ChapStick Moisturizer

February 26th, 2019

If ChapStick Moisturizer advertises “8 Hour Moisture” but its own directions say to “reapply at least every 2 hours,” how long does one application actually last?

It really does seem like something you’d find on the SATs. (Remember this one: If train A leaves the station going 60 mph and train B leaves one hour later going 85 mph, how long will it take for train B to catch up with train A?) And TINA.org reader Andrew C. is still trying to figure out the answer.

“I frequently reapply this product,” Andrew wrote to TINA.org. “How can it claim 8 hours of moisture?”

Given that it is a lack of moisture in less humid winter months that causes lips to crack, a lip balm that seems to promise eight hours of moisture protection with one application is likely to appeal to consumers, even if it can’t deliver on that promise.

Not to worry, though, because a spokeswoman for ChapStick’s parent company, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, said in response to an inquiry by TINA.org that the product does indeed “provide up to eight hours of moisture for the skin on the lips.” She explained why the directions say to reapply every two hours:

Because this product contains SPF for sun protection, it is recommended the product be reapplied every two hours, per the guidance from the Food and Drug Administration for optimal sun protection.

Yet these federal guidelines are not found anywhere on the label. Moreover, the product’s use as a sunscreen seems secondary to its application as a moisturizer based on the “8 Hour Moisture” claim, not to mention the name of the product, ChapStick Moisturizer. Thus, directions to reapply every two hours have the potential to confuse.

Find more of our coverage on personal care products here.

This article was updated on 3/11/19.

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