After extracting a promise (several times) that he would not share it and would not try anyone else's, I relented and bought a tube. Then I noticed this...
"Lift for Drug Facts"
Curious about that, I lifted the label. The adhesive ripped a layer of the label off and I wasn't able to read it. So, I just cut to the chase and visited one of my favorite websites, Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep, a cosmetic safety database. According to their evaluation of this product, it ranks 8 out of 10 on the scale of concerns (10 is highest concern). The high score is driven by its fragrance and an ingredient called methylparaben. Parabens are endocrine disruptors and methylparaben, in particular, has been linked to breast cancer. The Chapstick also contains artificial colors and saccharin.
Right, so he's not getting any Chapstick. Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm scored quite well but he didn't like the peppermint taste, so I decided to make my own. Here's how I did it.
Beeswax Lip Balm
Clean out a Burt's Bees Lip Balm tube, wash it thoroughly and set it out to air dry. Grate 2 teaspoons of all natural pure beeswax (it typically comes in bar form, or as "pearls"). Melt it in a small Pyrex dish in the microwave. Do this in 30 second increments and take it out as soon as it is melted - you don't want it to burn. To the melted beeswax, add 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of castor oil. Mix thoroughly, allow to cool for a minute, then pour into the dry lip balm tube. Place the tube in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. (Note: you could easily add an all natural flavor extract (vanilla, lemon, etc) to create a unique taste.)
He loved the taste and texture, and I love the fact that it's really and truly safe for him.
I later decorated the tube with his name in script. He loved that, too!