The Chemistry of Chapstick


ChapStick is used to help with chapped lips and can protect your lips from UV rays. ChapStick is a commonly used thing. I use ChapStick all the time. My life is affected by ChapStick because it can make a world of a difference. You can definitely tell the difference from using it and not using it.

Composition of ChapStick

  • camphor (C10H16O)

  • beeswax (C15H31COOC30H61)

  • menthol (C10H20O)

  • petrolatum (CnH2N + 2)

  • phenol (C6H6O)

  • vitamin E

  • aloe

  • oxybenzone (C14H12O3)

Main Chemicals, Compounds, or Components:

  • Camphor - C10H16O

Formula Name -Trimethylbicyclo[2.2.1]heptan-2-one

Camphor is a waxy, flammable, white or transparent solid with a strong aromatic odor. It is found in the wood of the camphor laurel, a large evergreen tree found in Asia. This is what they form to put in the bottle with the waxy Camphor. Camphor has many uses.

  • Oxybenzone - C14H12O3

Formula Name - (2-Hydroxy-4-methoxyphenyl)- phenylmethanone

Oxybenzone is an organic compound. It is a white solid that is readily soluble in most organic solvents. It is used in many sunscreen lotions which explains why it is in Chapstick, since Chapstick is a type of sunscreen. Oxybenzone is a very good absorber. This is why it is so good as a sunscreen. It is one of the most widely used organic UVA filters in sunscreens today.

Camphor is chemically manufactured from turpentine oil. It used to made by distilling the bark and wood of the camphor tree.

Oxybenzone is produced by Friedel - Crafts reaction of benzoyl chloride with 3-methoxyphenol. Friedel-Crafts reaction is a set of reactions developed by Charles Friedel and James Craft.

Background Research

ChapStick is a brand name of lip balm. It is manufactured by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare and is used in many countries worldwide. ChapStick was made to prevent chapped lips and to help treat them if lips are chapped. Many varieties of ChapStick are made with sunscreen in them to prevent sunburn.

ChapStick was created in a kitchen with the process of mixing the solution, cooling it, and molding it into the sticks. This process still continues today, but has advanced throughout the years because of technology.


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About the Author

Kailey RoeslChemistry of ChapStick - Kailey.jpger is a junior at McCook Central High School. She enjoys being with friends and family in her free time. She participates in many things within high school as chemistry being one of them.