Moist, a journey out of chapstick addiction

A story about how lip balm addiction led to a bigger perspective on real “needs” . . .

Read this personal story in the new book, to be released on August 4, 2022:

Dare to be Fabulous:
Follow the journeys of daring women
on the path to finding their true north.

Pre-orders for the Kindle and the paperback are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other book retailers!



Elisabeth Sharp McKetta is the author of She Never Told Me about the Ocean and eight previous books. “Moist” also appears in her first essay collection, Awake with Asashoryu, published by Paul Dry Books in 2022. Elisabeth teaches writing for Harvard and Oxford, and she lives with her sea-swimmer husband and two young children.

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  1. so, i am currently addicted to lip balm, any advice?

  2. I am currently recovering from lip balm addiction after heavily using lip balm for most of my life (I am in my 20s now) and have gone cold turkey for about 5 months, and my lips are still very dry. I have been looking for other’s experiences with recovering from lip balm addiction, and came across your blog post from a few years ago!

    It seems like my lips are still always dry, so my question is, did you have success with recovering? Did your lips ever return to normal?


    • It’s so hard to go cold turkey! Good for you. I think your lips will go back to normal eventually (though as chapstick lovers, our “normal” is moister than most, so it won’t ever be like that). But beware — a relapse of chapstick use will bring back the dryness of those first 6 months.
      Good luck,

  3. Inspiring! Enjoying in 2015

  4. Genius!! Brilliant writing and a story that’s near and dear to my own heart. Boy do I need jump on the cold-turkey lip balm wagon. Could you fill me in on a few details? Like, how long did the feeling of chapped lips last? And, did you find yourself licking your lips a lot during that transition time? Though I stick to the flavorless varieties, I think my lips have stopped producing their own moisture as well after some 20 years of constant lip balm use.