Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More Bland Than Protecting (Or Strawberry) ChapStick Flops With Strawberry SPF4 Skin Protectant! (My 1000th Review This Year!)

The Good: Easy to apply, Inoffensive taste, Inexpensive
The Bad: Offers very limited protection, Not very flavorful, Potential to melt
The Basics: When attempting to protect my lips for future kissability, I discovered that ChapStick's Strawberry Skin Protectant is weak and hardly strawberry flavored.

My wife and I get great use out of lip protectants. Yes, we do a lot of kissing. This offers me a wealth of experience to write about the endurance of some products. For the most part, we keep each other interested and intrigued, whatwith the various flavors we apply to our lips before kissing or going out. So, when I write about the ChapStick Classic Strawberry flavored Skin Protectant/Sunscreen, I do so after quite a bit of testing and I can fairly say this is an inferior product from the fine folks at ChapStick, who impressed me with their spearmint ChapStick (reviewed here!) some time ago.

For starters, Chapstick's Strawberry 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 red 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 Strawberry Skin Protectant are more alleged than actual; it has an SPF4 rating, which means it is somewhere above slathering mayonnaise on your lips and somewhat below covering your lips with a towel 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 - like Blistex Herbal Answer lip protectant (reviewed here!) - an SPF rating of only four is pathetic for its protection potential.

On the plus side, where the ChapStick Strawberry Skin Protectant falls down on the SPF rating and its protection for people visiting the beach in summer, it seems strangely adequate in winter. Tested in the rough Upstate New York and Michigan winters, 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. Unfortunately, in this regard comes one of the two biggest drawbacks to the product. This skin protectant has a very waxy feel to it. When it is on my lips, I am very aware of its presence. Of all of the skin protectants for lips that I have tried since I started kissing anyone again, this is the most waxy feeling. It goes on feeling waxy and it feels waxy when it is on. As a result, it is easy to feel when this product has been wiped thoroughly off one's lips as well.

ChapStick Strawberry leaves no significant color on the lips when it is applied. It may feel omnipresent and thick when it is on, but it does not look red.

The other major drawback to consumers with high or even moderate standards is the taste of this skin protectant. While it has a Strawberry Shortcake style of generic, packaged, alleged strawberry scent to it, it in no way tastes like strawberries. In fact, after the initial fruity taste (within ten seconds of being applied) this ChapStick product becomes vaguely sugary (eleven to thirty seconds) before becoming slightly tangy (forty seconds to a minute) and then simply waxy. My partner enjoyed the taste of this one more and thus wanted me to apply it to my lips so I could be kissed and she could enjoy the taste. Still, she soon became bored with this flavor and I was happy for that; the flavor is shockingly drab and not at all like the wonderful, juicy flavor of strawberries.

The ChapStick Strawberry 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 failed the moment it claimed to taste like Strawberry and didn't. Given the plethora of skin care and health and beauty products on the market, it is ridiculous that one might consider settling for one that does not live up to its promise on flavor/taste. As a result, it is remarkably easy to not recommend ChapStick's Strawberry skin protectant.

For other lip care products, please visit my reviews of:
Tootsie Roll lip balm
Burt's Bees medicated lip balm
Extreme Pink Lemonade Blowpop lip balm


For other health and beauty product reviews, please be sure to visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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