I've been on a lip balm crazy mode since the start of Winter and I thought I had everything I needed in the lip balm department and wouldn't need another but thanks to Kristen for mentioning about these Jack Black lip balms! :D I believe these balms were initially popularized by Christine but go figure, it took me 3.5 years to finally get my hands on them. LOL! I guess I just wasn't wowed by the “men” packaging before (well, Jack Black is a men‘s brand after all), ha ha but yes, long story short, I got them now after all the raves. :)
First and foremost, there is a big controversy regarding the ingredients of these lip balms. You can learn more about this on Christine's website. Basically, Jack Black didn't include the whole list of ingredients on their previous packaging. Only later in time, when required by the new FDA rules, did they revamp the packaging to include the entire list of active and inactive ingredients and that's when people found out and became upset since they actually contain: Avobenzone (3.0%) and Octinoxate (7.5%) as sunscreen agents and Petrolatum (40.2%) as a skin protectant as well as Lanolin – a fatty substance found on sheep's wool and used as a base for ointments (source: google). There is also a study where they reported that Octinoxate accelerates the degradation of the already-unstable Avobenzone resulting in the release of free radicals and rendering both agents useless in providing sun damage protection. And on top of it all, they contain Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, and Isopropylparaben.
So, there you have it – the most important piece of information and a determining factor. If you are concerned about these ingredients, then simply move on to something else that you feel safer to use. As for me, I'm a lip balm junkie and I will try anything once. Honestly, I'm not affected by the ingredients at all. I've used these balms and I simply fell in love with them. They manage to keep my lips soft and conditioned the way I expected them to, and that's really all that matters to me. And if you are not bothered by the controversial ingredients, either, then let's read on. :)
I was first given a gift set of 4 flavors in a Sephora-exclusive It's The Balm Lip Quad set which includes:
- Natural Mint & Shea Butter – strong minty scent with cooling and tingling sensation
- Mango & Mandarin – sweet tropical fruity scent
- Shea Butter & Vitamin E – smells like vanilla to me
- Black Cherry & Pomegranate – smells just like black cherry!
I used them and loved them so much I had to go back the next day to grab the other 3 core flavors which are:
- Black Tea & Blackberry – blackberry scent, citrusy
- Grapefruit & Ginger – sweet and citrusy
- Lemon & Chamomile – sweet lemon, almost like lemon frosting (my favorite!)
Besides these 7, I believe they made a limited edition Açai Berry & Vanilla a while ago, too, which I missed. If it ever comes around again, you bet I'll definitely get one! :) And another limited edition Asian Pear & White Tea which is available now in a set from Nordstrom. As a side note, these scents are not overpowering at all, they are subtle and become unnoticeable upon application.
These balms are packaged in a cobalt blue plastic squeeze tube and a black lid with a slanted tip applicator. Hygienic and convenient and the slanted tip allows direct application from tube to lips. Each scent is color-coded on the packaging which I think is “cute“. I'd like to say the broad spectrum SPF of 25 is rather high for a lip balm and is a nice added bonus but if the study mentioned above is true, then it's probably not something you will benefit from. There is no obvious scent of sunscreen in the formula that I am aware of and it doesn't leave any white cast residues on the lips.
I am more impressed with the texture of these balms. It reminds me a lot of Vaseline but not as thick. The yellowish texture goes on transparent on the lips and I find the application very smooth, non-heavy, and non-greasy. It seems to sink into lips a little bit, too, as opposed to just sitting on the surface. It does leave just a hint of shine but not so much that you have to blot. My lips instantly feel smooth and moisturized after just one application. In addition to soothing chapped lips, it seems to help eliminate dry and flaky patches as well, so another big plus for me.
The moisture also lasts a long time. My lips are conditioned throughout the day without the need to reapply. I also use them at night before bed and when I wake up, my lips still feel super soft. I am just completely impressed with these balms. And by the way, if you are doing lots of lips swatches, apply this in between. It helps to protect lips from becoming overly dry and sore.
Lip balm is a product I use every day and it's simply a necessity for me so when I find a good one that works great, I become really excited. Despite the controversy, Jack Black lip balm is here to stay in my stash and with such affordable price, I find it addicting to use and I can't wait for them to release more flavors! :)