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Author Topic: Lip balm and chapped lips . . .  (Read 10882 times)
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phillybone85
« on: Oct 07, 2009, 07:41AM »

Living in Philadelphia I get to deal with some cold/dry North Atlantic winters which can completely wreck havoc with your chops. I have discovered by trial and error that the best way to deal with this is to PREVENT them from becoming chapped rather than trying to cure them once they're chapped.

You lips chap because the skin is very thin and they simply get dehydrated. Lip balms simply create a thicker barrier between the lip and the air that allows them to retain moisture. Lip balms do NOTHING to heal your lips once they are chapped. It's good to avoid using balms that contain petroleum jelly because it does NOT absorb into the skin. Instead, it suffocates your lips for hours -- causing them to swell up over time. It can also interfere with your body's ability to produce its own moisture (since it doesn't want to swell too much, which can lead to a dependence.) I use two different lip balms, and I use them for different reasons -- Burt's Bees and ChopSaver.

Anytime I leave the house and go into anything that is even remotely cold/dry/windy I put Burt's on my lips. I do this when my lips feel completely fine. Usually this is enough, and I will never develop chapped lips throughout the entire winter. I like Burt's for this application because it is relatively inert, it absorbs into the lips so that they are not suffocated, and it can easily be wiped off before you play with no affect on your playing. It's not advisable to play with lip balm on.

I like Chopsaver because it is very similar to Burt's Bees except that it has some herbs that reduce swelling, and help to heal your lips. Chopsaver should be used the way most people normally use lip balms -- to heal damaged lips. It is more expensive than Burt's, which is why I only use it when I'm having problems. However, I also notice lingering affects on my playing when I first wipe it off. I try to only use this when I'm FINISHED playing -- especially after lots of hard blowing. I will often use it at night when I go to bed -- because thats when your body does most of its healing, and by morning the herbal affect have worn off.


So something inert like Burt's BEFORE your lips get chapped, and cover them in LOTS of chopsaver if they do become damaged, and keep reapplying until they feel better.
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 07, 2009, 09:30AM »

Blistex Lip Medex in the blue package.  It gets hellaciously dry and windy around these parts this time of year.  Use a little bit as a preventative, or a lot of you messed your mass up... heals great over night.
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phillybone85
« Reply #2 on: Oct 08, 2009, 10:52AM »

Blistex causes my lips to swell. It's great if you just need to fight chapping and aren't a brass player. At least that's how it works for me.
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 08, 2009, 01:32PM »

i've never had that problem - are you talking about the regular blistex or the lip medex in the little blue cylinder - about the size of a bottle cap.  sucks if that does that to you, it's a lot cheaper than chop saver and all that burt's bees stuff.  i used to use the Bee's but it didn't work (for me) as well.
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phillybone85
« Reply #4 on: Oct 08, 2009, 01:55PM »

Burt's works fine if I put it on anytime I go out in cold/dry weather -- BEFORE my lips are chapped. If I wait until I'm starting to notice some chapping to do something about it, then you're right, it's not terribly helpful.

The Blistex in the blue container is basically just petroleum jelly with camphor/phenol/menthol in it. The petroleum coats the lips to keep them from drying out any more, and the chemicals basically just numb the pain (which keeps you from licking them, which only makes it worse).

Burt's is basically beeswax with whatever else in it to hydrate your lips. Beeswax, for me, comes off a lot easier and "breathes" a bit more than the petroleum jelly does. Petroleum jelly -- I was told by a dermatologist after experiencing it from excessive use -- doesn't actually hydrate your lips, it just seals them. As a result, it promotes swelling and dryness -- which eventually causes you to become dependent on it. Burt's can be wiped off and it doesn't feel like anything WAS ever on your lips in the first place -- at least to me.

Chopsaver actually has herbs (chemicals) in it, such as arnica, that actually speed up the healing process for dry/damaged lips. It's just so expensive that I don't use it all the time -- just in emergencies.


Most lip products on the market are petroleum jelly based -- for one simple reason: it's cheap, and it lasts for a long time. Shea butter (chopsaver) and beeswax (Burt's) are much more skin friendly, but also a lot pricier and don't quite last as long.


If you don't notice anything with Blistex, then keep on using it. However my lips always feel really strange after I've been using stuff like that for a few weeks. They also start to peel/bleed/hurt the instant I stop using it, even when I'm not outside.
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 08, 2009, 05:04PM »

nasty...
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« Reply #6 on: Oct 12, 2009, 08:33AM »

As mentioned before, chapped lips are a result of the lips being dehydrated.  Something I try to do during the cold winter months is drink plenty of water.  Sometimes we forget to do that because it's so cold that you just want to drink coffee or tea all of the time.  Staying hydrated keeps the lips feeling good as well as helping you to stay alert and feeling good throughout the day.
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phillybone85
« Reply #7 on: Oct 12, 2009, 10:02AM »

Absolutely true -- and if you are REALLY dehydrates, sports drinks are even better than water.


