Carmex is a topical lip balm which claims to reduce cold sores and dry chapped lips, supplied in a characteristic white container with a yellow cap. Carmex has been manufactured by Carma Laboratories in Franklin, Wisconsin since 1937, and is also available in a screw-capped tube. Its active ingredients include menthol, camphor, and phenol (an anesthetic). Also included are fragrance in petrolatum, natural lanolin, cocoa butter, salicylic acid, and a wax base. Many users find the menthol and camphor produce a cool, soothing sensation when applied.
It was created by Alfred Woelbing in the early 1930s, who sold it from the trunk of his car. Popularity increased through word-of-mouth. In 1972, Alfred discontinued making sales calls, which had mostly been in Wisconsin, Illinois and parts of Indiana. Alfred's son Don joined the business in 1973 and introduced assembly lines to Carma Labs. A new facility was built due to lack of space in 1976. Squeezable tubes were made in 1988. Also in 1998, pharmacists ranked Carmex lip balm #1 in a national survey of over-the-counter lip balms, giving Carma Laboratories an Achievement Award from Pharmacy Times magazine, beginning a nine-year consecutive winning streak. In 2002, Mint flavor Carmex lip balm with SPF 30 joined original Carmex lip balm in the product line, and Carmex lip balm became available throughout North America, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Europe and Asia. During 2006, Internet voters picked strawberry and cherry as the newest Carmex lip balm flavor additions.