This is a set of three different lip balms bundled together, each packaged in its own twist-up, ChapStick®–style component. Two of the three lip balms are problematic formulas you should avoid. That means this set isn’t much of a value despite its tempting price.
Here’s how the formulas break down. Repair is supposed to provide soothing relief, but it contains the potent irritants menthol, camphor, and wintergreen-derived methyl salicylate. These irritants can make dry, chapped lips worse and they have no reparative benefits.
The Protect formula offers SPF 15, but its active ingredients do not provide sufficient UVA (think anti-aging) protection, leaving your lips vulnerable to the sun’s aging rays. It also contains padimate-O, a sunscreen active that has largely fallen out of favor because it is sensitizing (Source: The Encyclopedia of Ultraviolet Filters, Allured Publishing, 2007, page 14). Otherwise, this is a fairly basic, wax-based lip balm that lacks a range of good emollients or repairing ingredients to improve dry lips.
The Hydrate formula is the only one worth considering because it does not contain known irritants and its formula works well to keep lips smooth and moisturized. Due to its lack of sunscreen, this lip balm is recommended for use only at night or under a lipstick or lip gloss rated SPF 15 or greater.
- The Hydrate formula provides lasting moisture and contains some good ingredients to prevent dry, chapped lips.
- The Repair formula contains potent irritants that will make dry, chapped lips worse.
- The Protect formula’s sunscreen fails to provide reliable broad-spectrum protection, leaving lips vulnerable to the sun’s aging effects.
Blistex Simple Essentials offers three great lip balms in a single package to meet all of your fundamental lip care needs. Hydrate: For simple, effective moisturization. Protect: For effective protection with SPF 15 and an active skin protectant (dimethicone). Repair: For soothing relief with a medicated (menthol) formula. Each of the three balms is specifically designed to meet a key lip care need allowing you to select exactly the right product for your situation.
Active: Menthol (.40%), Petrolatum (39.3%) Other: Beeswax, Benzyl Alcohol, Camphor, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetyl Palmitate, Flavor, Fragrance, Isopropyl Myristate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Isopropyl Stearate, Lanolin, Methyl Salicylate, Microcrystalline Wax, Ozokerite, Phenol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Polyethylene, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Saccharin, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Trimethylol Propane Tricaprylate/Tricaprate, Yellow 10
Active: Dimethicone (2.0%), Oxybenzone (2.5%), Padimate O (6.6%) Other: Alumina, Beeswax, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetyl Palmitate, Euphorbis Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Flavor, Isopropyl Myristate, Isopropyl Stearate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Lanolin, Lanolin Oil, Microcrystalline Wax, Mineral Oil, Ozokerite, Paraffin, Petrolatum, Phenoxyethanol, Polybutene, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Saccharin, Silica, Theobroma Cacao (Cacao) Seed Butter, Titanium Dioxide
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Purified Water, Microcrystalline Wax, Petrolatum, Ozokerite, Ethylhexyl Adipate, Jojoba Esters, Behenoyl Stearic Acid, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Sodium Borate, Panthenol, Squalane, Flavors, Cholestryl/Behenyl/Octyldodecyl Lauryl Glutamate, Phenoxyethanol, Lecithin, Citric Acid
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.