MOISTURIZE THOSE LIPS: the ups and downs of dealing with carmex addiction

Cartoon by Peter Brown

Cartoon by Peter Brown

Teen shares her harrowing story dealing with addiction in Ointment’s Anonymous


The room was devoid of reds and yellows, attendees were explicitly told to avoid wearing them. This is a safe space, a place without damaging strawberry reds, all consuming yellows, and addictive lip balms. All voluntary participants must abstain from involving themselves with these influences.

For some it was convenient, for others it was a necessity. At a point these reasons became excuses and soon enough the addictive and overbearing influence of Carmex consumed them. It was a constant struggle to not offend polite society by manically lathering on the paste and finally feeling the soothing relief of Carmex. 

There’s no other rush like the numbing effect that hits immediately after application, the slightly acidic sensation that spreads throughout their jaw has each Carmex junkie smacking their lips for more. 

“There was one point when I forgot my Carmex, I had the driest lips. I had no idea what to do. I couldn’t use anything else because nothing hit right,” our anonymous interviewee said. Watching her smile bitterly, I noticed her lips were bare of the enchanting shine left behind by Carmex.

It’s rumored that Carmex contains shards of grinded up glass to cause the magnificent glisten users often fiend for. Whatever it is, the hankering for Carmex has left hundreds across America devastated. 

The issue is one of the most talked about in local politics. The youth seem to be the most susceptible, the community organizes weekly cleanups of the local parks and high schools, where luminous Carmex bottles, salve containers, and squeeze tubes litter the ground. 

“It’s not something I ever pictured myself doing,” she recounted. “Before I knew it I was applying after every meal and beverage, I needed Carmex. My lowest point was sneaking out in the dead of winter just to put some lip balm on. It was dirty and I needed to hide.”

Addiction is an easy trap to fall into, but the four steps to recovery are no walk in the park; the road to recovery is filled with potholes.

The first step is admitting the problem. Our source had this to say about the moment she recognized the issue, “It was so anticlimactic. I was practicing in band, but I had to stop playing my tuba every couple minutes to reapply.”

The second step is to find your support. To recover from a serious ointment addiction trust that there are others out there who had the same uncontrollable itch to moisten their lips. 

Step three involves the dreaded detox. “My detox was so flakey.” In any chapstick related detox, tremors cause intense facial twitches throughout the sordid process. “I was so nervous, everything felt stilted and I couldn’t stop licking my lips.” These acute tremors are often followed by an outpouring of upper lip sweat and extreme dry lip anxiety.

The next stage of the process isn’t a traditional step. Early lip balm sobriety requires tremendous effort in establishing a routine. Finding what level of flake is too much and what’s just right. “I knew nothing would ever feel the same. It was like breaking up with your first love, you’re never gonna love another lip balm the same way.”

Being addicted to applying healing lotion to your face isn’t as conventional as most drugs out there, but the dangers of Carmex lay in wait for the next sloppy application. Fortunately, the world marches on. There are hundreds of other ways to alleviate the pain of shriveled lips. 

Forsake Carmex to prevent your home from becoming a wasteland. Follow Burt’s Bees propaganda for healthy lip care.