Share: how to combat yucky white film on lips?

Hello Vivabellas. I have a lip problem that I hope you can help me with. For quite awhile now, I can’t use lipstick and lip gloss for too long without having a line of white film from the lipstick or lip gloss accumulate on my lips. It is not dry or flaky but just a disgusting looking whitish accumulation that appear on the inside of my lips, the part where my lips are pressed together. This always happen when I’m speaking for awhile in an air conditioned room and it’s darn embarrassing because it’s so unsightly. I always have to rush to the toilet to scratch it off with water and my fingernails!

I’ve done whatever I can to rectify the problem but to no avail. These include:
– using a protective balm on my lips during bed time
– frequently scrubbing with toothbrush, DIY recipes or cotton pad

I doubt it’s anything to do with the lipstick or lip gloss I use as it happens with every one of them! The only thing that works well for me now is lip balms. I’m thinking it’s due to the room temperature, or because of the way my saliva reacts with the ingredients in the lipsticks or lip gloss.

Do any of you have this problem? How do you combat it other than washing it off and applying a new coat of lipstick or lip gloss?

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  1. Suzie says

    I have this problem. I haven’t found a solution yet, even lip balm does it to me, including Vaseline! It’s definitely worse when I’m at work, in an air conditioned office so room temperature must play a big part in the problem. I am still looking for a way to wear lip gloss without it turning into a disgusting white slug on my lip, so if you find a real cure let me know :)

  2. DMich says

    How wonderful it is to know that I am not alone in this struggle!! Like some of u, I came across this discussion after initiating a search on google specifically seeking solutions to this problem. It is absolutely difficult to live with and it’s not just a “small” issue. It affects my social interactions and confidence on a daily basis. It’s horrible to be speaking to someone and they cannot help but stare at your lips. Or, you look away during a conversation and you see the other person lick their lips. Or, worst of all, you are speaking to someone and they pull out their chapstick and apply based on how your lips are. I saw a lot of great ideas on here, some I’ve heard of before and some not. It is completely logical that the problem is due to dry skin and possible other underlying health conditions/vitamin deficiencies. I noticed the problem after the birth of my son, actually. And it has been ongoing for several YEARS now. :( I now notice that he also has excessive chapped lips and gets the “white ring.” So, there has to be a medical or other issue that is common between us. We also both suffer from allergies and he, from asthma. As I attempt some of the ideas I’ve read, I promise to come back and provide an update. I have to be careful because he is a child so I will attempt the more natural route with most of the things I try. Thank you so, so much for starting this forum. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!

  3. K9810 says

    I am so happy to have found this forum. I’ve had this problem for about 4 years now and I always thought I was alone! I involuntarily lick my lips ALL the time because they’re so dry and it looks so embarrassing. I can’t even watch videos of myself! I’m going to try all of these methods and I am hoping I find something that lasts. I’ve also noticed the white film gets increasingly worse if I’ve just applied lip balm and then drink something. I’m grateful for these suggestions, thank you

    • Doris A. says

      Yes, drinking anything with lipgloss or lipcolor on my lips takes a tumble for the worse. Wow, I cannot believe I am not the only one.

    • Terry says

      I am not a woman, lol and I do have this problem myself my lips do this and from what I was told by a nurse is that we are mouth breathers (nose blocked or whatever possibly smoking) and it is not just a ac unit that causes your mouth to get dryer than it normally should. As far as a solution goes I really don’t know of one and I do know what you mean you wake up next to your significant other it’s there be talking to people they don’t say anything. I really hate it I have even gone to putting blistex on mine then putting neutrogena soother to seal the air from getting on mine on top of the bistex which does seem to help. You may also if you can rinse out your mouth, brush your teeth etc. as well so your roof of your mouth is cleared of the dryness. The only sad thing is that you still have to watch this throughout the day. Just wipe around your lips on the outer parts after applying and wash your lips before hand with a paper towel, Kleenex, etc. and use a mirror when you can.

  4. Katrin says

    I never see this problem on other women, so I’m glad I’m not alone! I moisturize my lips a lot and exfoliating with any product or implement makes them very dry and flakey. In addition to the gunk, the skin inside my bottom lip turns white and dies, and I find myself removing this with my teeth, I know, gross, but this is not an etiquette thread! So far I haven’t seen any suggestions I haven’t tried. I love lip color. I love how it looks and how it makes me feel, but not what it does to my po’ widdle pie hole!

    • Sesame Chew says

      I don’t have this problem now that I talk lesser. I used to rush to the toilet to wash. Wiping off didn’t help much.

