I've long struggled with sensitive skin, and as a result have tested and tried hundreds of products from those widely spoken about to those that are somewhat less popular. As I'm sure I've mentioned in the past, my first job was working at a small, independently owned pharmacy where I discovered two of the three products I'm going to mention.
(Clockwise from top left): Vermont's Original Bag Balm, Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap, Cloverine Brand White Salve
Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap is widely available where I live in several different fragrances. Though lavender and citrus are lovely, I often opt for the original peppermint fragrance. My husband introduced me to this when we first started dating as it's his body wash of choice. Though I find it too drying for my skin, it works wonders on makeup brushes and really gets them clean. Don't be put off by the extreme religious phrases printed all over the bottle. The documentary about Dr. Bronner (who was a real person, in fact) explains that the soap was of secondary importance to Bronner who hoped to use its label as a vehicle to spread his message of peace. To me it just adds to the products quirky charm.
I'm sure you're questioning my sanity as you see the cow udders so boldly emblazoned on this tin, and in truth Vermont's Original Bag Balm was first developed for use on minor irritations afflicting cows' udders. I located this tin in the skincare section of the pharmacy and thought I'd give it a try as it can also be used to sooth chapped skin on humans.
This balm is thick and it's no joke. There is no fruity or floral fragrance, just the unadulterated smell of the product itself. I use this products on elbows and knees dried by the winter, on individual dry patches, or on my lips. Bag Balm even comes in handy to soothe my chapped lips prior to applying lipsticks and glosses as it creates an iron clad moisturizing barrier between my chapped lips and the product I'm about to apply.
I also discovered White Brand Cloverine Salve at the pharmacy and absolutely adore it. This is a basic white Petroleum not unlike Vaseline; however, this has a lovely lemon drop fragrance and is a bit more solid than Vaseline.
I recently purchased my second tin, and you can see below that the consistency is somewhat thicker than a traditional Petroleum jelly. I don't find Cloverine Salve to be as effective as my beloved Bag Balm, but this also does the trick on chapped lips and skin.
I adore my French pharmacie skincare, but I've also been lucky enough to uncover a few true gems close to home as well. Though these products may strike many as unusual--particularly the Bag Balm--they've been tried and true staples in my skincare (and brush care) routine for years. And the cherry on top? The whimsical, vintage packaging!
Do you have any relatively unusual secret weapons in your stash?