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Carmex is a famous lip balm brand that has been on the market since the late 1930s. It is a staple in many American homes because of its healing properties. While the product remains popular, in recent years there has been some debate about whether Carmex is actually good or bad for your lips. Some argue that the ingredients in Carmex, such as camphor and menthol, can actually dry out the lips rather than moisturize them. Others argue that these ingredients are necessary for healing cracked and chapped lips. So is Carmex good for your lips? Or will it actually make your chapped lips worse? Let’s find out.
About Carmex Lip Balms
Carmex is a famous lip balm brand that has been around since 1937. The first medicated lip balm was concocted in a kitchen and sold to pharmacies personally by the founder, Alfred Woelbing.
The medicated product has grown from strength to strength, eventually being voted the number one recommended over-the-counter lip balm brand since 1999.
The initial lip balm was the classic: a medicated lip balm for cold sores, which is still a popular product made by the company today.
Since its inception, Carmex has expanded its range of lip balms and now have several lines available, depending on your needs.
- Classic – medicated lip balm for cold sores, dry and chapped lips
- Comfort Care – moisturizing and soothing line
- Weather Guard – SPF protection and protects against wind burn
- Daily Care – daily moisturizing lip balm perfect for everyday use
- Cold Sore Treatment – medicated lip balm specifically for cold sores
Each product comes in unique packaging so that you can choose between a tube, stick, and jar, depending on your application preferences.
Ingredients in Carmex Lip Balms
Carmex lip balms contain a mix of ingredients, many of which are common in medicated lip balms. Carmex does have several lines available, and all feature different ingredients, we’ll take a look at all the different ingredients that Camex lip balms offer.
Good Ingredients In Carmex Lip Balms
These ingredients help to moisturize and protect the lips – oils, butters and soothing ingredients can help to repair dry, chapped and irritated lips.
- Colloidal Oatmeal: Soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, helps to protect the skin’s and reduce irritation
- Vitamin E: Antioxidant and moisturizing to protect the skin, soothe irritation and moisturize
- Cocoa Butter – Cocoa butter is rich in fatty acids to help nourish and moisturize the delicate skin on the lips
- Beeswax – These ingredients help to seal in moisture and protect the lips from external elements like wind or other irritants
- Candelilla Wax: A plant-based wax that helps to form a protective barrier on the skin
- Cranberry Seed Oil: Rich in vitamins and fatty acids to help nourish the skin
- Lanolin: A natural moisturizer derived from sheep’s wool, lanolin helps prevent water loss and softens rough, flaky skin
- Sunscreens (Sun Protection Factor): Benzophenone-3 and Octyl Methoxycinnamate help protect the lips from sun damage and sun burn
- White Petrolatum: Forms a protective barrier to reduce skin damage from environmental exposure
- Cetyl Esters: A lubricant that locks in moisture and softens the skin
These ingredients are common in any lip balm on the market and they are safe and effective for repairing dry, chapped lips.
Bad Ingredients In Carmex Lip Balms
While there are many great ingredients in the Carmex lip balms, there are also some ingredients that can have negative effects on the lips and overall skin health. These ingredients are mainly found in the classic balms and the cold sore balm and help to reduce discomfort and pain associated with cold sores.
- Phenol: A topical pain reliever that reduces pain from cold sores.
- Camphor: A mild itch reliever with some pain-reducing properties.
- Salicylic Acid: Helps exfoliate the lips and reduce dryness
- Benzocaine: A numbing ingredient to ease discomfort and itching from cold sores.
- Menthol: Harnessed from Peppermint Oil, creating a cooling sensation and acts as an analgesic
Unfortunately, these ingredients are actually not great for the skin, as they can cause irritation and dryness and even dermatitis. And if you’re using these on already chapped and irritated lips, it can make them even worse. While they’re great ingredients to help reduce pain associated with cold sores, it’s best to not use these all over your lips.
Side Effects of Carmex Lip Balm
Like with any lip balm or skincare product, there can be potential side effects. The most common is irritation and drying of the lips, especially if you’re already dealing with dry or chapped lips.
Some of the ingredients in Carmex, like phenol and camphor, can also cause allergic reactions in some individuals.
The most common side effect of carmex lip balms is tinging, due to the menthol and camphor in the balms. This tingly sensation is harmless, but it can be irritating and drying.
Ingredients like menthol, camphor, phenol and benzocaine can cause a reaction like redness, flaking skin and general irritation on the lips and around the mouth.
Many of the Carmex lip balms also contain artifical fragrances, which can also lead to dryness and irritation, especially around the mouth.
Is Carmex Good Or Bad For Lips?
With so many rumors about Carmex being bad for the lips, it can be hard to determine the truth. Especially when there are so many people that swear by the lip balm.
So is Carmex actually good for your lips?
Overall, Carmex lip balms can provide temporary relief for dry and chapped lips. However, it’s best to stay away from the classic and cold sore lip balm lines. These have ingredients that can irritate and dry out the lips, and actually make chapped lips worse. Their other lines like comfort care and daily care are much better, ingredient wise.
