Let us answer your questions about Carmex® products, lip treatment and more. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, please feel free to contact us.

Formulation and Ingredients

Has Carmex® changed formula recently?

The formula for Carmex® Classic Lip Balm remains faithful to Alfred Woelbing’s original 1937 formula. Carmex® Classic Lip Balm is made in batches and some ingredients are natural, so the scent and color of each batch may vary slightly; the effectiveness of our medicated lip balms will not.

We always work to include the highest quality ingredients in our formulas. The purity and consistency of our ingredients are, in some instances, better and more pure than they were years ago. This increase in quality can change some of the original characteristics of the ingredient. For instance, the lanolin of years ago was darker and sometimes smelled musty; today’s light-yellow lanolin is almost odorless.

If you purchase a Carmex® product that you are not 100% satisfied with, we want to hear about it. We are also happy to replace any product that does not meet your expectations, or send you a refund if you provide us with proof of purchase. Learn more about our money-back guarantee.

Are the ingredients in Carmex® products safe?

Carma Laboratories uses only purified, high-grade ingredients in our cosmetic products. The ingredients used in Carmex® products are always purified refined grades that are safe for use and meet specifications appropriate for their inclusion in pharmaceuticals, foods, cosmetics and a variety of personal care products.

You may have read that petrolatum, mineral oil and paraffin wax are sometimes considered impure ingredients. However, the petrolatum used in Carmex® products is comprised of Snow-White Pet USP and the mineral oil is White Mineral Oil USP/NF, both of which have been highly refined and tested to be appropriate for use in a wide variety of cosmetics and personal care products in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan and other countries. The paraffin wax used in our products is manufactured to meet US FDA food additive regulations (21CFR172.886), the international Food Chemical Codex (FCC) monograph for purity and EU Cosmetics Regulation (1223/2009).

The safety of refined mineral oil or petrolatum has been confirmed by long-term use in various cosmetics and pharmaceuticals and proven through multiple competent studies, which show no toxic or carcinogenic response. We take the safety of our customer seriously and continuously monitor and stay apprised of studies, information and regulations to ensure the highest quality product.

Why does Carmex® tingle when you put it on?

Two natural ingredients in Carmex® Classic Lip Balmcamphor and menthol—give it a cooling effect and help relieve the irritation of dry, chapped lips.

Is Carmex® addictive?

No, there’s nothing in Carmex® Lip Balm that’s addictive. Take a look at the ingredient list on the label, per the FDA’s guidelines.

Does the formula change for the different forms of Carmex®?

All Carmex® products provide the same level of trusted performance that have been optimized for the various package forms.

What does SPF mean?

The SPF (sun protection factor) of a sunscreen is a measure of how well it protects the skin from sunburn.

Does Carmex dry out my lips?

We’re happy to report that Carmex lip balms do not dry out lips. In fact, when used according to directions, lips feel more hydrated and comfortable alleviating the need for constant reapplication. Carmex lip balm products contain only the highest quality ingredients. Pure ingredients such as cocoa seed butter, lanolin and beeswax provide deep emolliency and help keep lips feeling hydrated and looking healthy and smooth throughout the year. Camphor and white petrolatum also found in Carmex Classic lip balm products cool, soothe and protect dry-chapped lips and conform to the United States Food and Drug Administration monographs as safe and effective for use in medicated lip care products.

Carmex® stained my clothes in the wash. What do I do?

We recommend spot-treating with Era® Plus laundry detergent or Dawn® dish soap, allowing it to soak for about 30 minutes. Launder as usual, and repeat if necessary. You can also take your clothes to a dry cleaner. Be sure to tell them that the grease-based stains are petrolatum, lanolin, cocoa butter, beeswax and paraffin.

Manufacturing and Packaging

Is Carmex® tested on animals?

We never test on animals. Carmex® founder Alfred Woelbing believed animal testing to be uselessly and needlessly cruel, and that stance against animal testing has remained a part of our culture. All Carmex® products undergo a thorough chemical analysis before they leave our facility. Many Carma Labs Inc. products are available over the counter (OTC), and as such, we run specific analyses to ensure that all testing regulations and requirements by government jurisdictions, such as the FDA, are met and that our products are safe and effective for our consumers.

Has the shape of the jar changed recently?

We are constantly on the lookout for ways we can bring Carmex to you while being environmentally friendly. In 2010 we developed a “greener” Carmex jar, which uses 20% less plastic in every jar. But don’t worry! We would never compromise our lip balm, so we didn’t change the product or the amount. Now, there is simply less jar. This small reduction adds up quickly: we reduced our plastic by 70,000 pounds each year, and that annual reduction of 35 tons of plastic equates to less plastic to ship, which means less fuel will be used. Our favorite yellow jar is making the world a little greener!

