{"id":605899686194,"title":"Is Carmex Bad For You? An Ingredient Analysis","created_at":"2023-07-14T23:54:42-04:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Is Carmex Bad For You? An Ingredient Analysis\",\n \"keywords\": \"is carmex bad for you, carmex, is carmex good for your lips\",\n \"description\": \"Our research team analyzes the ingredients in Carmex to give our take on whether the brand is unhealthy or not. We choose the healthiest Carmex product, explain if the lip balm can be addictive, and highlight two questionable additive ingredients.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/is-carmex-bad-for-you\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Beth Lertzman\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": \"M.D.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/beth-lertzman\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/beth-lertzman-md-856619118\/\",\n \"https:\/\/health.usnews.com\/doctors\/beth-lertzman-517042\"\n ],\n \"jobTitle\": \"Dermatology Reviewer\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"skincare, collagen, cosmetics, surgery, wrinkles, ingredients, formulation, clinical trials, clinical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"University of Delaware\",\n \"Drexel University College of Medicine\",\n \"University of Rochester\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n },\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Is_Carmex_Bad_For_You_Thumbnail.png?v=1689436773\",\n\"width\": \"2048\",\n\"height\": \"2048\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/26431582\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/is-chapstick-unhealthy\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5849435\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC4554394\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/books\/NBK542311\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3620743\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/11139138\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/laneige-lip-balm-review\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/27272074\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/22995032\/\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"white petrolatum\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"ChapStick\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"phenol\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"flavor\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"Carmex Comfort Care Lip Balm\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"Dr Dray\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"DIY Pinto\"\n }\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2023-07-15\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"memberOf\": [\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"U.S. Chamber of Commerce\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.uschamber.com\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Certified B Corp\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.bcorporation.net\/en-us\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Natural Products Association\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.npanational.org\/\"\n }\n ],\n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Favicon_48x48_7595c3cc-e27b-47b8-a4fe-edcc7ed9b29a.png?v=1666502785\", \n \"width\": 48,\n \"height\": 48\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Is_Carmex_Bad_For_You_Article_Header_Image_Optimized.png?v=1689393253\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eC\u003c\/span\u003earmex is one of the most popular and widely-available lip balm brands in the US. The brand describes their products as “medicated lip balm” that can “protect dry, chapped lips.”\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eBut does Carmex contain research-backed ingredients for improving the health and appearance of the lips? Does the brand use any questionable additive ingredients? How do real users rate and describe the effects of Carmex? And can Carmex be addictive?\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Carmex based on medical studies to give our take on whether the brand is good for the lips, or if it’s bad for you.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe’ll feature real user reviews and reviews from medical professionals.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eIngredient Analysis\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"Carmex ingredients\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Carmex_Ingredients_Optimized.png?v=1689393319\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe ingredients in Carmex Original are shown above.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eWhite petrolatum\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is the sole active ingredient, and this ingredient is \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/26431582\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinically shown\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e to have an antimicrobial effect (suggesting it has an anti-acne effect), and to support the skin barrier.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis is the same active ingredient in ChapStick and many other commercial  lip balms.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSome of the inactive ingredients in Carmex may also support lip health and appearance.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eBeeswax\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is clinically shown to have antimicrobial activity, as we documented in our \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/is-chapstick-unhealthy\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eis ChapStick unhealthy\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e article.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eLanolin\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is a naturally-derived wax that may have a skin-moisturizing effect according to a \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5849435\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eClinical Medicine \u0026amp; Research\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e journal.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eSalicylic acid\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is an effective exfoliator, according to a 2015 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC4554394\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThere are two inactive ingredients in Carmex that may be questionable from a health perspective.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003ePhenol\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is an antiseptic compound that may have negative aesthetic and health effects according to a 2023 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/books\/NBK542311\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003e“Dermal exposure to small amounts of phenol will acutely result in a painless, white discoloration of the skin at the site of contact. Deeper burns may occur if decontamination does not occur promptly. The skin may later progress to erythema and blistering”.\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eFlavor\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is a broad descriptor that fails to identify the specific flavoring chemicals used. A \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3620743\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eEnvironmental Health Perspectives\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e journal suggests that some flavoring compounds and their metabolites may be toxic.