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Rosebud! Rooooosebuuuud!

By Amalah

Dear Amalah,
I have a sickness. It is called ‘Constant Lip-Balm Application’ or CLBA. A couple of years ago I attempted to heal myself by ditching lip balms that, by their very design, perpetuated the vicious cycle of CLBA, at least for me (ie, Chapstick, Blistex, even Burt’s Bees). I was eventually cured of CLBA by restraining myself from constant reapplying with other products and by consciously thinking about how often I licked and pressed my lips together (I know it

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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  • Tracy

    December 27, 2006 at 11:28 am

    *eyes the 5 tubes/tubs of lip salve within arms reach of the computer…Aveeno, Chapstick, Burt’s Bees, blistex, and some other “bee” variety…*
    Uh…nope, no advice. But you’re not alone…

  • LauraLou

    December 27, 2006 at 11:40 am

    As a recovering CLBA addict myself, I recommend Kiehls lip balm #1. It’s very moisturizing but not sticky at all, and it lasts longer than anything else I’ve tried (thus helping the CLBA). Plus, a tube is only about $5 and lasts for months. They also have tinted versions, but I like the original best.

  • Talix

    December 27, 2006 at 12:01 pm

    I would just like to proudly announce that I actually own a product Amy mentioned! The Philosophy Kiss Me is the best – just don’t forget to have a tissue to wipe off the grits once you’re sufficiently scrubbed.

  • Shawnee

    December 27, 2006 at 12:12 pm

    I love love loooooooove Aveda Lip Saver. The texture is luscious & it’s waterproof, so it stays on even when I lick my lips. SPF 15 AND it’s in a regular stick applicator (like Burt’s or Chap-Stick), not the dreaded slant-tip applicator.

  • Katie

    December 27, 2006 at 12:35 pm

    I’ve used a lot of lip balm in my life and have found that Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 is the best thing out there.
    Many years ago, my lips (and face) were bone dry due to the Accutane I was taking for ye olde zit problem. Kiehl’s was THE ONLY balm that helped my incredibly dry, pealing lips. Post-Accutane (and several years later), I still used Kiehl’s but developed CLBA. It was an annoying habit. I had to get off the balm.
    What I discovered is that I can slap on a nice coat of Kiehl’s at night before I go to bed and then slough it and the dead skin off with a wash cloth or loofah in the morning. My lips are smooth, plump and moisturized and I don’t have to apply the balm AT ALL during the day. (Seriously, not once.) Of course, during the winter, my lips do chap more than usual so I do have to apply as needed, but the CLBA has been cured.
    I also find the the dryness of my lips is dictated by how hydrated I am. If I detect some dryness, I have a glass or two of water. Staying hydrated is one of the best/healthiest beauty tips out there.
    Good luck CLBA sufferers!

  • Shalini

    December 27, 2006 at 12:37 pm

    As a serial lip balm collector, I can vouch for the Dr. Hauschka although I think I prefer the Kiehl’s lip balm #1. Not only does it work great (my lips are horrifically dry) but you only need a teensy tiny bit each time and the tube is ginourmous. Hooray for CLBA!

  • Amy Mingo

    December 27, 2006 at 12:52 pm

    No advice, but I can totally relate. Also, I asked for lip balm for Christmas as a stocking stuffer and Santa (read my husband) took me seriously and bought me about 12 different brands/kinds so now I am all up in lip balms.

  • KJ

    December 27, 2006 at 2:02 pm

    Mad gabs moose smooch or bear smooch. I live in Alaska and this stuff rocks. I put it on at night and first thing in the morning, and I’m usually good to go for the whole day. Drinking lots of water also helps.

  • mdvelazquez

    December 27, 2006 at 2:07 pm

    I second Burt’s Bees and suggest Sephora’s Super Shield Lip Saver SPF15. I seem to apply these less frequently than the others.
    *I have two lip balms on and one in my desk. I have the Super Shield and 5 lip balms in my purse.*

  • Deborah Svoboda

    December 27, 2006 at 2:23 pm

    No new input from me, I bought some Rosebud Salve for myself for Christmas at our fearless Leader’s suggestion and I LOVE IT. My only other lip balm is Burt’s Bees. Although, if you use the new “honey” formula, it’s not as yummy as the mint, so you might not lick it off.

