The Good: Easy to apply, Inoffensive taste, Inexpensive, Flavorful, Minimal waxiness.
The Bad: Offers very limited protection, Potential to melt
The Basics: A very good basic lip protectant, Chapstick Spearmint is worth picking up as an inexpensive lip protectant from the elements.
It sometimes amazes me how long I go between trying things from brands I generally trust. It surprised me while considering my new Spearmint Chapstick to discover it had been quite some time since I tried and reviewed the ChapStick Classic Strawberry. But, while the Strawberry might have evoked memories of the beginning of my relationship with the woman who has become my wife, as we passed our one-year anniversary, I am discovering Spearmint is a flavor that is making new memories for us!
We have been using the Chapstick Spearmint flavor lip protectant for a few months now, having gotten some on clearance and despite a few very minor problems with it, I am discovering I enjoy using it quite a bit.
Chapstick's Spearmint flavor Skin Protectant comes in the standard .15 oz. tube. It is a discreet plastic tube measuring two and a half inches long by 3/8" in diameter. The skin protectant it dispensed by simply removing the white cap (it pulls off easily enough) and twisting a dial on the bottom to push the remaining product up. The skin protectant itself is a waxy light green tube that is rubbed onto the lips and it offers a physical barrier to water and other damaging elements that could crack lips in winter and sunlight which could damage lips in the summer (or winter, whatwith the brightness of sunglare on snow).
The sunscreen properties of this ChapStick Spearmint Skin Protectant are more alleged than actual; it has an SPF4 rating, which means it is somewhere above slathering paste on your lips and somewhat below covering your lips with a face mask on the scale of skin protection. The SPF rating is a rating which tells consumers how much protection a product offers in protecting the skin from the sun's harmful UV rays. This is most useful in determining how a product helps prevent sunburn. Given that most skin protecting products I have tried, even for the lips, seem to start at an SPF15 an SPF rating of only four is pathetic for its protection potential.
On the plus side, where the ChapStick Spearmint Skin Protectant falls down on the SPF rating and its protection for people visiting the beach in summer, it seems more than adequate in winter. Tested in the rough Upstate New York winter, this skin protectant does adequately protect against chapped lips by forming a physical barrier that helps to retain moisture within the lips without exposing lips to freezing conditions.
As well, this product is remarkably easy to apply. It glides on easy and creates a barrier needed to resist the elements. This is what separates Spearmint Chapstick from many other flavors I have tried; this skin protectant does not have a very waxy feel to it. When it is on my lips, I am very aware of its presence only for the first few seconds after applying, especially because it has a minty tingle to it. After that, though, the sensation of wax on the lips dissipates and this Chapstick works without making me feel like I am wearing lip protectant at all.
ChapStick Spearmint leaves no significant color on the lips when it is applied. It looks just how it feels after the first few seconds; invisible! It does not look at all green when applied to the lips.
Spearmint also tastes just like it is supposed to, which is nice in a skin protectant. After the initial minty taste, Spearmint Chapstick tastes minty whenever one runs their tongue over their lips! Or, when one kisses the lips of another who is wearing this Chapstick, even after an hour from the last application, they will taste the flavor of spearmint.
The ChapStick Spearmint Skin Protectant does not have ingredients on the tube, so be sure to check the package before purchasing for any allergies you might have. Given, however, that the purpose of this product is more protectant than anything else, it seems like its composition would be mostly non-reactive.
It is also worth noting that this cheap little skin protectant is not designed for moisturizing, only protecting. As a result, while it might prevent lips from drying out or cracking in winter (I have not found it to be remarkably protecting in the Spring in New York even), it will not repair damaged, cracked skin on the lips. This is a stopgap product; it prevents damage, but will not moisturize already dried lips or heal damaged, cracked lips.
But for me, it succeeded in tasting like spearmint and by offering basic lip protection. Because of how expensive so many other lip protectants are, it became exceptionally easy to recommend Chapstick Spearmint!
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© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.