Both Carmex and Blistex come in a variety of flavors and are priced similarly. They have lines of skincare products not just for treating chapped lips, but also for aiding with cold sores and providing protection against the sun.
The two products are definitely staples in the lip product world, but when faced with the choice of picking between Carmex vs Blistex, which is better?
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Carmex Lip Treatments
Carmex medicated lip balm began in 1937 as a cold sore remedy, created by Alfred Woelbing.
He started by selling it to pharmacies one by one, and it was only after WWII ended and the army stopped buying up one of the key ingredients – lanolin – that he was able to expand.
It was originally packaged in metal containers, and it wasn’t until 1980 that the company expanded its packaging and also offered it in a squeezable tube.
Treating more than just cold sores, Carmex became a household name when it came to lip balms. In 2008, the company announced that it had sold 1 billion jars of Carmex!
In 2010, Carmex started selling a dedicated cold sore treatment product. The company remains a family-owned brand after all these years.
If you are looking for a family brand with customer and employee values in mind, that also sticks to using natural ingredients, Carmex is a great option to protect your lips.
Carmex Classic Lip Balm Medicated
Carmex Classic Lip Balm Medicated in a jar contains the following ingredients:
- Active Ingredients: camphor 1.70% (external analgesic) and white petrolatum 45.30% (lip protectant).
- Inactive Ingredients: Lanolin, beeswax, cetyl esters, paraffin, theobroma cacao seed (cocoa) butter, menthol, salicylic acid, phenol, vanillin, flavor.
Carmex Classic Lip Balm Medicated contains the brand’s Triple Force Formula to protect your lips from wind, cold and dry weather.
It has a thick texture and the woody, spicy scent of camphor and the cooling, minty sensation of menthol. It applies easily to your lips without being sticky or too greasy.
The cocoa butter in the formula leaves your lips feeling moisturized as well as protected from the elements. Salicylic acid gently exfoliates your lips.
Apply no more than 3 to 4 times per day to dry lips.
Carmex Classic Lip Balm Medicated in a squeeze tube contains the same amount of active ingredients as the jar and higher amount of cocoa butter and a lower amount of beeswax, making it easier to spread and the formula feels lighter on the lips.
Apply 3 to 4 times per day to dry lips.
Carmex Classic Lip Balm Medicated SPF 15 in a stick contains chemical sunscreen in the form of octinoxate 7.50% and oxybenzone 4.00%, along with white petrolatum 35.00%.
It contains the same key ingredients that are in the jar: lanolin, cocoa butter, camphor, and menthol, but more waxes to create a solid lip balm product.
The Carmex stick lip balm also contains meadowfoam oil, lightweight oil that is absorbed easily and leaves your lips feeling silky and soft. Apply 15 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every 2 hours.
Carmex Multi-Symptom 3-in-1 Cold Sore Treatment
Carmex Multi-Symptom 3-in-1 Cold Sore Treatment relieves the pain and itching associated with cold sores while hiding redness with a blend of natural minerals to soothe and protect the delicate skin on your lips.
- Active Ingredients: Benzocaine 10% (external analgesic) and white petrolatum 44.69%.
Benzocaine reduces the feeling of pain from cold sores and sore, cracked, flaky lips. White petrolatum works to waterproof the lips and creates a barrier against elements such as wind or cold.
Carmex Lip Treatments: Pros
- Carmex is perfect for bringing dry and otherwise damaged lips back to life.
- The various container options offer different textures of products. The tube has a gel formula, while the stick and jar contain more of a cream. The cream is a thicker consistency, meaning you won’t need to apply it as often.
- The company is developing new flavors with SPF that work just as well as the original formula.
- Carmex does not have a particularly pungent smell, so it will not be a noticeable scent for several hours as it sits on your lips.
- All Carmex products, regardless of how they are packaged, will work the same when it comes to healing and restoring damaged lips and protecting them from future damage.
- No Carmex product is sticky, and all products leave your lips soft, smooth and silky.
Carmex Lip Treatments: Cons
- Original Carmex in the jar may feel heavy on the lips, and the camphor and menthol scents may not be appealing to everyone.
- The jar makes the product more difficult to apply, and if you use your fingers, you risk contaminating the product with bacteria.
- Carmex may leave your lips with a tingling sensation, so if you have sensitive skin, consider patch testing before using the products for the first time.
Blistex Lip Treatments
Founded in 1947, Blistex started as a family-run company founded by Charles E. Arch with the desire to create quality and innovative products in lip care.
The company expanded in the 1960s to have its own research and development facility, as well as build its own manufacturing headquarters in Illinois.
Blistex has a wide variety of products ranging from medicated lip balms to sensitive skin treatments, to deep conditioning lip serums.
