Friday, 1 July 2011

Product Review: Jack Black Natural Mint SPF 25 Lip Balm

If it hasn't already become patently obvious, I'm a big fan of SPF lip products, but only if they contain UVA protection (which most don't). This one fortunately does, in the form of Avobenzone. What seems like a fairly innocuous men's grooming product can also easily be used by women (but what a great gift for any man you adore), especially if the woman likes a minty smell and feel rather than the hyper girlie aesthetics of most women's products. What's stopping us? Exactly. 

It's other fabulous redeeming feature is the great moisture it provides, it has a high concentration of Shea Butter, which is fabulous for dry lips because it provides lipids to the top layer of skin and seals them in, so it works beautifully as a long lasting lip balm. I love thepackaging too, a nice squeeze tube from which you can take a little product and apply. No muss, no fuss. The problem is the high concentration of mint extract (called Aroma) on the ingredient list, which feels lovely, cooling and plumps the lips, but is unfortunately also a source of irritation. The irritation is what causes blood vessels to carry blood to the area and create that plump look, which I admit I like, but long term exposure to irritation on skin is also one of the primary causes of aging, which will result in thin, wrinkly lips later. Now mind you I'm not a smoker and am obviously a heavy user of sunscreen around the area, so I really don't worry about the irritation much. In comparison to the damage that those activities, and simple aging related degradation can do, irritation is not that big of a deal. However, it is truly unnecessary, so though I enjoy using this product, it wouldn't be my first choice above others which are kinder to the skin. For those who really don't mind aging a little bit prematurely (I admire you, just so you know) and do enjoy a minty feel and smell, well this would be a fabulous knockout choice.

Active Ingredients:
Octinoxate 7.5%: UVB protecting agent, provides the SPF rating of 25
Avobenzone 3.0%: UVA protecting agent, I love seeing a 3% concentration (that's the maximum) because it tells me that I'm well protected against aging UVA rays.
Other ingredients:
  1. Natural Mint Flavor (Aroma): A simple extract which provides that minty feel, I don't find the mint taste particularly strong, but you can really feel the concentration, which evidently from this list is pretty heavy
  2. Butyrospermum Parkii Fruit: This is the Shea Butter, again, the cornerstone of the great long lasting moisture of this product.
  3. Persea Gratissima Oil: Avocado oil, another great moisturizing ingredient, which isn't as rich as shea butter so it thins out the texture of the product a bit
  4. Camellia Sinensis Leaf extract: Green tea leaf extract, a great antioxidant, which is nice to see. In terms of antioxidant protection against aging, it depends on the specific antioxidant and what else the skin undergoes on a regular basis, but all things being equal, the irritation from the mint extract cancels out the positive contribution of the green tea.
  5. Tocopherol: Vitamin E, likely used as a preservative (which is fine in this case because the product is non-aqeous) and as an antioxidant. If it were in higher concentration it would also contribute to the emolliency of the product.

No comments:

Post a Comment