While Carmex lip balms are marketing to help treat dry, cracked and chapped lips, they don’t contain enough soothing and repairing ingredients to actually heal the lips. Not to mention the drying and irritating ingredients like camphor and menthol.
Is Carmex Good For Chapped Lips?
Carmex lip balms can provide temporary relief for dry and chapped lips, but they are not great for actually healing them. The classic and cold sore lines contain ingredients that can irritate and worsen chapped lips. Stick to their other lines like comfort care or daily care, which have better ingredients for nourishing and healing the lips and don’t contain any irritating ingredients like menthol.
In fact, the Comfort Care line is actually really great – it’s packed with oils and butters to nourish and moisturize dry lips. They have a few different versions like shea butter and colloidal oatmeal , which provide additional soothing and healing properties.
Overall, it’s better to opt for a lip balm with more skin-loving ingredients that can actually repair dry and chapped lips and avoid the classic Carmex balms if you’re dealing with chapped lips.
Related post: Can You Put Body Lotion On Your Lips?
Is Carmex Making My Lips Worse?
If you’re experiencing irritation, dryness or worsening chapped lips when using Carmex, it’s likely the ingredients in the balm. You’ve probably heard the claim that Carmex actually dries out your lips, and that’s because of the camphor, menthol and phenol in their classic and cold sore lines. Does Carmex make your lips even more chapped? Unfortunately, it can.
The ingredients like menthol and camphor can be drying and irritating for some individuals, causing them to have even drier or chapped lips. Bottom line is that Carmex can actually make your lips worse, leading to more dryness and irritation that can be hard to heal.
Does Carmex Dry Out Your Lips?
The classic and cold sore lip balms can certainly dry out your lips .These lines contain ingredients like camphor, menthol and phenol, which can be drying and irritating.
Other Carmex lip balm lines, like Comfort Care or Daily Care, do not have these potentially drying ingredients and are safer to use on dry or chapped lips. It’s best to stick with those if you want to avoid the potential for drying out your lips.
Overall, Carmex can provide temporary relief for dry and chapped lips, but it’s not great for actually healing them due to potentially drying and irritating ingredients. Opt for their other lines or look for a lip balm with more nourishing, repairing ingredients.
Why Carmex Is Bad For Your Lips
Now we’ve touched a little on the Comfort Care and Daily Care lines, and those are actually great choices for lip balms. So now we’re going to take a look at why Carmex Classic and Cold Sore lines aren’t good for your lips.
- Contain irritating ingredients – The classic and cold sore lines contain menthol, camphor, and phenol which can be drying and irritating to the lips. In fact, they can actually worsen chapped lips and make them harder to heal
- Contain artifical fragrances – These lines also contain artificial fragrances, which can cause irritation and inflammation
- Not enough moisturizing ingredients – These lines also don’t have enough moisturizing ingredients like oils and butters to actually nourish and repair dry, chapped lips
- Not enough healing ingredients – These lines also lack in ingredients that have healing properties like shea butter, colloidal oatmeal, and vitamin E
Is Carmex Good For Your Lips FAQ’s
How long does it take for Carmex to heal lips?
Generally, it can take several weeks to fully heal chapped, dry lips. If you find that Carmex isn’t improving your lips after a few weeks, it’s likely you’ll need to find something a little more repairing like Aquaphor or CeraVe Healing Ointment.
What are the side effects of Carmex?
Carmex can make your lips burn or give you a tingling sensation from active ingredients like menthol and camphor. But it shouldn’t be painful, just a different sensation.
Is Carmex Bad For You?
No, Carmex isn’t bad for you. The product wouldn’t be so popular and wouldn’t have made it nearly 80 years on the market if it had any adverse effect on your health or well-being.
Does Carmex plump your lips?
No, Carmex does not have any ingredients that are known for plumping lips and it will not make your lips bigger. If you experience any swelling, it’s likely a reaction.
Is Carmex good for cold sores?
Yes, Carmex can help to reduce pain and discomfort from cold sores, but it only treats the symptoms and will not help to speed up healing of cold sores.
Is Carmex Bad For Your Lips Wrap Up
Carmex is a super popular lip balm that has been on the market for nearly 80 years. Initially invented to help with cold sores, Carmex lip products have expanded to include daily moisturizing balms to keep your lips healthy and moisturized. But is Carmex really good for your lips? Or can it make your lips worse? The classic and cold sore lines contain potentially irritating ingredients like menthol, camphor, and phenol that can dry out and worsen chapped lips. These lines also lack in nourishing ingredients to actually heal dry or damaged lips.
However, their comfort care and daily care lines are safe to use and do not have these potentially irritating ingredients. So if you’re a Carmex fan, stick with those lines for healthier lips. Overall, while Carmex can provide temporary relief for dry or chapped lips, it’s not the best choice for actually healing them. Look for lip balms with more moisturizing and repairing ingredients like butters, oils, vitamins and colloidal oatmeal. That said, Carmex can help to reduce pain from cold sores, so if you find yourself suffering from one, it’s safe to apply on the cold sore, just don’t apply it all over your lips.