UPDATE: This post has an important followup delving into the issue more thoroughly.
When buying chapstick, check to make sure it doesn’t contain salicylic acid, like Carmex does. This ingredient actually eats through skin layers. The result can be a vicious spiral of lip destruction and product reapplication.
Other common lip balm ingredients to avoid are irritants like sopropyl myristate, eugenol, and phenol.
Instead, seek lip balms with FDA-approved protectants and/or a hydrocortisone base.
If you’re suffering from chapped lips, you can also try this cheap solution: keep your tongue inside your mouth and stop licking your lips. — BEN POPKEN
Treatment of Cheilitis [US Pharmicist]
UPDATE: A lightly researched Snopes article last updated in 1998 says Carmex addiction may be a hoax. We’re not so sure they’ve got their facts straight and may delve further into the secret life of salicylic acid. [via BoingBoing]