A few chemicals in the Classic ChapStick formula include methylparaben, butylparaben, butylated hydroxytoluene, and synthetic colors and dyes. Many lip balms, ChapStick included, contain chemical sunscreens such as oxybenzone or octisalate, which are known to cause major issues to the body's hormonal systems.
Parabens found in ChapStick are known to increase the risk for breast cancer and decrease the functionality of the male reproductive system. Notably, methylparaben has been found to block the healing effects of the breast cancer drug tamoxifen. Synthetic colors and dyes are derived from coal tar and are known to deposit toxins into the skin, causing skin irritation and sensitivity.
Animal testing has shown nearly all synthetic colors and dyes to be carcinogenic. Butylated hydroxytoluene, or BHT, is an endocrine disruptor, meaning it mimics the effects of estrogen in the body. BHT is linked to reproductive and developmental toxicity. Chemical sunscreens such as oxybenzone seep into the skin and, like BHT, mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. For women, this means potential endometriosis. For men, this chemical can alter sperm reproduction. For a more natural lip balm ingredient, zinc oxide protects against the sun's harmful rays.
Lip balms containing the ingredients labeled "fragrance" and "flavor" are utilizing a major loophole in the FDA's federal laws. Nearly any chemical can be concealed by law using these words as masks.