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Christmas '13 was a strange one for my family, my Nana is terminally ill, and has been living with my Mum and Step Dad since late October under the care of a team of carers and nurses trained in palliative care. As as a result the house feels at times like a public space not a home, so my Step Dad decided that my Mum needed a holiday as soon as he could find cheap flights to Tenerife where they have a second home, but he decided that Mum really didn't need a relaxing trip so he also booked my sister and I flights as a Christmas present. My packing tends to be on the light side at the best of times but I'd not long finished my last decent lip balm containing SPF so knew that it was pretty much the only thing I'd need to seek out before the trip, so on a visit to Tesco with my Dad I sougt out the section for lip balms and picked up the one with the highest SPF.
That one happened to be the Vaseline lip care cocoa butter stick with an SPF of 15 over the likes of Chapstick who these days have an SPF of only 10. My past experience with vaseline products has been on the whole positive so I was happy to try out the new to me product for which I paid £2.
The stick is a typical lipstick style tube with a solid stick of vaseline which twists up and down. The lid seems to clip quite securely over the top which is reassuring as I've lost several lipbalms to assorted dirt and muck in my pockets or bags after the lids have come loose.
So the product itself, is a creamy brown coloured stick, the scent is similar to traditional vaseline but with a slight sweetness to it. Rubbing it across my lips it feels quite greasy, in the same way that original vaseline does, and it is detectable on my lips for a fairly long period of time after applying as long as I'm not eating, drinking or swimming. Of course having bought this for my holiday I knew I would be swimming regularly and spending time on the beach where I find that my face in particular will come off worst in the battle between sun and skin so a lip balm which felt like it was staying put was a bonus.
The downside to the lip balm for me is that it has a taste - even breathing in through my mouth leaves a taste of it in the back of my throat which is not overly pleasant, not to mention the issue of being on a black sand beach on an usually windy day - my face was sandblasted, my lips just had sand stuck to them, and the taste of the salt stuck to the balm on my lips after a swim. The salt on my lips after swimming was one of my biggest bugbears, unlike most people I tend to get in the water and swim for at least 40 minutes so going in with no sun protection on my face and lips is absolutely not an option but with a balm which does stay put the accumulated salt is quite nasty to taste.
After a week of constant use the balm is barely used at all so I would imagine it will last me at least another month if I was to use it daily, of course in a warmer climate it felt lighter and greasier when applied but using it back here since I've been home although the stick is harder it still remains greasy feeling on the skin and hasn't really done much to moisturise my skin, since coming home my lips have suffered from tight dry skin despite using the lip balm regularly and having ensured that I have remained well hydrated throughout my holiday and since I returned.
I will say however that in terms of an SPF it has been entirely successful, most trips out to Tenerife I end up with a sunburned face and lips even in the winter months, this time out I came home with slightly tender shoulders but no problem with my face or lips so the Lip Therapy has at least lived up to that claim, however I think the next time I travel I'll find another product with similar or greater SPF to try as the general greasiness and lack of moisturisation provided by this product makes it low on my list of things to try using again.
My £2 bought a 4g tube of balm which is a pretty typical price, and its effectiveness in preventing my lips from burning in the sun gain it stars. But the greasiness, back of the throat taste and stickiness lose it stars leaving it with an over all of 3.
My lips are always dry so I'm constantly using lip balms to try to make them soft and supple. I own several different balms which are all kept in different places around the house and in various pockets and bags but I've never found one that made a big enough difference to my lips for me to stick to using it. I picked up this new Vaseline Cocoa Butter Lip Therapy Stick in Boots for £2.03.
It comes in the usual twist up stick format that you come to expect from lip balm sticks. The lid just pulls off really easily, but it doesn't fasten securely, it doesn't click back into place as you would expect, so it can easily come off in your pocket or bag. Turn the bottom of the stick and the balm twists smoothly up ready for use.
This lip therapy stick is not in any way like the Vaseline cocoa butter tin which is essentially just vaseline with a bit of added cocoa butter. This has a very creamy, buttery texture and none of the greasiness of vaseline. It smells lovely, a delicate creamy cocoa butter scent.
It goes onto the lips easily and smoothly and feels very creamy, and not greasy or heavy. Of course you can choose how much to put on but I find just one swipe of the stick over my lips is easily enough to leave them feeling soft, smooth and moisturised. If you want more intense moisturisation from it you can put more on, I sometimes do this at night before I go to bed, layering it on quite thickly, and I wake up in the morning to amazingly soft, smooth lips!
I find this balm really effective and I don't need to keep reapplying it throughout the day like I do with other balms. I can apply this in the morning and my lips feel soft and smooth all day, unless the weather is particularly drying in which case I need to reapply just once during the day. Unlike a lot of lip balms that feel as though they're just sitting on top of the skin, this one really feels like it's absorbing into the skin to moisturise as well as leaving a protective layer on top of the skin.
I've been using this for about a month now and I can honestly say that it's made my lips much better and they don't get dry like they used to. It's also lasting really well and has barely gone down at all despite me using it at least twice a day. It's definitely the best lip balm I've used so far and I'll be buying another when this one runs out.