  • Miranda

    December 27, 2006 at 2:36 pm

    I love Smashbox Emulsion Lip Exfoliant. It’s a little pricey ($18 at Sephora) but worth every penny. I use it in the morning and follow with a dab of plain old vaseline. Sometimes I have to reapply with a lip balm after lunch but usually I’m good to go until bedtime.

  • Courtney

    December 27, 2006 at 4:18 pm

    Oh, MAN. I am the queen of CLBA. It doesn’t help that my fiance feeds my addiction by buying me lip balm all the time – I probably have upwards of 30 currently.
    Anyway – I like the raspberry flavored Burt’s Bees (makes lips very soft and smooth but not sticky), Rosebud Salve (slightly tinted and helps soothe rashes!), Kiehl’s tinted balm, and the new Chapstick all natural shea butter. My friend claims it’s the petroleum in the balms that make them addictive, so maybe look for some without if you’re trying to reform?
    Anyway, the best product I’ve found for when your lips are all chapped and peel-y and gross in the winter is Carmex. Seriously. Apply a few times, loofah off all the dead skin, and then you can go back to your regularly scheduled lip balm applications.
    P.S. I just applied my new honey/shea butter lip balm while typing this. Addiction!

  • Teeny225

    December 27, 2006 at 7:43 pm

    It’s so good to know there are other CBLAddicts out there – I thought it was just me! I was addicted to Blistex Lip Conditioner for years and panicked if I went out without it. I eventually weaned myself off the stuff, and now use good ol Vaseline.

  • RaiderCake

    December 27, 2006 at 8:45 pm

    Delurking to say: VASELINE! Nothing in there to get addicted to. Sleep with it at night and your smoocher will feel like buttah in the morning. Trust me — it works! And it doesn’t taste good (or bad, no taste at all really), so you won’t be tempted to lick it off.

  • epoh

    December 28, 2006 at 9:45 am

    I just want to ditto the vaseline comment. I am totally obsessed with lip gloss and chap sticks and lip balms. At this very moment I have a tube of lip gloss, a stick of SPF 15 lip balm and a tube of shea butter & sweet almond oil lip balm (all from bath & body works for some reason) in my purse, plus 2 tubes of chapstick on my desk. I love them all. But vaseline at night is what really works.

  • birdgal

    December 28, 2006 at 12:38 pm

    Thanks amalah! And thanks everyone for all the ideas, you’ve given me lots of choices to check out. It’s good to know I’m not alone in my need for CLBA! 🙂

  • JackieJoy

    December 29, 2006 at 1:44 pm

    Damn, I just left a long comment and it disappeared because I wasn’t signed in! Yar!
    Okay. I am a member of the CLBA club. The first rule of CLBA club is that you don’t talk about the CLBA club. (Did someone already make this joke? I never make it all the way through the comments before my need to interject my own opinion takes over.)
    I have at least seven lip balms in my life. I used to love the Burt’s Bee’s Honey Lip Balm (I love the smell of anything that proclaims to be honey.) but found that I had to apply too much. I hate the sting of Carmex. I love my Mentha Lip Balms from Bath and Body but trust me, you will lick those off–they taste so good. So what really works? As others have said, good, old fashioned, dollar-at-Target Vaseline. Every night I apply a craploud to my lips and the corners of my mouth (which split a few months ago when I had an infection.) and in the morning I have extra-soft lips that love having gloss or lipstick applied.
    Oh! And make sure that if you buy Keihl’s you actually get the number one version. I bought a tinted one and the formulation is different and it sucked.

  • JackieJoy

    December 29, 2006 at 1:46 pm

    Umm, that was crapload, not craploud.

  • queenann

    January 3, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    Does anyone still have dents in their lower lips from their braces? my problem is that no matter how much balming i do, the moment they get a touch dry my lower lips split right in the two spots where my braces used to hit. so now i nervously chew them when that happens. help help help.

  • lucyrupert

    March 11, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    Keihl’s & Rosebud just don’t work for me anymore. Caudalie makes the absolute best lipbalm – and I am addicted to it!!! You must try it – I’ve got 5 tubes stashed everywhere I might need it.

  • Shelly

    March 13, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Find an Australian person, and get them to have sent over a tube of ‘red stuff’ the Australian stuff called pawpaw ointment. It’s wonderful, not drying, and works great when applied morning and night.