Thursday, December 07, 2006

Guest Post! Solar Recover: Hydrate & Heal

Occasionally Chaptastic will hand the reigns over to a guest poster, someone we feel has the precise perceptive skills and subtle palate necessary to properly review a certain lip balm. The application process is exhaustive and includes key questions such as, "Do you have lips?" and "Have you ever used lip balm before?" and "Can you type?" It's a thankless job with absolutely no perks, because, as with most things in life (school, marathons, sex), the experience is the reward.

Today's guest poster is Alex, a geologist cum* math teacher and future Wyoming ski bum and Argentine resident. He also happens to be an old friend from RI and a wonderful 11th grade Homecoming date, but that in no way helped him obtain this prestigious selection as our first ever Guest Poster. Alex picked up this stick in preparation for his cross country trip to the great WY, where he'll soon be able to test its harsh weather effectiveness on the slopes.

Take it away, Alex!

Price: $3.00

Appearance: Craptacular. Especially the picture of floating disembodied lips in the center of the sun. The graphic looks like it came from the unholy union of Rocky Horror and It Came From Outer Space.

Glide: At room temperature there is just a little resistance to glide. After an hour in my pocket it glides like butter on a bald man’s head.

My first impression was, “this tastes like sucking on a pine tree.” As I got used to it (and after reading the ingredients) I recognized the aroma not as pine sap but floral essential oils. Sure they’re all natural, but they’re so concentrated they don’t smell like flowers at all. More like Pine-Sol than a “breezy summer’s day.” From the website:

Most lip balms are scented or flavored with berry, pina colada or mint which doesn't contribute anything to healing and hydrating. They simply make lip balms more palatable like food which actually contributes to licking lips which can only add to dehydration. Our blend of essential oils actually heals and hydrates while discouraging licking your lips.

Unless, of course, you fancy the flavor of fir...

Lasting Power: Energizeresque. Something must be absorbing, because it definitely softens my lips, but somehow a film of balm manages to persist hours after application. I put some on before bed last night and when I woke up I could still feel it on my lips. Wiping the lips or eating it off seem to be the only ways to make it give up the ghost. A great winter stick – right up there with my snowboarding fave Dermatone (not coffee flavor).

Product Plusses: All natural ingredients: soy oil, beeswax, coconut oil, jojoba oil, calendula (marigold extract), lavender oil, vitamin E, and geranium oil. Plus their slogan is cute, “The only animals we test on are ourselves.”

This is not some frou-frou lip balm with snazzy flavors and color graphics on the tube. This is the workhorse of the chapstick industry. In fact, I would assert that Solar Recover leaves the realm of recreational chapstick and enters the territory of medicinal balm. For me this was a plus, as I was battling a nasty head cold when I tried it.

Perhaps it was the fifth of NyQuil I drank, but after rubbing my nose raw with my budget tissues I thought that Solar Recover might help my chapped nose. It’s called “Hydrate and Heal”, right? Boy, did it ever work. If it wasn’t so gross sounding, I would suggest they call this stuff nose-balm. It soothed my achin’ nose and the essential oils cleared my sinuses with each breath I took (like a natural VapoRub). The only downside was getting chapstick in my mustache (a problem I share with this guy). That and now nobody wants to borrow this stick.

A medicinal chap good for the winter cold season. 3.5 out of 5 tubes.

*Oh, come on. Latin, not Urban Dicitonary meaning.


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