Truth about ChapStick® vs. Lip Balm

Truth about ChapStick® vs. Lip Balm
Truth about ChapStick'® vs Lip Balm

It's a question we get a lot: 'Is lip balm Chapstick'®?' The short answer is well'¦kinda. Simply put, 'lip balm' refers to a product and 'ChapStick' refers to a brand of that makes the product. If you're confused, rest assured you are most certainly not alone. In order to determine if ChapStick'® is indeed lip balm and vice versa, first we need to take a closer look at what exactly lip balm is.

What is ChapStick'®?

The ChapStick'®'¯story begins in the early 1880s with the now iconic ''¯black stick' ChapStick'®'¯lip balm. For over 130 years, ChapStick'®'¯Classic has remained America's Favorite Lip Balm. In fact, ChapStick'®'¯created the lip care product category! You'd be hard pressed to find any lip balms in the middle of the 19th century before ChapStick'®'¯came along. ChapStick'®'¯was so successful, so popular the now-iconic lip balm became a household name. You know how you don't often find yourself asking for a 'facial tissue' or a 'photocopy?' It's close to the same thing. The ChapStick'®'¯brand became nearly synonymous to lip balm in common, everyday speech.

Over the years, however, as consumer needs have changed, ChapStick'®'¯has changed, too. ChapStick's ever-expanding portfolio of products go beyond lip balms and explore innovative new ingredients, skincare benefits, flavors and different forms. Need a lip moisturizer with protection from the sun's UV rays? ChapStick'® provides Active 2-in-1 Unscented Lip Moisturizer with mineral-based SFP included. Need something a little more relaxing? The Chapstick '® Spa Collection with rose water, almond oil and mint tea flavors might be more your speed.

What is Lip Balm?

The skin on your lips is thinner and more delicate than the rest of your body. When exposed to cold weather, dryness, sun exposure, dehydration or excessive licking of your lips, they get dry and cracked'sometimes to a painful degree. Lip balm is a product used to ease this discomfort and shield your lips from the elements while your lips naturally heal.1

The Cambridge Dictionary'¯defines lip balm as 'a type of cream that is used to keep the lips soft or to help sore lips feel better.' Clearly, that covers a lot of ground, and it covers a lot of ChapStick'® products. 2

Lip Balm vs. ChapStick'®'¯vs. Lipstick vs. Lip Gloss

While we can say the general public uses ChapStick'®'¯as a shorthand to mean'¯ '¯lip balm, there are a number of other lip-focused products out there that aren't as closely related.

Lipsticks are products that are specifically designed to change the appearance of the color of your lips. While a number of lip balms out there do include a tinting ingredient that can alter the color of your lips, lipsticks don't necessarily treat sore lips or keep lips soft.

Lip gloss, similarly, is designed with the intention of changing the lips' appearance. Lip glosses can range from solid to translucent, and most of them emphasize shine over coloring. They can be used over lipsticks or on bare lips. Lip gloss is widely used by people who are looking to add some color to their lips with less of an opaque look than most lipsticks. Similar to lipstick, lip gloss can be formulated to add help keep lips moist, but that isn't usually their primary function.

As the cosmetics industry expands and evolves, we see more and more of these features from one line of products blended into others. Plus, this trend shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. When in doubt, try to figure out what the product's main goal is and how it's presented on the packaging.

We hope you now have a better understanding of what ChapStick'®'¯is and how it differs from'¯'¯'¯lip balm. But don't let semantics stand in your way of the full line of ChapStick'®'¯products. No matter who you are or where you are, ChapStick'®'¯is there for you.

  1. Chapped Lips. Cleveland Clinic. Accessed July 2023.
  2. Lip Balm. Cambridge University Dictionary. Accessed September 2023.

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