This flavored lip balm with sunscreen doesn’t offer five-star sun protection because it lacks the ingredients needed to shield your skin from the sun’s entire range of damaging UVA rays, which is essential for anti-aging benefits. Any SPF-rated product should contain one or more of the following UVA-protecting ingredients, listed as “active”—avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule), or Tinosorb—which this one doesn’t.
While this does have a very good list of emollients, the sun protection issue makes this more of a one-star rating. Please see our Best Lip Products list for recommended lip balms with sunscreen.
- Does not supply sufficient UVA protection to shield lips from the aging effects of sun exposure.
- Flavored with the artificial sweetener saccharin, which many people think it’s important to avoid.
Note that the inactive ingredient list is presented in alphabetical order rather than in descending order of content. This is permissible because this lip balm with sunscreen is categorized as an over-the-counter drug product by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
Blistex Five Star Lip Protection has a unique system of five specialized ingredients to deliver unparalleled defense against nature’s harshest conditions…dryness, sun, heat, cold, and wind.
Active: Homosalate (9.6%), Octinoxate (7.5%), Octisalate (5.0%), Oxybenzone (5.0%), Petrolatum (30.1%) Other: Alumina, Calendula (Calendula Officinalis) Flower Extract, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Citric Acid, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla Cera) Wax, Flavor, Glycerin, Glyceryl Laurate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Isopropyl Myristate, Jojoba Esters, Lanolin, Lecithin, Microcrystalline Wax, Phenoxyethanol, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Purified Water, Saccharin, Silica, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Titanium Dioxide, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Triticum Vulgare (Wheat Germ) Germ Oil, Vanillin
How this small but longstanding line of lip products has achieved the status of being the solution for cold sores or chapped lips eludes me! Most of these lip products contain enough irritating ingredients to chap anyone's lips. Lots of lip products claim to be medicated, but "medicated" is a dubious term at best, with no regulated meaning.
The way Blistex and a handful of other companies define medicated, it means using camphor, menthol, or phenol in their formulations, yet none of these are in any way, shape, or form "medicines" or "treatments" for dry lips. Quite the contrary, they make dry skin worse and can cause irritation. Products like Blistex can include 0.5% phenol, a potent disinfectant, that is strong enough to actually trigger some serious problems, the least of which are dryness and irritation. It is not something I would recommend for anything but extremely limited use because repeated application can keep your lips chapped forever.
Blistex beckons to you to "discover what your lips are missing," but with few exceptions your lips aren't missing anything with these products except the irritation or inadequate sun protection they provide—definitely an instance where missing something is a good thing! One more thing: Press materials and Blistex's Web site mention dermatologist Dr. Charles Zugerman as an advisor to the company. Yet for a dermatologist whose special interests include allergic contact dermatitis to endorse lip products with known irritants is puzzling to say the least. And if Dr. Zugerman knows about the need for sufficient UVA protection and the ingredients it takes to achieve that, he's not sharing that knowledge on a consistent basis with Blistex. This is just another example of how a dermatologist's endorsement may create an impression of professional credibility, which can be different from speaking to the efficacy or safety of the products themselves.
For more information about Blistex, call (800) 837-1800 or visit www.blistex.com.