Is Carmex Vegan Friendly?

No, it contains animal ingredients.

Question

I wrote the other day regading vegan ChapStick. What about Carmex?

Asked by Sam On Dec 30, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Dec 30, 2018
Carmex tube with reflection

Overview

No, Carmex is not vegan since it contains two ingredients from animals:
  • Beeswax
  • Lanolin

Lanolin, also known as or wool wax/grease, is derived from secretions of the sebaceous glands of sheep.

Its main functions are as a protectant and emollient. Emollients form an oily layer on the top of the skin that traps water. This prevents drying and has an overall hydrating effect.

The Drug Information Portal, provided by the U.S. National Library Of Medicine, defines lanolin as:

"A yellow fat obtained from sheep's wool. It is used as an emollient, cosmetic, and pharmaceutic aid."
U.S. National Library Of Medicine

Additionally, Carmex contains beeswax, which of course is derived from bees.

Here is the complete ingredient list for Carmex Classic Medicated Lip Balm:

  • Camphor 1.70% (External Analgesic)
  • White Petrolatum 45.30% (Lip Protectant)
  • Lanolin
  • Cetyl esters
  • Theobroma cacao seed butter
  • Paraffin
  • Beeswax
  • Menthol
  • Salicylic acid
  • Phenol
  • Vanillin
  • Flavor

The manufacturer website for Carmex has additional information on their animal derived ingredients. For beeswax:

"All natural wax that comes from honeybees. Beeswax locks in moisture and helps keep skin plump and firm. Beeswax effectively softens and coats the skin. A naturally nourishing moisturizer."
Carmex FAQ

For lanolin:

"Lanolin falls into the lipid-rich emollient class of moisturizers. Lanolin forms an oily layer on the top of the skin that traps water in the skin. One of the causes of dry skin is a lack of lipids, which allows water to escape. Lanolin absorbs moisture from the air around it, rejuvenating skin."
Carmex FAQ

When considering lip balms for their animal by-products, how they are tested is also of importance.

The Carmex website states the following regarding animal testing:

"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."
Carmex FAQ

If you are looking for a lip balm that contains no animal by-products, the PETA website offers some options:

Answer Summary

Carmex lip balm is not vegan as it contains beeswax and lanolin, two animal derived ingredients.

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References

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of PharmacistAnswers.com. He graduated from the University At Buffalo with a Doctor Of Pharmacy degree in 2010. He has been featured in several publications including the Huffington Post as well as a variety of health and pharmacy related blogs. Please feel free to reach out to him directly if you have any questions or want to connect! Brian.Staiger@PharmacistAnswers.com; Office: 716-389-3076

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