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOverall, we consider Carmex likely to support lip health, however we can’t identify any medical studies suggesting this lip balm moisturizes the lips, and we consider this product to be inferior to commercial lip balms like ChapStick.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe do not currently recommend Carmex based on the two inactive ingredients highlighted above.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBut how do real users rate and describe the effects of Carmex? We’ll feature some real user reviews in the next section.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eReal People Try Carmex\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA YouTube creator named “ChristiannaYvonne” shared her experience with Carmex and suggests the brand is dangerous based on side effects she experienced:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe title=\"YouTube video player\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/1DE0KgGt1g0\" height=\"315\" width=\"560\" allowfullscreen=\"\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share\" frameborder=\"0\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA YouTube creator named “its kai” shared her experience using Carmex for the first time:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe title=\"YouTube video player\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/si-sl9jLvJA\" height=\"315\" width=\"560\" allowfullscreen=\"\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share\" frameborder=\"0\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eWhat's the Healthiest Carmex Product?\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eCarmex has a number of different product lines. We reviewed every formulation while researching this article, and we consider Carmex Comfort Care Lip Balm to be the healthiest product sold by the brand.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe ingredients in this product are shown below:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"Carmex Comfort Care Lip Balm ingredients\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Carmex_Comfort_Care_Lip_Balm_Ingredients_Optimized.png?v=1689394183\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThis formulation contains flavor but is free of phenol.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThere are also more ingredients we consider to be effective than in the Original product.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eTocopherol\u003c\/strong\u003e, better known as vitamin E, was shown to protect the skin from UV damage from the sun in a \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/11139138\/\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/a\u003e published in the \u003cem\u003eDrug Metabolism Reviews\u003c\/em\u003e article.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eMurumuru butter\u003c\/strong\u003e is a natural ingredient that can hydrate the skin, as we documented in our \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/laneige-lip-balm-review\"\u003eLaneige Lip Balm review\u003c\/a\u003e article.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eColloidal oatmeal\u003c\/strong\u003e may improve skin barrier function, moisturize the skin and have other benefits to skin health according to a 2016 \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/27272074\/\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eIs Carmex Addictive?\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eA YouTube creator and board-certified dermatologist named \"Dr Dray\" discusses the risk of becoming addicted to lip balms in a YouTube video with over 100,000 views:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe title=\"YouTube video player\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/7CQ9ZhWXt9w\" height=\"315\" width=\"560\" allowfullscreen=\"\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share\" frameborder=\"0\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eA YouTube creator named \"DIY Pinto\" suggests that Carmex is addictive in a video that's under two minutes long:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe title=\"YouTube video player\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/uK_Zv50ijDM\" height=\"315\" width=\"560\" allowfullscreen=\"\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share\" frameborder=\"0\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eOur Clean Lip Balm Pick\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Lip_Gloss_Image.png?v=1667334137\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/activation.healthline.com\/api\/member-offers\/8570\/redirect?lp=328\u0026amp;tc=120226\u0026amp;subid=rvosubaff_illuminatelabs\"\u003eMind Body Green Lip Balm\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eis our top healthy lip balm pick.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eThis product has the healthiest formulation of any lip gloss we’ve reviewed. Like Carmex, \u003cstrong\u003eit contains hydrating natural ingredients like \u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cstrong\u003esunflower seed oil and shea butter\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e.\u003c\/strong\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eHowever it's fragrance-free, preservative-free, dye-free and contains no additive ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMind Body Green Lip Balm also contains\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cstrong\u003esodium hyaluronate\u003c\/strong\u003e, which\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cstrong\u003ewas \"found to have a positive effect on facial skin health\"\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ein a 2023\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/36710533\/\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eInterested consumers can check out Mind Body Green Lip Balm\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/activation.healthline.com\/api\/member-offers\/8570\/redirect?lp=328\u0026amp;tc=120226\u0026amp;subid=rvosubaff_illuminatelabs\"\u003eat this link\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eto the product page on the brand's official website, where it's currently retailing for $12.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCarmex may improve lip health and appearance, but we don’t consider the brand to be good for you due to the inclusion of phenol and flavor.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eEven compared to other commercial lip balm brands, we would recommend products like ChapStick and Vaseline over Carmex.\u003cbr\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSome online skincare influencers have suggested that Carmex can be addictive, although we haven't found any clinical evidence of that and don't consider there to be any serious health risk related to the use of this product.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIt’s a good thing that Carmex is fragrance-free and preservative-free, but we believe there are better options at a similar price point, even at drugstores.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2023-07-14T23:56:48-04:00","updated_at":"2023-10-09T12:25:57-04:00","summary_html":"Our research team analyzes the ingredients in Carmex to give our take on whether the brand is unhealthy or not. We choose the healthiest Carmex product, explain if the lip balm can be addictive, and highlight two questionable additive ingredients.","template_suffix":"","handle":"is-carmex-bad-for-you","tags":"_related:skincare"}