However, no matter how hydrated you are -- a frigid Philadelphia (or Boston, NYC, Baltimore, DC, etc.) winter (very cold and very dry) will wreck havoc on your chops unless you cover them in something when you step outside. It's best that whatever you cover them in can be wiped off without any lasting affects.
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phillybone85
« Reply #8 on: Oct 12, 2009, 10:03AM »

Did I mention how windy it can get in the Northeastern US cities??
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« Reply #9 on: Nov 05, 2009, 05:05PM »

i live in houston, so it's normally so humid so that this isnt a problem, but when it starts to get drier and (sometimes, if were lucky) colder, my lips will be chapped, BUT normally they dont, they just become very dry.
so i just use the regular old chapstick stuff just to make sure my lips dont chap, cuz ball games with chapped lips suck.
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« Reply #10 on: Nov 05, 2009, 05:10PM »

I use Blistex Herbal Answer, which has no camphor and seems to be mostly the same stuff as Chopsaver but without the anti-swelling herbs. It can be a little hard to find, unfortunately.
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« Reply #11 on: Nov 06, 2009, 01:09AM »


Chopsaver actually has herbs (chemicals) in it, such as arnica, that actually speed up the healing process for dry/damaged lips. It's just so expensive that I don't use it all the time -- just in emergencies.





Herbs are NOT chemicals!!!

I've used Chopsaver now for 3 years and have never suffered with chapped lips in that time!!!

This is taken from the Chopsaver website..........

Made of 100% natural ingredients, ChopSaver is a combination of shea butter, mango butter and other natural moisturizers. Its secret weapon is a mixture of herbs that promote healing and reduce swelling, chapping and soreness in a natural, gentle way. And the smell is clean yet not overpowering.


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« Reply #12 on: Nov 06, 2009, 02:19AM »

I should say that I used Chopsaver for awhile, and was initially impressed.  Then, I started experiencing breakouts of pimples around my embouchure.  I didn't have a clue about what caused them, but after I stopped chopsaver and went back to my old vaseline, the problem went away.  People always talk about how bad vaseline is, but I've used it without a single problem or single day of chapped lips for 20 years.  fwiw
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« Reply #13 on: Nov 06, 2009, 02:27AM »

Maybe you have a Herb intolerance Mike.
Unfortunate living in Cope....... ;-) :/ Evil
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« Reply #14 on: Nov 06, 2009, 03:41AM »

I advise Jameson's (or a suitable single-malt Scotch) as an astringent.

"Tongue and blow. Have a drink, kid. Relax!"

Who said that? (20 points for the answerer...)



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« Reply #15 on: Nov 06, 2009, 03:50AM »

Burt's works fine if I put it on anytime I go out in cold/dry weather -- BEFORE my lips are chapped. If I wait until I'm starting to notice some chapping to do something about it, then you're right, it's not terribly helpful.

The Blistex in the blue container is basically just petroleum jelly with camphor/phenol/menthol in it. The petroleum coats the lips to keep them from drying out any more, and the chemicals basically just numb the pain (which keeps you from licking them, which only makes it worse).

Burt's is basically beeswax with whatever else in it to hydrate your lips. Beeswax, for me, comes off a lot easier and "breathes" a bit more than the petroleum jelly does. Petroleum jelly -- I was told by a dermatologist after experiencing it from excessive use -- doesn't actually hydrate your lips, it just seals them. As a result, it promotes swelling and dryness -- which eventually causes you to become dependent on it. Burt's can be wiped off and it doesn't feel like anything WAS ever on your lips in the first place -- at least to me.

Chopsaver actually has herbs (chemicals) in it, such as arnica, that actually speed up the healing process for dry/damaged lips. It's just so expensive that I don't use it all the time -- just in emergencies.


Most lip products on the market are petroleum jelly based -- for one simple reason: it's cheap, and it lasts for a long time. Shea butter (chopsaver) and beeswax (Burt's) are much more skin friendly, but also a lot pricier and don't quite last as long.


If you don't notice anything with Blistex, then keep on using it. However my lips always feel really strange after I've been using stuff like that for a few weeks. They also start to peel/bleed/hurt the instant I stop using it, even when I'm not outside.

Chopsaver is the best.  I know it's expensive, but if you know a trumpet player that attends the NTC, they hand it out for free in bags!  I had someone pick up a bag for me and I'm set for a few years! Just don't let it get too hat...it melts easily!
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« Reply #16 on: Nov 06, 2009, 04:50AM »

I advise Jameson's (or a suitable single-malt Scotch) as an astringent.

"Tongue and blow. Have a drink, kid. Relax!"

Who said that? (20 points for the answerer...)


He died before I moved up here so I never had a chance to take a lesson from him, but everybody in Boston seems to have taken a lesson from John Coffey.

Note that he kept the receipts from his business in a desk drawer, but the liquor was in the safe.

Chris, regardless of whether you get them from a plant or make them in a laboratory, the world is full of chemicals.

If you want to hit me with "natural", cyanide is produced naturally.  Also, some mushrooms have natural chemicals that can end your life in a few uncomfortable hours.

For lips, I use a Chap-Stick product when not playing.  If I get a cut or real bad chapping I will put some vitamin E in oil on the lips before going to bed (can't play on it; too messy).
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #17 on: Nov 06, 2009, 06:20AM »

I've always just used regular old chap stick which worked ok.

Recently, while in a music store I saw Chop Saver and got some. My chops have never felt better.

Gonna stick with it for now.
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« Reply #18 on: Nov 06, 2009, 08:51AM »

Maybe you have a Herb intolerance Mike.
Unfortunate living in Cope....... ;-) :/ Evil

lol....I think you are thinking of Amsterdam. :-P
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Mike Szabo
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« Reply #19 on: Nov 06, 2009, 09:10AM »

Cope and the Dam......... Both have interesting faun and flora  Eeek! :D
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