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A tube of ChapStick

ChapStick is the brand name adopted in the United States, Australia, Canada, and United Kingdom by Wyeth Consumer Healthcare for its range of lip balms produced to be used on chapped lips. Due to ChapStick's popularity, the term has become a genericized trademark, used to refer to any lip balm contained in a lipstick-style tube and applied in the same manner as lipstick; however, the term is still a registered trademark, with rights exclusively owned by Wyeth.

ChapStick comes in several different varieties, each with its own flavor and stylized applicators. Various formulations include the Classics, Moisturizers, Medicated, Flava-Craze, Overnight, and All-Natural.

Chapstick is sometimes available in special flavors developed in connection with marketing partners such as Disney (as in cross-promotions with Winnie the Pooh or the movie Cars) or with causes, such as Breast Cancer Awareness (as in the "Susan G. Komen Pink Pack"). The "Flava-Craze" line is marketed to children, with colorful applicators and "fun" flavors such as "Grape Craze," "Blue Crazeberry," and "Watermelon Splash."

Any given ChapStick may contain camphor, beeswax, menthol, petrolatum, phenol, Vitamin E, and aloe. However, there are hundreds of variants of ChapStick, each with its own composition. Hundreds of generic lipbalms also exist, each with their own varieties and flavors, meaning there are several thousand Chapstick and Chapstick-like products available to consumers.


ChapStick functions as both a sunscreen, available with SPFs as high as 30, and a skin moisturizer and lubricant to help prevent and protect chafed, chapped, sunburned, cracked, and windburned lips.

"Medicated" varieties also contain analgesics to relieve sore lips.

History of ChapStick

In the early 1870s, Dr. Charles Browne Fleet [1], a physician and pharmacological tinkerer from Lynchburg, Virginia, invented ChapStick as a lip balm. The handmade product, which resembled a wickless candle wrapped in tin foil, was sold locally, but did not have much success.

In 1912, John Morton, also a Lynchburg resident, bought the rights to the product for five dollars. In their family kitchen, Mrs. Morton melted the pink ChapStick mixture, cooled it, and cut in into sticks. Their lucrative sales were used to found the Morton Manufacturing Corporation.

In 1963, The A. H. Robins Company acquired ChapStick from Morton Manufacturing Corporation. At that time, only ChapStick Lip Balm regular stick was being marketed to consumers; subsequently, many more varieties have been introduced. This includes ChapStick flavored sticks in 1971, ChapStick Sunblock 15 in 1981, ChapStick Petroleum Jelly Plus in 1981, and ChapStick Medicated in 1992. Picabo Street is commonly seen on television commercials as one of the company's endorsers.



Microphones in ChapStick tubes, used by E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy during the burglary in the Watergate building.
  • US Olympic skier Suzy Chaffee starred in ChapStick commercials on television in which she dubbed herself "Suzy ChapStick." [3]


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