Is Carmex Bad For You? An Ingredient Analysis

Is Carmex Bad For You? An Ingredient Analysis


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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Carmex is one of the most popular and widely-available lip balm brands in the US. The brand describes their products as “medicated lip balm” that can “protect dry, chapped lips.”

But does Carmex contain research-backed ingredients for improving the health and appearance of the lips? Does the brand use any questionable additive ingredients? How do real users rate and describe the effects of Carmex? And can Carmex be addictive?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Carmex based on medical studies to give our take on whether the brand is good for the lips, or if it’s bad for you.

We’ll feature real user reviews and reviews from medical professionals.

Ingredient Analysis

Carmex ingredients

The ingredients in Carmex Original are shown above.

White petrolatum is the sole active ingredient, and this ingredient is clinically shown to have an antimicrobial effect (suggesting it has an anti-acne effect), and to support the skin barrier.

This is the same active ingredient in ChapStick and many other commercial  lip balms.

Some of the inactive ingredients in Carmex may also support lip health and appearance.

Beeswax is clinically shown to have antimicrobial activity, as we documented in our is ChapStick unhealthy article.

Lanolin is a naturally-derived wax that may have a skin-moisturizing effect according to a medical review published in the Clinical Medicine & Research journal.

Salicylic acid is an effective exfoliator, according to a 2015 medical review.

There are two inactive ingredients in Carmex that may be questionable from a health perspective.

Phenol is an antiseptic compound that may have negative aesthetic and health effects according to a 2023 medical review:

“Dermal exposure to small amounts of phenol will acutely result in a painless, white discoloration of the skin at the site of contact. Deeper burns may occur if decontamination does not occur promptly. The skin may later progress to erythema and blistering”.

Flavor is a broad descriptor that fails to identify the specific flavoring chemicals used. A medical review published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal suggests that some flavoring compounds and their metabolites may be toxic.

Overall, we consider Carmex likely to support lip health, however we can’t identify any medical studies suggesting this lip balm moisturizes the lips, and we consider this product to be inferior to commercial lip balms like ChapStick.

We do not currently recommend Carmex based on the two inactive ingredients highlighted above.

But how do real users rate and describe the effects of Carmex? We’ll feature some real user reviews in the next section.

Real People Try Carmex

A YouTube creator named “ChristiannaYvonne” shared her experience with Carmex and suggests the brand is dangerous based on side effects she experienced:

A YouTube creator named “its kai” shared her experience using Carmex for the first time:

What's the Healthiest Carmex Product?

Carmex has a number of different product lines. We reviewed every formulation while researching this article, and we consider Carmex Comfort Care Lip Balm to be the healthiest product sold by the brand.

The ingredients in this product are shown below:

Carmex Comfort Care Lip Balm ingredients

This formulation contains flavor but is free of phenol.

There are also more ingredients we consider to be effective than in the Original product.

Tocopherol, better known as vitamin E, was shown to protect the skin from UV damage from the sun in a medical review published in the Drug Metabolism Reviews article.

Murumuru butter is a natural ingredient that can hydrate the skin, as we documented in our Laneige Lip Balm review article.

Colloidal oatmeal may improve skin barrier function, moisturize the skin and have other benefits to skin health according to a 2016 medical review.

Is Carmex Addictive?

A YouTube creator and board-certified dermatologist named "Dr Dray" discusses the risk of becoming addicted to lip balms in a YouTube video with over 100,000 views:

A YouTube creator named "DIY Pinto" suggests that Carmex is addictive in a video that's under two minutes long:

Our Clean Lip Balm Pick

Mind Body Green Lip Balm is our top healthy lip balm pick.

This product has the healthiest formulation of any lip gloss we’ve reviewed. Like Carmex, it contains hydrating natural ingredients like sunflower seed oil and shea butter. 

However it's fragrance-free, preservative-free, dye-free and contains no additive ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy.

Mind Body Green Lip Balm also contains sodium hyaluronate, which was "found to have a positive effect on facial skin health" in a 2023 clinical trial.

Interested consumers can check out Mind Body Green Lip Balm at this link to the product page on the brand's official website, where it's currently retailing for $12.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Carmex may improve lip health and appearance, but we don’t consider the brand to be good for you due to the inclusion of phenol and flavor.

Even compared to other commercial lip balm brands, we would recommend products like ChapStick and Vaseline over Carmex.

Some online skincare influencers have suggested that Carmex can be addictive, although we haven't found any clinical evidence of that and don't consider there to be any serious health risk related to the use of this product.

It’s a good thing that Carmex is fragrance-free and preservative-free, but we believe there are better options at a similar price point, even at drugstores.