Thursday, May 26, 2011


Is Carmex a required rite of passage for west coasters?

I had never heard of the mentholated little yellow tub before moving to Oregon from Florida.

Everybody in P-town had a little round tin of the stuff in their purse or back pocket. People swore by this stuff, even got addicted to it. Therefore, it must be good!

I started using Carmex when I saw that everyone else was. Typical, I know.

People had that Carmex ring imprint on the back pocket of their jeans, similar to the ring left by a tin of chewing tobacco, which is charming.

I also fell into the “everybody else was doing it” phase during this period of my life with Birkenstocks, Baja pullover shirts, and Grateful Dead concerts. I lived in Oregon now.

Now I am a hippie.

The original jar has been available since 1937 – and I believe it.

The Carmex formula claims to do three things:

• Keep lips soft
• Protect from Wind and Sun
• Help Heal Chapped Lips

Here is the deal. You would have to be in one hell of a windstorm to warrant ever having to put this stinky medicine on your mouth. The sun would have to be molten hot and the closest to the Earth it has ever been to suck enough moisture out of your pucker to need this much moisturizing. I guess the tingling (aka burning) feeling you get when you put it on must mean its working. Or making your lips more chapped so you will continue to buy more little tubs of it.

There are so many better smelling options out there I can’t imagine why one would ever choose Carmex. Nivea makes a really nice lip balm and so does Burt's Bees at around the same price point. Oh, and did I mention that besides being a lip balm Carmex is also a cold sore reliever? If you have those peeling wind/sun ravaged lips and herpes too, you’re all set.

I remember making out with a guy in college who was not only a bad kisser but a Carmex addict. Who wants to kiss someone that smells and tastes like the medicine cabinet? Guess what? That was our one and only make out session – I can’t for the life of me tell you his name, but I remember his Carmex mouth coming at me and that ring on his back pocket.


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