If you’ve been searching for a reliable multi-purpose skincare product lately, you must have come across the name “Bag Balm” by now.
After all, this cream is one of the most widely used skincare products in the country. But then, that’s not enough if you want to figure out whether it’s the right one for your needs.
What Is Bag Balm?
Bag balm is a popular moisturizing cream designed to treat multiple skin conditions, including cuts, sunburns, and hard cuticles. In fact, it’s a highly effective skin healing ointment for dogs, too. Manufactured by the century-old brand Vermont’s Original based in Lyndonville, this cream is made using a combination of two petroleum derivatives, lanolin, and an antiseptic.
Interestingly, this salve was originally used to treat a post-milking irritation in dairy cow udders, often referred to as “cake bag.” But it was introduced as a skin cream in 1900 by a Lyndonville-based farmer who discovered it could also cure dry skin conditions during cold weather.
What Are The Ingredients Of Bag Balm?
Here’s a brief look at each of the ingredients of Bag Balm, which will help you understand how they’ll impact your skin.
Also referred to as wool grease or wool wax, Lanolin is a greasy yellow substance secreted by the oil glands of some wool-bearing animals like sheep. It protects the skin and wool of these animals from harsh weather conditions.
Consequently, this substance is used in several skincare products in the belief that it can protect the human skin against drying, chapping, and other similar skin ailments. Speaking of its chemical composition, it is actually a long-chain ester consisting of cholesterol and is quite similar to the oils secreted by the human skin.
Lanolin also has ample lipids, which may help prevent the loss of water from the skin through evaporation. As such, it can keep the skin moisturized and promote healing.
Alternatively called petroleum jelly, this substance forms a major part of Bag Balm and is said to further reduce the transepidermal water loss. It has a melting point close to our body temperature, which is why it softens on application and forms a moisture-repelling film around the part where it’s applied.
As a result, petrolatum prevents the skin moisture from evaporating and facilitates water buildup in the outermost layer, ultimately enhancing skin hydration.
And the benefits don’t end here. According to the Journal Of Allergy And Clinical Immunology, petrolatum has been found beneficial for treating post-ambulatory surgical skin infections. This is why it’s widely used as an ointment after minor surgical procedures.
3. Paraffin Wax
The other petroleum derivative included in Bag Balm is paraffin wax, a colorless and soft solid consisting of hydrocarbon molecules. This component is used in the formulation to bind all the ingredients together, which ultimately retains the long-term effectiveness of the cream.
4. 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate
Forming 0.3% of the formulation, this is the final ingredient of Bag Balm and lends great antiseptic properties to the cream. 8-Hydroxyquinoline is basically a metal chelating agent derived from coal tar.
Hence, it can be useful for treating excessively high levels of metals such as copper, iron, and lead in the blood. Another great benefit of this ingredient is its ability to prevent the growth of imidazolidinyl urea microbes.
How Does Bag Balm Work?
Each of the ingredients used in Bag Balm is a powerful emollient; that is, it helps soften and moisten your skin effectively. And as mentioned earlier, they can also prevent water loss from the skin due to evaporation. Ultimately, this ensures your skin remains hydrated, healthy, and disease-free.
Benefits Of Bag Balm
- Treats minor wounds and skin conditions
- Can reduce stretch marks
- Reduces burning sensation after minor burns
- Keeps cuticles and nails healthy
- Works as a great lip balm
- Treats diaper rash in infants
Is Bag Balm Safe?
As Bag Balm comes with animal-derived and petroleum-derived ingredients, you might be wondering whether it’s safe for use.
So, let us tell you that the FDA has approved petrolatum, the key ingredient of Bag Balm, as a safe and effective skin protectant. This component is also highly purified before being used in the cream, which rules out the possibility of generating any harmful organic compound such as ¼-dioxane.
As for the animal-derived ingredient, lanolin, though it’s considered safe for treating minor skin conditions in most people, some might be allergic to this substance. According to a study conducted in 2017 on more than 1,000 children with eczema, adverse effects of lanolin were reported in more than 60% of them.
Hence, in case you are allergic to lanolin or aren’t sure about the same, you should stay away from products containing this substance.
What Are Consumers Saying About Bag Balm?
We found the customer reviews on the official website of Bag Balm to be very positive on the whole. To be more precise, the average consumer gave a rating of 4.9 out of 5 to this skin moisturizer. And when it came to other online shopping sites and discussion forums, the reviews were just as positive.
Lots of customers revealed that Bag Balm worked more effectively than any other product in moisturizing their chronically dry hands and feet. Another happy customer wrote that it managed to cure a constant problem of bleeding heel cracks that her husband faced every winter.
However, few people were concerned about the smell of Bag Balm as it seemed “a bit too strong” to them.
Where Can I Buy Bag Balm?
Bag Balm is sold on both the brand website and third-party online retail stores, such as eBay and Amazon. Apart from that, it’s a staple product in general stores, pharmacies, farm supply stores, and pet retail outlets. The company even offers a store locator on its website, so you can always find the nearest outlet that sells their products.
Q1. What To Avoid While Using Bag Balm?
Make sure the cream doesn’t get into your eyes, mouth, or nose, as it can cause prolonged irritation therein. But if that does happen accidentally, rinse the part with water.
Apart from this, you should avoid exposure to tanning beds or sunlight just after applying it. That’s because Bag Balm might make the skin more sensitive to UV rays or sunlight.
Q2. Does Bag Balm Come With An Expiry Date?
No, there’s no expiry date mentioned on the product label. That said, the smell or look of Bag Balm might change slightly over time, so the makers recommend refreshing the tin at least once in three years.
Q3. Is Bag Balm Only Available In An 8-oz Tin?
No, this tried and tested formula is available in several sizes to suit the needs of different consumers. The currently available sizes include a 4oz tin, 8oz tin, 4.5lb pail, 1oz tin, 0.25oz go-to tube, and 2oz tube.
To round it up, Bag Balm will suit anyone looking for a simple solution to keep their skin hydrated throughout. It’s also the go-to ointment for treating any minor wound or burn, which makes it a must-have product for homes and commercial establishments alike.
Furthermore, when it comes to reliability, very few skincare creams can match up to Bag Balm as it has been around for more than a century! And that’s not all; the company has been proudly creating this cream in more or less the same way since its introduction on the market.
So, go ahead and try out the product to witness the change for yourself. Don’t forget to tell us about your experience in the comments section below.
Till next time, take care!