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One of the most familiar scents to me is the smell of the ChapStick Classic Original. When I was growing up, my dad would always apply it before he left the house, and the scent would linger on my cheeks after he gave me a quick kiss goodbye. As someone who prefers the status quo, he still applies that same chapstick day after day, and the tradition continues whenever I come home to visit: he applies ChapStick, gives his favorite (i.e. only) daughter a hug and a kiss on the cheek and is out the door. I have to admit, it’s not a tradition that I ever want to change.
ChapStick has certainly gone through some changes since its first debut in the late 20th, early 21st centuries. The newest to join the ranks alongside the time-tested ChapStick Classic is the ChapStick Hydration Lock ($32.79/pack of 12, amazon.com), which boasts the use of popular antioxidant CoQ10 to provide eight hours of moisture. I may be picky when it comes to lip balms, but this new discovery might be my greatest find to date. Read on to find out why.
What Science Says about the Ingredients
Because ChapStick Hydration Lock is meant to be, well, hydrating, it includes petrolatum, an occlusive moisturizer that prevents transepidermal water loss (TEWL) by forming a protective layer on top of your luscious lips (Conditioning Agents for Hair and Skin). Of course, this means that it will trap whatever other ingredients that are applied with it, which is a problem if you’re applying irritating fragrances or comodogenic ingredients, but this shouldn’t be an issue here (Cosmetic Dermatology, Allergy).
Another hydrating ingredient is sodium hyaluronate, which is a stable sodium salt of hyaluronic acid, a substance found naturally in your body that hydrates and provides volume to your skin (Cosmetics & Toiletries, Cosmetic Dermatology). Whereas petrolatum is an occlusive moisturizer, hyaluronic acid is a humectant moisturizer, which means that it attracts moisture from the surrounding environment to provide hydration; consequently, it can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water (Simple Skin Beauty, 10 Minutes, 10 Years). Humectant moisturizers can be a problem if acting alone as they could pull moisture from deep within the depths of your skin, but since it’s paired with petrolatum here, your lips will be hydrated and stay that way.
More familiar to you as vitamin E, tocopherol acetate is an ester of acetic acid and tocopherol, so it’s considered to be less acidic and more stable than the pure form of vitamin E, which is produced naturally in your body and is secreted by your sebaceous glands (pores) (Skin Pharmacology & Physiology). As an antioxidant, it helps protect your skin against UVB-induced damage and stops the formation of matrix metalloproteinases mRNA, which is an enzyme responsible for collagen degration (Free Radical Biology and Medicine). Some have attributed use of tocopherol acetate to skin irritation, contact dermatitis, and potentially even tumorigenesis, but, generally speaking, tocopherol acetate shouldn’t irritate your skin. Additionally, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel has found it to be safe when used at concentrations found in cosmetic formulations (Toxicology).
Finally, ChapStick Hydration Lock‘s other naturally-produced star player is CoQ10. Also known as ubiquinone, Coenzyme Q10 helps convert food into energy, thus accounting for up to 95% of your body’s energy requirements (Skin Therapy Letter, Mayo Clinic). When consumed orally, CoQ10 is responsible for your respiratory health, but it also has topical effects, performing its antioxidant duties without complaint as it reduces the DNA damage caused by UVA exposure, as shown by human keratinocytes in vitro. It also suppresses MMP-1 production by downregulating IL-6 expression, and accelerates production of type IV and VII collagen. Unfortunately, it doesn’t affect type 1 collagen, which is the most abundant type of collagen found in your body (Journal of Dermatological Science). There aren’t any known side effects or irritations associated with CoQ10, and, while there aren’t many, these initial studies have shown that further research into its effects should be promising.
Does it Work?: Personal Use and Opinion
I’m quite picky when it comes to lip balm, and, as much as I anticipate a backlash for saying this, even the much-celebrated EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balms don’t quite live up to my standards. Applying the ChapStick Hydration Lock was immediately satisfying and made my lips feel like silk, quite possibly due to the presence of dimethicone. However, my lips stayed hydrated for the duration of the day, which is surprising, given that my EOS balm seems to leave my lips perpetually chapped, even when I apply it every hour. And while I normally wake up with chapped or dry lips, I woke up the next morning with lips that felt a lot more hydrated. Unfortunately, I’m a little more than bummed that the ChapStick Hydration Lock doesn’t contain an SPF, so I definitely wouldn’t recommend this product during the summer.
Overall Rating: 90%
ChapStick Hydration Lock ($32.79/pack of 12, amazon.com) is a great choice for those of you who, like me, are perpetually plagued by chapped lips. It contains occlusive and humectant moisturizers to keep your lips hydrated, as well as tocopherol acetate and CoQ10 to help repair and protect your lips. Plus, your lips are going to feel great for a full eight hours. While tocopherol acetate will provide some sun protection, it’s meant to be supplemental to sunscreen, so my only complaint is that the ChapStick Hydration Lock doesn’t contain an SPF.
*Editor’s Note: This post contains affiliate links.
Ingredients: hydrogenated poly (C6-14 olefin), isopropyl myristate, paraffin, polyethylene, petrolatum, perfluorononyl dimethicone, euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, beeswax, dimethicone, hydrogenated polydecene, isohexadecane, bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2, microcrystalline wax, stearyl dimethicone, C10-18 triglycerides, tocopheryl acetate, copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax, caprylic/capric triglyceride, ethylhexyl palmitate, alumina, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, methylparaben, propylparaben, flavor, spilanthes acmella flower extract, ubiquinone, silica dimethyl silylate, butylene glycol, caprylyl glycol, phenoxyethanol, sodium hyaluronate, hexylene glycol