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Lip Balm Anonymous Presents the Industry of Addiction

Unpetroleum Lip Balm

Several companies have begun introducing lip balm products made without the petroleum products so common in most balms. These "natural" lip balms claim that they are a healthier alternative to the major brands. Lip Balm Anonymous checked out some of these companies and found them to be less than successful.

Autumn Harp Un-Petroleum Products

Autumn Harp Un-Petroleum Autumn Harp got the unpetroleum ball rolling in 1987. According to an Autumn Harp press release, founder Kevin Harper believes Un-Petroleum provides a natural alternative to the lip products which normally contain petroleum jelly, mineral oil, or paraffin. The company's Un-Petroleum Jelly is made from Amazonian bassu oil and vegetable waxes which are blended with Tanzanian or Zambian beeswax. Natural fruit flavors are added, with Original and Harvest Cherry flavors available.

The company is aggressively using the hard-sell to market their products. The company produces all lip care products for The Body Shop, a company known for fanaticism. They also try to gain entry into the community by using giveaways. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on January 21, 1996 that Autumn Harp named that city the winner of its second "Winter Heroes City" award (Boston won the first award). In addition to a certificate praising the snow removal workers, Autumn Harp also send them 500 sticks of lip balm. Autumn Harp marketing manager Christine Hoar said "they absolutely needed a morale boost." Yes, and what other kind of boost, Christine? How many of these 500 sticks ended up not with the workers, but on the street, or worse yet, in the hands of the workers' children? And, do we really want snow removal workers fumbling in their pockets for lip balm when they should be paying attention to icy conditions and their ten ton trucks?

Kevin Harper believes that people will "most health-conscious consumers will stop using petroleum products on their skin and lips once they have all natural alternatives." What Harper doesn't tell you is that the only healthy alternative is to use your lips' natural protection by stopping use of any kind of lip balm. After all, what could be more natural than that?

Autumn Harp's New Marketing "Push"

Autumn Harp has jumped on the kid's lip balm market with product called Smart Mouth Un-Petroleum Lip Balm. Touted as being "the only kids' lip balm made with lots of read, mouth watering flavors, natural plant oils and beeswax instead of petroleum, the same crude oil that is used to make gasoline and grease." Why even their display blister packs say they are targeting 8-12 year-olds! You know these lip balms are flavored, and what a list of flavors they are: Staw-Bee-Berry, Bee-Na Colada, Bumble Gum and Orange Bee'Nilla! We criticized Bonne Bell for providing a Pina Colada flavor, so it is only fair that we mention Autumn Harp's similar tactic. Not only are the flavors subtly telling kids it is ok to drink, it is also telling them that spelling doesn't matter!

But here's one thing Autumn Harp probably won't mention to the kids: the product contains Castor Oil. Yuck!

Autumn Harp Update from Andrew D.

Autumn Harp makes another flavor of lip balm -- "Citrus Sunscreen". It's SPF18, and i'm addicted to it. Not only do i use it on my lips, but it's also quite handy to use on your nose when you go snowshoeing or skiing.
Hey Andrew... maybe sticking lip balm up and around your nose isn't such a good idea. Who knows what will go up the nose next, right?


Saurus Sport

Saurus SportAnother example of the non-petroleum lip balm is Saurus Sport. They have a colorful logo on the top of their pot. While this product does not contain petroleum, their unique formula causes the balm to feel very much like rubber. No doubt, this cannot be popular with even the most addicted balm users.

This theory was played out when we tried to contact the company, listed on the package as being in Navarre, Florida. In fact, the company was nowhere to be found. Apparently, they are a casualty of the balm wars.


Last updated on May 28, 1997
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