  5. Lola says

    I have had this problem forever it seems. I really thought that I was the only one out there. I found a solution in Philosophy’s Kiss Me lip gloss– but only the original, clear one. I wore it for 10 years and my problem was solved. Much to my dismay, they recently discontinued it. For the love of god- Why??? I can’t even find old tubes of it on eBay! The colored ones are still in production, but I find them sticky and gross and they create the “white ring” on me.
    Many of the “answers” on the internet claim your lips are too dry or it’s dead skin cells, but I have trouble believing that, as I always have something on my lips- ChapStick, Vaseline, Burt’s Bees, Myrad, organic/natural lip balms from Farmer’s markets, the local Co-op, etc… I am still searching for a replacement, but to no avail as of yet. I recently found an old tube of the Philosophy original in my car and it was like striking gold. It still works like magic and I’m rationing it for special occasions now. So sad.
    If anyone finds anything, please let me know!
    Chalk Lips

  6. says

    Make a combo of sugar and olive oil into a paste. You can add any natural flavor like vanilla or orange to your liking. Scrub you lips with the mixture then lick the residue off. Dry with a towel and apply a thin layer of balm. He olive oil should lock the moisture while the sugar will scrub and dead skin off of lips. I have been using this trip for years. :-)

  7. says

    So glad I am not alone! It is truly such a frustrating problem. I exfoliate with lip scrub but nothing helps. I feel like the only option is to not wear any lip balm :(

    • Sesame says

      Or you could try wiping your lips during a designated time of the day with a wet cloth/tissue so that you can apply a fresh coat of lip balm/lipstick.

  8. AESB says

    I’ve just started having this problem regularly, though I’ve experienced it from time to time for years. I definitely notice it occurs more frequently when I’m talking or not drinking enough water. But the biggest culprit for me seems to be Crest toothpaste. The Pro Health variety makes the inside of my mouth “peel” in a way and creates a slimy film that collects under my lips. But the Crest Complete (with whitening) is the one that creates the white gunk that collects along the space where my lips meet. Yuck! No more Crest products for me. I’ve noticed that this issue is greatly reduced when I use Colgate Total. Just wondering if some of you are using Crest products as well?

    • Terry says

      been using crest myself no more will switch hope it helps tired of waking up next to my girl friend like that :-( thanks

  9. Caitlyn says

    It apparently is caused by dehydration. I’ve had this problem for years and just now thought to look it up (what is wrong with me?!?!). It makes perfect sense because I know I do not drink enough water. Try it!

    • Sesame says

      Hmmm…sounds logical. It’s probably the saliva and the dehydration? I used to get that a lot cos I had to talk a lot in my old job but now that I don’t, this isn’t a problem anymore.

  10. Anon says

    This happens to me when I get really nervous and get dry mouth. I can feel the moisture in my mouth getting sucked out. I get really dry mouth when doing a public presentation or during, say, a job interview. Even sipping water during doesn’t help. It’s so embarrassing! I haven’t figured out how to stop it.

    • Sesame says

      When I was lecturing, I would make sure I do a wipe off of my lips after some time and reapply. Otherwise, it looks completely gross.

      • Terry says

        Yea and sometimes it does not take long to get back on there just a matter of minutes try to breath through your nose as much as you can

  11. Monika Sahu says

    heya all :)
    I too had the same problem when I used vaseline or himalaya lip balms.
    but when I started using maybelline’s baby lips this white layer hardly appeared or even if it formed it got mixed up with the color and looked pink instead rather than looking embarrassing white.
    guess the quality and cost of the product does make a difference here.
    hope it helps :)

  12. jay says

    Hello all,

    This happens to me but, only when I do not exfoliate my lips. If you keep your lips exfoliated, it will not happen. I wear a lot, from baby lips to Vaseline, to lip balms, gloss, lipstick… Lol, you get my drift. Stay exfoliated and it will not happen, well at least for me it doesn’t.

  13. severus snape says

    i am a boy of 18 and have been suffering with the problem of chapped lips with a white layer that soon turns black… it’s too much…..
    i feel very bad about it…
    whenever i drink water, or wash my mouth, a white layer appears on my mouth…
    very embarrassing and humiliating..
    i have applied many lip balms, but no positive results…
    i hope someday a solution props up…. :(

  14. Rohit Gupta says

    I have a problem of having a layer on my bottom lip all the time….when water touches it it become white..its realy very embarasing..plz help me

    • Sesame says

      Check out some tips here:

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