Blistex remains a family company, run by the third generation who still follows the original goals related to growth, innovation, leadership, and quality lip care product.
Blistex Lip Medex
Blistex Lip Medex has a cooling sensation that will soothe sore, cracked lips in need of nourishment.
- Active Ingredients: camphor 1% (external analgesic), menthol 1% (external analgesic), petrolatum 59.14% (lip protectant), and phenol 0.54% (external analgesic).
Blistex Lip Medex’s texture is reminiscent of Vaseline or petroleum jelly due to the high petrolatum concentration.
Camphor and menthol give it a strong medical scent. Apply this lip treatment no more than 3 to 4 times daily.
Blistex Medicated Lip Balm SPF 15 (Stick)
Blistex Medicated Lip Balm SPF 15 (stick) uses three protectants to seal in moisture and prevent your lip tissue from becoming dry. It has a silky smooth texture and light mint scent thanks to the menthol and camphor in the formula.
SPF 15 sunscreen protection comes in the form of dimethicone 2.0%, octinoxate 6.6%, and octisalate 4.4 %.
It contains lanolin, cocoa butter, and menthol, like Carmex (stick). It also contains mineral oil to form an occlusive barrier on the skin, as well as waxes to keep the formula solid.
This lip balm has the lightest scent of all six lip balms that I tried and glides onto the lips easily.
Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment
Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment contains four medications (camphor, menthol, dimethicone, and phenol) to help relieve pain, itching, and discomfort associated with lip sores and blisters.
It is formulated to hydrate and soften the lips to improve cracking and dryness. It moisturizes and soothes with its lightweight formula.
This medicated lip ointment feels less like a lip balm and more like an ointment on the lips.
It has a white shade that dissipates once applied to your lips and a cooling and minty sensation like Blistex’s other products.
Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment can be used to smooth lip texture before applying lip color. To use as a lipstick base, apply Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment liberally on your lips, leave on for five minutes, remove excess and then apply your lip color.
- The variety of products gives you plenty of options to choose from when it comes to meeting your specific lip needs.
- Their “Medicated” line is great for revitalizing chapped lips and keeping them moisturized and protected from the elements.
- Blistex’s tinted options are the best of both worlds: protective lip balm and colorful lip gloss.
- The range of products can be overwhelming and makes it difficult to know which one will benefit you the most.
- The entire line of “Medicated” Blistex smells quite medicinal.
- The camphor and menthol in the products may create a tingling sensation. If you have sensitive skin, consider patch testing before using the product for the first time
- Some of Blistex’s fruity options can be a little sweet after the first few applications. You may need to consider alternating the fruity ones with the less bold options.
Carmex vs Blistex: Comparisons
- Texture (Jars): Blistex feels more like Vasoline due to the higher petrolatum concentration.
- Scent (Jars): Blistex has a stronger scent, and the menthol and camphor combination may be too strong for some.
- Lip Restoration: Carmex works slightly better for restoring very chapped lips.
- Cold Sore Treatment: Carmex was originally designed for cold sores, and Multi-Symptom 3-in-1 Cold Sore Treatment addresses pain and itch with 10% Benzocaine while Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment addresses cold sores with camphor, menthol, dimethicone, and phenol.
- Flavor Options: Blistex has many more flavor and scent options than Carmex, and regardless of scent, all Carmex products taste the same. However, plain medicated Blistex has a medicinal taste. No Carmex product has an overwhelming taste. Blistex has some products that end up being sickly sweet after repeated use.
- Sunscreen Options: Certain lip products from both brands contain sunscreen.
- Working Alongside Lipstick: Basic and medicated lines of Blistex work as excellent primers underneath lipstick for a smooth coat of color. Carmex, unfortunately, reduces the longevity of lip color. Blistex also offers tinted lip balm options.
- Packaging: Both brands offer several different packaging options, so it comes down to personal preference.
Carmex vs Blistex: Which is Better?
When it comes to Carmex vs Blistex, which is better? Both products perform similarly, and a lot of it comes down to what you need from a lip product.
Carmex tends to do better when it comes to revitalizing damaged, cracked, and flaky lips Their thick formula that comes in the jars are designed to be applied less frequently, which can be a time saver.
Blistex, however, offers a larger range of products to choose from. Blistex also has better options for sensitive lips than Carmex does, and multiple products come with sunscreen to protect against sun damage.
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Final Thoughts: Carmex vs Blistex
Which lip product works best for you will come down to personal preference as many Carmex and Blistex products are similar. Luckily, the low pricing of all the products makes it easy to experiment with both brands.
My favorite lip treatment for dry cracked, lips? Carmex Classic Lip Balm in a squeeze tube, as it applies easily without any mess and you don’t have to stick your finger in the jar (which can harbor bacteria).
Thanks for reading, and until next time, here’s to your good skin health!
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