I first got this when I was about 16. Like many who have this condition, I tried a lot of things to resolve this issue, which included the leave alone method. I did this while I was in high school, so you can imagiine how difficult that was. I never applied anything to them, but would cut the flared ends with little cuticle scissors to manage appearance. I guess during that time I convinced myself that depending on the lighting my EC doesn't look that noticeable. It has been a while, but I think I gave it a good 2 months or so before I decided that it didn't work. In fact, I actually think my EC spread to a larger area of my lips because of it.
Another thing I tried was what some of you may call the constand moisture method. Even after all the years, I specifically remember using emu oil and shea butter lip balm. I wanted to avoid petroleum for obvious reasons, and go all natural. I was paranoid about what I put on my lips - obviously. Imgave up on this method after some months as well. If i remember correctly, I think it made my lips peel more often and hated how shiny it always looked. I don't remember if my EC spread or not using this method, though. I also wondered if the balm was irritating my lips, which caused it to peel more often.
Anyway, soon after graduating high school I enlisted in the army for three years and reenlisted another three later on. I was young and desperate, and figured if nothing else, this would force me out of my hole (seclusion). During the process of medical evaluations, dental, etc, I still hid my EC and told no one. I made sure I was cleaned up before being looked at. So even then , I haven't entirely given up. It was when I actually got into basic training or "boot camp", that I almost never payed attention to it. Sure the times I checked were while brushing my teeth or shaving, but that was it. I never even applied any moisturizer or anything, though I did bring some. The truth is, when I looked in the mirror I noticed how normal and healthy the lips looked. I felt great. So in a way, yes, I have givin up around that time. For 9 weeks, I was constantly tired and too busy to think about how my lips looked. I think what little peeling or build up I had at the time I gently bit off subconciously. No one has even made mention of it, ever. Perhaps all the exercise and fresh air had something to do with most of the remission, but who knows. I think it's psychological too.
I'm still not 100%, but most of it seems to be in remission except a few small areas. I almost never use lip balm, except those very cold, wndy days. But even then, I try not to overdo it. It's hardly a concern. Sorry, I don't have a step by step process or how my leave alone method worked during boot camp and not while in high school. I can only tell you about my experiences.