer and then caused you to buy more.

  • Lauren

    DEFINITELY YES! I’ve been using chapstick for years now and well i almost have panic attacks when i forget it or lose it. I can’t live with that thing it’s crazy. Most people are making fun of me because of that, one of my friend’s pranks as a kid was to take it and hide it because they knew it was driving me crazy not to have it !! I don’t know if it’s an addiction or what but i don’t know if i’ll ever be able to quit that thing !

    • Rachael

      I have the same problem! I’ve been addicted to Chapstick for nearly 10 years now (oh…), and if I ever leave home without it, I have to stop and get some. I buy them in threes so I can have extras laying around just in case I misplace the one I currently use (which happens often)! Ha! I traveled around the world for a year, so, naturally, I left the States with 11 of ’em. Wasn’t enough.

  • I always wondered about this!

    • Jewls

      It depends on the lip balm’s ingredients. Peppermint can irritate the skin causing it to crack and dry, so you end up putting on more to combat the dryness. Vaseline is a barrier, so while your lips will feel smooth, no moisture is getting in or out so your lips will be in the same state of dryness they were in whenever you put the Vaseline on. Constant lip licking also drys out your lips, so if you’re a habitual lip licker it might not be the lip balm, but your lip licking that’s your dryness problem.

  • Lilcupcake4919

    actually i need to fing a good chapstick

    I only have a eos

  • Aydan

    I will not leave home without at least two lip products. My burts bees or rosebud salve coupled with some shade of lipstick. It just feels right!

    • Amy

      Those two are also my favorites. I’m currently loving Burt’s Bees Honey Lip Balm! Have you tried the minted version of Rosebud Salve? It’s heavenly!

      • Aydan

        YES! I picked it up last week and LOVE it!

  • Ale

    Yes it does .. to me!! chapstickholic lips

  • Cinamaron

    I’ve heard that Chapstick is good for sealing and protecting moisturized lips from dry weather, but not actually very good for moisturizing dry lips.

    Weirdly I also cannot get my lips to stay moisturized this month. The Nivea Lip Butter I use (which usually works like magic) just isn’t cutting it. I’m in a state of permanent chapped-ness and I don’t like it!

  • Ashton

    Same problem. The dryness is absolutely a result of dryness in the air(?) but I have proof that some of us just can’t live without chapstick. I would describe my lips as on the poutier, large and in charge side of the lip scale. I have clear memories from my childhood of literally not being able to smile all the way because my lips were grossly dry and red and all around embarrassing. But, as kid I just went through the motions and didn’t care. It wasn’t until my friend’s mom introduced vaseline in to my life and I experienced the pleasure of smiling like the cheshire cat whenever I pleased and didn’t look like I feasted on beets for the last 5 days. Now, I am partial to Jack Black Lip Balm (for “men”) and recently experimented with Glossier’s Balm Dot Com. Jack Black is still the best chapstick/lip balm out there, I think.

  • I can’t decide.

    If I have a stuffy nose my lips will get dry and need some type of help not falling apart. If I eat too many salty things like potato chips, my lips will get irritated. I often lick them, which makes things better for a minute and then worse. I use mostly chapstick, but I like beeswax, too. Wax works better for me than petroleum jelly, but either will do. I’ve been know to put off using the stuff or hours or days, and it usually results in pain.

  • I definitely think so , I have a serial chap/sore lip problem which only carmex can cure. In the spring I have to ween myself off it from the extreme usage of the winter months.

  • Catbird

    I have strong feelings about this, coming from a seriously lip balm obsessed family – and the absolute best, non addictive, moisturizing solution is Palmer’s Cocoa Butter. The big one that looks like a glue stick. Seriously. The best. (I actually wrote about it here:

  • parkzark

    Carmex is a silent killer.

  • Elaine

    I’ve suffered from dry lips for decades but I’ve found that if I use “Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker” lip plumper regularly (Candy Gloss shade – the other shades don’t seem to work as well) it keeps my lips comfortable and I don’t need lip balm so much. The only down side is it’s a bit sticky but as long as you aren’t kissing it doesn’t matter.

  • My lips have always seemed destined for dryness and peeling. A bad habit of biting at them definitely doesn’t help. However, I now swear by the balm dot com and nuxe reve de miel. Those two have saved me!

