General Question

2davidc8's avatar

Where does all the chapstick go?

Asked by 2davidc8 (10047points) March 1st, 2012

I figure I use up about one chapstick a month or every other month. I assume most of it got ingested. So, over the years I must’ve ingested a lot of wax! What happens to all that wax in your system? Might it end up clogging up something?

Yes, this is a strange question, I know.

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15 Answers

rojo's avatar

Usually in eddy’s along the San Marcos river. (Cleanup weekend is this weekend if anyone is interested in helping).

whitecarnations's avatar

It’s mostly evaporated actually. Much like the natural moisture that leaves your lips and leaves the cracks.

rooeytoo's avatar

I figure I buy one chapstick a week and lose the damned things as quickly as I buy them. I therefore believe they are in some parallel universe with all of my missing other socks.

thorninmud's avatar

The ingested wax gets metabolized. The human digestive tract isn’t great at using wax for food, but it can handle small doses. It essentially gets treated as a fat.

geeky_mama's avatar

At our house it all the chapstick ends up in the clothes dryer. Melted all over my favorite shirt because the kids failed to empty their pockets once again.

rojo's avatar

@geeky_mama I hear the same complaint about my pens.

likipie's avatar

It probably either soaks in like lotion, evaporates, or dissolves into your saliva and is swallowed.

sliceswiththings's avatar

This is a great question for testing who reads the details! I, too, assumed it would be about Chap Stick tubes’ tendency to lose themselves, not about the material itself. But then I read the details and was set straight!

I feel like we don’t ingest a lot of it. When you lick your lips with chapstick on, it doesn’t feel like it comes off. I bet some of it moves and coats your skin, while other parts of it get hung up on cups and stuff. And is it really wax?/

JLeslie's avatar

I once saw information on how much lipstick women ingest, same idea. There was recently some report about led being in some lipstocks…great.

I usually have to wipe of my lipstick, so I figure maybe I eat less than the next guy. Do you lick your lips? Do you eat with the chapstick on? I wipe my lips off before I eat, amd I don’t lick my lips as a habit.

rooeytoo's avatar

I saw what the question was about, I just wanted to point out that I never own a chapstick long enough to ingest much of it, they disappear too quickly.

Jeruba's avatar

@geeky_mama, the rule in my house was always to check all the pockets of everything every time it went into the wash. I told the boys that anything I found in their pockets at laundry time would be considered a tip. You find enough quarters and matchbox cars and little rubber dinosaurs and (later on) lighters, dollar bills, and embarrassing objects that way, and they start remembering to check their pockets.

If I’d thought of it, I might have staged some good finds to really motivate checking.

2davidc8's avatar

Thank you all for your replies! I’m glad how this question also generated some discussion of how chapstick can mess up your laundry!

Regarding what happens to chapstick inside your body, I was thinking along the lines of what @thorninmud said, but I didn’t know for sure. Has anyone seen any studies of this? Maybe I could write the manufacturer.

2davidc8's avatar

Oh, and I went back and re-read my question. I apologize for an extremely poorly worded question. What I meant was this:

I start with a new tube of chapstick. After just a month or so, I find that I have just about used it up. Since I do not wipe the chapstick off before eating, I am guessing that I’ve ingested it. I think it’s wax-based, so I don’t think it evaporates. Over time, I figure I must have a lot of chapstick inside my body. What happens to it?

JLeslie's avatar

I’m sure your body gets rid of it, like it would oils and fats probably. Chapstick can be addictive I think. I once read that if your lips are used to it, you stop producing oils naturally to coat your lips. I have no idea if that is really true. Chapstick users do seem addicted though. It takes me a really really long time to go through a tube of lipstick, but chapstick users go through tubes really fast it seems.

2davidc8's avatar

I go through a tube of chapstick awfully quickly, it seems. I must be addicted…

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