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Lip Balm Anonymous Presents the Industry of Addiction

Mentholatum Co.

Mentholatum has a very diverse line of lip balm related products. They are quickly become major players in the industry, so beware of their next marketing tactic. The Mentholatum Co. is headquartered in Buffalo, New York. This certainly explains why they are such major players in the industry. Winters are cold in Buffalo, and it is hard to break addictions when you are miserable from the cold.

"Natural" Ice

Mentholatum Natural Ice Lip Balm Natural Ice is Mentholatum's mainstream balm product, competing with the likes of Carmex and Blistex. And how nice the name is... "natural ice." Of course, anyone bothering to read the label will this is a crock. The product contains fragrance, lanolin, menthol, mineral oil, ozokerite, and petrolatum. See anything "natural" on that list? I didn't think so.

Mentholatum claims this product "delivers" on several promises. What they don't tell you is that the cooling sensation is nothing more than the menthol, which does nothing to protect your lips. And by explicitly saying they are targeting heavy users, we now know that balm addicts are indeed a favorite marketing target.

  • The cooling sensation of Natural Ice tells you it's working.
  • Appeals to heavy users, active adults, outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Heals and protects from sun/wind/cold.


Mentholatum Softlips Lip BalmAs the illustration shows (taken from Mentholatum's marketing brochure) the product is designed to appeal to women. Introduced in 1990, the product is available in three flavors: cherry, mint, and UV 17 sun protection. Mentholatum says that "the slimline applicator is instantly recognizable and helps to reinforce a position of quality and serious lip care protection." There's also a line of Softlips Sheer Color (not shown). These products are "bridging the gap between costmetic and health and beauty aid segments" according to Mentholatum, containing a hint of light color. This changes the nautural appearance of a woman's lips, yet it supposedly "enhances each woman's natural lip color." How can something alters nature enhance it?

Mentholatum Softlips Moisture Lip Balm The newest addition to the Softlips line is Softlips Moisture. This product is designed to be used under lipstick. They claim the use of this product will reduce the drying effects of lipstick. Yet they don't say that even if you use this product your lips will try out anyway. This is a clear example of the Industry of Addiction creating a need that isn't really there. And their misleading marketing only makes the problem worse!

Last updated on May 28, 1997
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