At $2.79 a tube, Blistex's Deep Renewal Anti-Aging Treatment for lips just might be the most recession-ready beauty product in your anti-aging repertoire; I would, however, refrain from licking your lips too vigorously after application (which might be hard, because it just tastes so good -- saccharin, after all, is one of the ingredients -- like buttermint.)

Targeted to combat environmental stressors and the normal signs of aging, this chap-stick purports to "reduce visible signs of aging, deliver superb moisturization, and promote lasting lip health and vitality with consistent use."

I've just bought it today, so I can't give you any long-term results reviews just yet, but what I can say is that it makes my lips feel very, very nice.

The clinically-proven key note ingredients marketed in this formula are: Coenzyme Q-10 (the gold "tandard" for moisturization and overall revitalization according to their website), sodium hyaluronate (a la the hyaluronic filling spheres intended to give lips a fuller appearance), a "vita-collagen" antioxidant complex (to promote lasting lip health), light refractors (to improve lips luster and youthfulness), and SPF 15 sun protection.

As noble as these ingredients are, they just happen to fall to far down on the ingredient list to be that effective in this treatment.

What's more, I'm a bit confused as to the "vita-collagen" antioxidant complex. What I believe they are talking about is a substance you can read a little more about here: Atelocollagen: a "mediated synthetic small interfering RNA delivery for effective gene silencing in vitro and in vivo," according to the journal Nucleic Acids Research.

As stated: "Atelocollagen is a highly purified pepsin-treated type I collagen from calf dermis. Collagen is a fibrous protein in the connective tissue that plays an important role in the maintenance of the morphology of tissues and organs. A collagen molecule has an amino acid sequence called as telopeptide at both N- and C-terminals, which confers most of the collagen's antigenicity. Atelocollagen obtained by pepsin treatment is low in immunogenicity because it is free from telopeptides (12), and it is used clinically for a wide range of purposes, including wound-healing, vessel prosthesis and also as a bone cartilage substitute and hemostatic agent (13). We have demonstrated previously that Atelocollagen complexed with DNA molecules was efficiently transduced into mammalian cells (14) and allowed long-term gene expression (15). Since Atelocollagen allows increased cellular uptake, nuclease resistance and prolonged release of genes and oligonucleotides (13), an Atelocollagen complex is applicable for an efficient delivery of siRNA in vitro. Furthermore, Atelocollagen displays low-toxicity and low-immunogenicity when it is transplanted in vivo (13,16). Thus, our gene delivery method using an Atelocollagen implant should permit safe and efficient siRNA-mediated gene silencing in therapeutic applications."

Promising, indeed.  And also high enough up on the ingredient list for it to be effective.

Another ingredient inclusion that I like is the olive-derived squalene: A super-absorbant antioxidant that also prevents UV damage and the formation of age spots, promotes cell growth and is an antibacterial. Also in animal tests, at 100% concentrations, it was non-irritant to rabbit skin and eyes. Perhaps this is the antioxidant component of the vita-collagen antioxidant complex? That with tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (a stable vitamin C ester) and tocopheryl acetate, aka vitamin E.

As is dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline, a plant-derived ingredient that provides firming action to the skin. While there is not much independent information out there, I did find from one source this: "Dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline (DPHP) is a combination of an amino acid (hydroxyproline) and a lipid (palmitic acid or alcohol). It seems to be one of the widely used new anti-aging ingredients, especially in lip plumping products. The claim is that it firms the skin (through an action on collagen fibres), protects the dermal matrix, also is a free radical scavanger and helps moisturize. It seems to be well tolerated by the skin, in the same vein as previously discussed similar products - that much is known for now."

Also nice for moisturization is lanolin alcohol (not quite the allergen once thought to be) and octyldodecanol (which is nice for sensitive skin).

Lastly, sodium chondroitin sulfate is an anti-inflammatory, which prevents loss of proteoglycans (a special class of glycoproteins can be found in the ground substance in connective tissue of human beings).

Dimethicone, #1 on the ingredient list, is what primarily gives this formula its glossy, lip-protectant capabilities, while octinoxate and oxybenzone are what brings it the SPF protection. Both of these suncreen ingredients have been shown to be toxic, but with the former only in concentrations not thought to be readily absorbed by the skin. Oxybenzone, on the other hand, has the British Medical Journal linking it to cancer, while another Australian study published in the Lancet showing that it can be absorbed through skin. Not something you particularly want so close to your mouth, to say the least.

Besides this, as well as with the inclusion of the noxious phenoxyethanol, the only other ingredient that gives me pause is PTFE, or polytetrafluoroethylene. You might better know this by its brand name Teflon, an ingredient more commonly used as a non-stick coating for pans and other cookware. Although it has been shown to be non-toxic, and is sometimes used in dermatology in the form of implants for facial augmentation, I still find it funny here.  Maybe it's just because I've become a bit of an organic snob.

Nevertheless, at less that $3, this is definitely a good buy.

Ingredients:

Dimethicone, octinoxate, oxybenzone, atelocollagen, beeswax, butylene glycol, dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline, ethyhexyl palmitate, flavor, jojoba esters, lanolin alcohol, microcrystaline wax, octyldodecanol, pentaerythrityl tetraisostearate, petrolatum, phenoxyethanol, polybutene, polyethylene, PTFE, ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, saccharin, silica dimethyl silylate, sodium chondroitin sulfate, sodium hyaluronate, sorbic acid, squalene, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, tocopheryl acetate, ubiquinone.