  • Kaitlyn Vitug

    I think about this a lot. I’m glad I went to cosmetology school to learn if this was a myth or not. And I’ve found out it really depends on what brand you’re using. I’ve found a lot of different methods hep as well. Exfoliation is good if you use a lot of lip balm because the balm creates a film on the lip drying it out so you continue to use the product. :3 Winter makes my lips so dry ):

    Instagram: @kaitlynvitugstyles
    Bloglovin: Thefashionnarrative

  • forget every other method of lip moisturising: vaseline is my ride or die. never fails!

  • I never go anywhere without lip balm. My lips sans le balm resemble shrivelled prunes.

  • Penny Loafer

    I never use any balms or lotions on my lips, and they are never dry. Drink fluids during the day and brush your lips sometimes after cleaning your teeth.

    I tend to find that if I indulge in wearing something on my lips it dries them out, so the best bet for me is to wear nothing. Natural lips are much more kissable than greasy, lip-balmed ones!

  • M.

    finals = feverishly gnawing on lower lip/inside of mouth. gross right. Smith’s lip balms are my saviour (strawberry is my fav right now) regardless of if they fix the problem or not, they help make my face not fall off! definitely necessary.

  • Allison

    Anything that tingles? BAD. They should be like moisturizers. I love the body shop’s hemp lip conditioner. They also have a cocoa butter stick which does dry out my lips buuuut its good for increasing elasticity if your lips are cracking or peeling. And the Nuxe Reve de Miel (both forms) are amazing

  • Robyn

    Well, it depends on what you need. Dry lips? Add moisture, oils that sink, like coconut.
    Wind burned/chapped? You want to seal the moisture you have in, and petrolatum does that.
    I personally go for wax over petroleum, but Vaseline will do.

    This applies to hair, too. Some oils penetrate and moisturizer, others seal. Like -cones and shine serum.

  • Vi Huynh

    this! someone told me when i was a kid that using chapstick for dry lips only begets even drier lips so i’ve been a firm unbeliever in it for the past decade. anytime someone complains about chapping i insist they drink water instead because they must be dehydrated. but maybe i was just led astray and have been wrong all these years??

  • Mary

    I used to be literally addicted to lip balms, then a dermatologist suggested that I switched to a balm rich in natural butter (I use one with shea butter ) and everything changed. Now my lips are soft, I don’t need to reapply every ten minutes and I know I can survive if I forget my balm at home.

  • Blistex relief cream – has scary things like ‘ammonia’ and ‘enriched uranium’ written on the tube (one of those may be an exaggeration) but it will sort you right out. No other lip balms are necessary.

  • Lua Jane

    Avene Cold cream lip balm is the thing that works for me. So far this winter my lips behave well, but in spring they were in perpetual state of peeling and chapping, which ruined even my annual Paris pilgrimage (it hurt and no lipstick would stay on). I was persistent with cold cream balm, and cold cream itself, and it resolved eventually. I avoid regular chapsticks though. Just I always felt they did more damage than good. I apply a thin layer of cold cream under my ruby woo everyday to prevent it from drying my lips, and it goes on smoother too. Other tiny lifesaver is the coin sized Shea butter salve by L’occitane I carry around.

  • Mariah

    I think it really depends on the brand and how hydrated you stay during the day. I usually swipe eos or Burt’s Bees in the morning and keep hydrated during the day and I’m fine.

    Theatricality by Mariah

  • pterridactyl

    I’m sure I once read somewhere that some lip balms contain an ingredient that can irritate chapped lips and dry them out. I think it was on Rookie. Anyway I cant remember the name of the ingredient for the life of me but ever since then I’ve only used Lucas’ Pawpaw Ointment on my lips. Luckily two of my best friends live over in Australia so every now and again I get a shipment of it for a lot less than the stuff they import into the UK!

  • Mom

    Dear Girls,
    Drink more water. Moisture comes from the inside, not from products. Use chapstick or vasaline to PROTECT your lips from drying lipstick and weather.
    Love, Mom

  • YESSSSS Chapstick is addictive and I am an addict


  • Lindsey

    COCOA MOTHER EFFING BUTTER Palmer’s stick at the drugstore, also it lasts forever. I use it on my hands too.

    • Baltzell

      Yes! It feels wonderful on your lips, and as you said, it lasts an awfully long time.

      These days I get a cheap 12-pack through Amazon.