Moist, a journey out of chapstick addiction

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

Read her personal story, and many more, in the new book.
Released in August, 2022
Dare to be Fabulous: Follow the journeys
of daring women on the path to finding their true north 

“This book holds together the power women find when they are honest and courageous and truthful. Some of these stories moved me to tears, others made me believe in humanity again, many I could identify with. This book brought me tremendous joy, insight and brought me back to believe in the human spirit.”

~ JULIANNA MARGULIES, multiple award-winning actor and author of Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life


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.