Has the packaging changed recently?

Yes, you may notice that Carmex® Lip Balm products have a new look. We’ve taken an iconic classic and given it a modern twist. It’s fresh, sleek and represents the beginning of our next chapter in lip balm innovation.

Discontinued Products

Where did Carmex® Moisture Plus Lip Balm go?

After careful consideration, Carmex® decided to discontinue production of Moisture Plus® in the United States. This allowed us to focus on two innovative lip balm lines: Carmex Comfort Care™ lip balm, made with natural ingredients, and Carmex Daily Care™ lip balm, made in a variety of deliciously different flavors.

What happened to Carmex® skin care products?

The lip care experts at Carma Labs Inc. decided to focus on what we know best—innovating the next lip care breakthrough. To allow for this, production of Carmex® skin care products has been discontinued.

Where did some of the lip balm flavors go?

Certain Classic Lip Balm flavors have been discontinued to allow for the introduction of new flavors! Think of it as a rotating line up, and discover what’s available now.

Cold Sore Questions:

What’s the difference between Carmex® Cold Sore Treatment and Carmex® Classic Lip Balm?

Carmex® Cold Sore Treatment is designed solely for your cold sore—and not a treatment for your entire lip. It includes benzocaine to relieve pain and itch. Carmex® Classic Lip Balm is designed for all-over lip use and helps relieve both cold sore symptoms and dry, chapped lips.

Is Carmex® Cold Sore Treatment safe?

When used as directed, Carmex® Cold Sore Treatment is a safe and effective way to care for a cold sore for adults and children ages 2 and older. As with any medication, keep it out of the reach of children. Do not use this product if you have a history of allergies to local anesthetics such as procaine, butacaine, benzocaine or other “caine” anesthetics. Read the directions.

Cold Sore Facts

What is a cold sore?

A cold sore is caused by a viral infection usually on the lip area of your mouth. A cold sore outbreak can often last from 7 to 10 days, or longer. Even if properly treated, a cold sore outbreak will need to run its natural course. During this time, avoid squeezing, touching or picking at a sore, as this will only delay healing.

How do I get cold sores?

Cold sores are contagious and can be spread easily from person to person or even from one part of your body to another. If you have the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), you can get a cold sore any time. Stress, sun exposure and other cold sore triggers can cause outbreaks.

Are cold sores contagious?

The virus that causes cold sores is spread easily from person to person. Most people get it when they are children from an adult who is infected. The virus can be spread even without sores.

Are cold sores linked to the common cold?

A cold or flu accompanied by fever may trigger a cold sore, hence the term “fever blister.” It is thought that when battling a cold or the flu, one’s immune system may be weaker thereby allowing the HSV-1 virus to manifest into a cold sore.

Is there a difference between oral herpes and cold sores?

No. Oral herpes—commonly referred to as a cold sore or fever blister—is an infection on or around the lips or mouth area caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Learn more about cold sores.

What are cold sore symptoms?

Some people don’t feel any cold sore symptoms. But those who do may experience tingling, itching or burning at the site where the cold sore will erupt. Then painful blisters appear and break open on or around the lips. Learn more about cold sore symptoms.

What are cold sore stages?

There are 5 cold sore stages: tingle and itch, blister, open sore, scab and healing.

How do I get rid of cold sores?

Once you are infected by the HSV-1 virus, it is with you for life, though it’s often dormant. In fact, some people who carry the virus never get a cold sore. However, if your immune system becomes compromised, a cold sore may form. This is why cold sores tend to pop up when you’re sick or stressed. Sunburn may also cause a cold sore to erupt.

When should I see a doctor?

See a doctor if your cold sore symptoms don’t improve in 7 days; if irritation, pain or redness persists or worsens; or if you develop any swelling, a rash or a fever.

Cold Sore Myths

Do cold sores only affect lips?

While HSV-1 affects the lips or mouth, it can spread to the eyes or other areas through direct contact with someone who is infected.

Are cold sores and canker sores the same?

No, cold sores and canker sores are very different. Canker sores are types of ulcers that occur on the inside of the mouth, tongue or gums. The biggest difference between canker sores and cold sores is that canker sores are not caused by a virus, and are not contagious.

Is there a cure for cold sores?

No, cold sores are contagious from the first tingle until the sore is completely healed.

Are cold sores only contagious during the blister stage?

Caring for your lips is very important to us. Carma Labs Inc. commissioned its Scientific Advisory Board—made up of experts in dentistry, pathology, oral medicine, pharmacology and dermatology—to write a book about lip care. Download The Little Lip Book, or you can ask for a free copy by writing to:

ATTN: The Little Lip Book
Carma Laboratories, Inc.
5801 West Airways Avenue
Franklin, WI 53132

Learn more about the Scientific Advisory Board