Carmex: A Product My Lips Can’t Do Without

Yeah, I know it may seem strange to take the time to write a review about lip balm. But Associated Content has asked for reviews of products I can’t live without. Carmex is definitely an item I would miss if I were stranded on a desert island somewhere.

I first fell in love with Carmex about ten years ago, when I was serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Armenia. The air in Armenia is very dry and it gets extremely hot there in the summers. I started using lip balm as a means of keeping my lips from getting parched by the intense sun. At some point, I got my hands on a pot of Carmex and immediately fell in love with the way it tingled on my lips. I also loved the fact that the lip balm has staying power. I can apply it and still feel it on my lips an hour later.

Product details

Carmex is available in 1/4 ounce jars, 1/2 ounce jars, .35 ounce EZ-ON applicator tubes, and a .15 ounce Click Stick; I keep several containers in strategic locations around my house. I use it several times a day to keep my lips from getting dried out or chapped. Carmex is also useful for treating cold sores and fever blisters. Carmex is widely available in drug or grocery stores. Prices range from about $1.39 for the .15 ounce Click Stick to $2.39 for a 1/2 ounce jar. Carmex is made by Carma Lab, Inc.


The active ingredients in Carmex are Menthol .7%, Camphor 1.7%, and Phenol .4%. Inactive ingredients are fragrance, petrolatum, lanolin, cocoa butter, salicylic acid, and wax base. The Click Stick version also contains sunscreen protection of SPF15. Use Carmex only as directed and keep it out of reach of children.

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My experiences

Currently, I have a pot of Carmex and two Click Sticks in my house. I have also used the EZ-ON applicator version of Carmex. I like all three versions, but I think I prefer the Click Stick. I like the fact that I can apply it easily and stow it in my purse. I also like that the Click Stick comes in a hard plastic container. I have found that the EZ-ON applicator version, which comes in a soft tube, is more fragile. If it gets too close to a heat source, the EZ-ON applicator is much more likely to melt and make a big mess. The pots have more product in them, but using them requires me to apply the Carmex with my finger or a brush. It’s easy for the product to be contaminated by dirt or germs. I find the EZ-ON applicator version of Carmex to be too soft and slimy. In my opinion, the Click Stick offers the best of both worlds.

I can definitely feel and smell the menthol every time I apply Carmex to my lips. This is not a product for anyone who likes their lip balm to taste or smell good, since Carmex has a decidedly medicinal smell and taste. On the other hand, the fact that it doesn’t taste good keeps me from licking my lips, which makes them less likely to become chapped. When I use the Click Stick and potted versions of Carmex, my lips feel slightly sticky when I first apply this product. When I use the EZ-ON applicator, the product is softer and slimier and it doesn’t seem to last as long.

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How does Carmex compare to that old standby, Chapstick?

Before I discovered Carmex, I was a Chapstick user. But I no longer use Chapstick because it feels waxy and dry when I apply it to my lips. Chapstick also doesn’t have that tingly kick that I enjoy when I apply Carmex. I now find Chapstick to be a poor substitute because it just kind of sits on my lips. It also doesn’t seem to last as long as Carmex does.

Carmex, I can’t live without ya!

I think it’s fair to say that I’m addicted to Carmex. I definitely miss it when I don’t have a fresh application of it on my lips. I apply it first thing in the morning and last thing before I go to bed. And since I’m moving to Germany in a few months, I’m going to be sure to stockpile a few tubes of it just in case I can’t find it where I’m going. Not everyone will like Carmex’s medicinal smell and taste, but for me, it’s the only lip balm that will do!