Jack Black Lip Balm Ingredients – More Than You Think

Reader Lolaris asked me whether I had heard about an incident with Jack Black, concerning one of my most beloved products, their Lip Balm, in today’s Temptalia Asks You.  I hadn’t, but I was extremely disappointed with what I learned.  Jack Black Lip Balm was sold in tubes with shrink wrap packaging but no box.  On the back of each tube, there are ingredients, both active and “other” ingredients (I suppose that since it didn’t say “Inactive” I should have known it was incomplete…).  The list on the tube matches the list found on retailers like Sephora, SkinStore, etc. that have a breakdown of ingredients under “Ingredients.”

There are times where brands do not give out ingredient lists online about a product, and they may call attention to the most beneficial ingredients, but this is almost always done as a marketing method and as part of the description.  Jack Black, on the other hand, has a list of good-for-you ingredients that looks very much like the ingredient list.  After reading through some of the comments made by Jack Black on their Facebook page (not users’ comments, the brand’s comments addressing this incident), it is a disheartening event.

Jack Black indicated that they recently changed the packaging to comply with FDA regulations and apologized for causing confusion.  Here is their comment:

“The lip balm formula has not changed, what did change is the package labeling. We made a packaging labeling change recently, as required by FDA regulations, and that may have led to the confusion about some of the ingredients. We apologize for the confusion that was created when we made this change and are sending you a private message with more details.”

Not only is it extremely “confusing” to have ingredient lists on your product that look and feel like real ingredient lists (not “and includes good for ya things like shea butter and avocado oil!”) when it’s incomplete, but worsened when the retailers that carry your product are listing that same incomplete list as the seen on the tube.  How can you apologize for creating confusion when the real ingredient list is nowhere to be found–until it starts getting printed on the box? (I imagine it has something to do with the recent FDA regulations regarding SPF labeling.) There is no reference on the tube that for full ingredient list, contact the company, go online, etc. (And their website does not provide any ingredient list for the lip balm.)

Sephora lists it being free of a laundry list of ingredients/types of ingredients, and SkinStore listed it as fragrance-free (but there is “Parfum” in it) — so I don’t know if both retailers are going off of the ingredients’ list that they have posted for all the world to see in order to make these determinations.  The description of the product on Jack Black’s retail website does not make the claims re: ingredients that Sephora/SkinStore do. But even though the lip balm is now packaged with the full list of ingredients, I’d like to see retailers have updated ingredient lists listed online, too.

Ingredient Lists Found on Retailers’ Websites & Back of the Tube

Lemon & Chamomile Flavor

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Avobenzone 3.0%.

Other Ingredients: Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Persea Gratissima Avocado Oil, Prunus Amgdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

Actual Ingredients

Lemon & Chamomile Flavor

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Avobenzone 3.0%.

Inactive Ingredients:  Petrolatum, Laolin Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Ehylhexl Methoxycinnamate, Cera Alba, Ozokerite, Polyglyceryl-3 Beeswax, Butyl Methoxydibenzoyl-methane, Parfum, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, C18-38 Alkyl Hydroxystearoyl Stearate, Perse Gratissima (Avocado Oil), Tocopheryl Acetate, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Microcrystallina Cera, Cyclopentasiloxane, Camellia Sinesis Leaf Extract, Cyclohexasiloxane, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Citral, Citronellol, Coumarin, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalol

[This is another ingredient list that is printed on the back of the tubes.]

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Lanolin (13.5%), Octinoxate (7.5%), Petrolatum (40.2%).

Inactive Ingredients: Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Beeswax, Ozokerite, Polyglyceryl-3 Beeswax, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Persia Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, C18-38 Alkyl Hydroxystearoyl Stearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Cyclopentasiloxane, Microcrystallina Wax, Camellia Sinesis Leaf Extract, Cyclohexasiloxane


UpdateReader Emi took photos of her tube (you can check out the photos below), but noteworthy is that lanolin (13%) and petrolatum (40.2%) are listed as active ingredients.

As a customer/consumer, I didn’t buy the lip balm for the ingredients, but I am not a consumer who does more than a casual skim over of ingredient lists as I’m not particularly sensitive to ingredients and there is only one ingredient that I look to minimize (silicone). However, there are many people who do read ingredient lists thoroughly for a variety reasons that range from being informed, curious, to more serious ones – like a lifestyle choice that might involve not using certain ingredients for philosophical or health purposes. This is why having access to an ingredient list is important and necessary.

I could go on a real rant tangent right now about the general unavailability of ingredient lists online for products on a whole, which is something that I can’t believe isn’t required by law (it’s already on the packaging — why can’t you make it accessible on your website).   I will try to hold that back.  Consumers aren’t stupid, so don’t treat us that way.  Sorry for confusion? When your ingredient list is really double the length of what you have printed and published on the product people buy and in the places that people buy said product in, I think that amounts to more than confusion.

I would have bought and loved the lip balm if I had known the real ingredient list, because I don’t have a problem with what is in it.  But now I’m extremely disappointed because I’ve been recommending this particular product over and over again to readers who may be more concerned with the actual ingredient list.  I’m not ready to boycott, but it is a strike against them; something I will remember and keep an eye on, and I’ll be certainly be far more active about finding the next-best-lip-balm.

At the very least, it was serious and meaningful enough to me for the very fact that I’ve listed it as a holy grail beauty item for sometime, and I wanted to make sure that anybody that I may have recommended this to who also tried and enjoyed it, is aware of what exactly is in it, so they can determine if it’s still the right product for them.

P.S. —  I think all consumers want is a little truth in advertising, more realistic claims, and an apology if a brand has done something wrong–a little acknowledgement and promise to do better would go a long way. Most aren’t going to hold a lifetime grudge, but the more you treat your customer like they’re stupid, the more likely they will.