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."
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)
- Cetyl esters
- Theobroma cacao seed butter
- Salicylic acid
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."
"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."
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."
If you are looking for a lip balm that contains no animal by-products, the PETA website offers some options:
Answer SummaryCarmex lip balm is not vegan as it contains beeswax and lanolin, two animal-derived ingredients.