Kiss Balm SPF 20
In the world of lip balms, we're always excited to see one that offers sun protection in addition to moisturizing properties. Your lips need sun protection as much as any other part of your face or body that is exposed to daylight! The problem is that this balm from Revlon just doesn't have what it takes to give your lips the love they deserve.
Kiss Balm SPF 20 has fun packaging that's reminiscent of balm products for kids or teens: Each of the six varieties of balm offered comes in a brightly-colored "chubby stick" style packaging that features an image of the fruit it's supposed to smell like.
That fruity smell is the first problem with this product. Flavors like apple, peach, and cherry sound appealing, but the scent is artificial, almost like candy (and it lingers for a while). Not only that, but fragrance and flavor in products isn't ideal because that fragrance has the potential to aggravate skin (see More Info for the details).
Then there's the issue that while this does provide broad spectrum protection, the SPF 20 rating is below the SPF 30 that most medical experts in the U.S. and abroad recommend when it comes to daily sun protection (see More Info for the scoop on that, as well).
The rest of the ingredients here are pretty standard emollients you'll find in most lip balms, which do serve to make lips feel moisturized. Each shade also has an attractive soft sheen and light tint for a pretty, "just bitten" lip stain effect.
Even so, those positives don't mean this is worth your money, even at this balm's bargain price. You'll find better options on our list of Best Lip Balms & Treatments.
- Makes lips feel moisturized.
- Attractive soft sheen and "just bitten" stain effect.
- SPF 20 is below the minimum recommended level of protection by current medical standards.
- Has a strong artificial fruit scent that lingers.
Why Fragrance is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.
This leads to all kinds of problems, including disruption of skin's healthy appearance, worsening dryness, redness, depletion of vital substances in skin's surface, and generally keeps skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.
A surprising fact: Even though you can't always see the negative influence of using products that contain fragrance has on skin, the damage will still be taking place even if it's not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see or feel the effects on your skin for your skin to be suffering. This negative impact and the visible damage may not become apparent for a long time.
References for this information:
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1,410-1,419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166-175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77-80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821-832
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement pages 1-43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446—475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, issue 11, pages 789-798
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, issue 4, pages 191-202
Sunscreens Rated Lower than an SPF 30: An extensive body of research and a growing number of medical organizations around the world have determined that a sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater is mandatory to ensure adequate sun protection.
While a sunscreen will provide protection at the SPF number on the label and may claim broad spectrum protection, we will always point out when it doesn't meet the standard of being an SPF 30 or greater because of how important it is for the health of your skin.
References for this information:
Journal of Clinical Oncology, September 2016 , ePublication
Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, August 2014, issue 4, pages 212-219
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, May 2008, issue 5 supplemental, pages S149-154
Strengths: Superior foundations with sunscreen and each of them provide sufficient UVA protection (though one has a disappointing SPF 6); several outstanding concealers and powders; one of the best cream blushes around; great cream eyeshadow and liquid eyeliner; a beautiful selection of elegant lipsticks, lip gloss, and lipliner; some worthwhile specialty products.
Weaknesses: Average eye and brow pencils; inaccurate claims surrounding their Botafirm complex; mostly average to disappointing mascaras.
It may surprise some of you to know that Revlon has been around since 1932, when the company launched a unique nail polish that used pigments instead of dyes. Lipsticks followed years later, and then a full line of cosmetics, which is how we know Revlon today. Although the company has had its continual share of ups and downs over the years (largely due to out-of-control debt coupled with aggressive spending), the line has recently made numerous improvements, especially in the realms of foundations, powders, eyeshadows, and mascaras. If their goal was to close the competitive gap between themselves and L'Oreal, for the most part they have succeeded. Revlon definitely has the edge for foundations with reliable sunscreens. But despite Revlon's attempt to improve their mascara range, L'Oreal remains the clear winner (as well as L'Oreal-owned Maybelline New York).
Revlon's vast selection of makeup is divided into three main brands: Age Defying for the forty-something and older woman concerned about wrinkles, ColorStay for the teen to mid-thirties woman concerned about keeping oily skin in check and making sure her makeup stays put, and PhotoReady for women of all ages. These brands present some outstanding options and include products for all skin types (although the range of skin tones is not as well-represented here as it is by L'Oreal).
An intriguing fact is that the longevity claims for ColorStay are quite accurate: this collection of products really does offer extraordinary staying power. Conversely, Revlon jumped on the works-like-Botox bandwagon with their Age Defying range, going so far as to name their antiwrinkle complex Botafirm. Is there any confusion about what that term is supposed to relate to? Despite the claims, Botafirm won't reduce expression lines or control the muscles that cause them, though the products themselves do have many impressive qualities.
Note:Revlon is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Revlon may not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they dont test on animals unless required by law. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Team.
Suffice it to say, Revlon has more commendable products than ever before, and although they rely heavily on celebrity spokespersons, their best products ably speak for themselves.
For more information about Revlon, call (800) 473-8566 or visit www.revlon.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.