Balm’s Away

I must have been the only person in the world who hadn’t tried Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. I had long heard of the cult beauty product’s legendary reputation for healing chapped lips, cuticles, abrasions, and skin problems. It got its name, the story goes, from a woman who applied the cream to her son’s scraped knee only to discover 8 hours later that it was completely healed. Elizabeth Arden used to ship Eight Hour Cream in 50-gallon vats to burn centers in the United States. Many makeup artists keep a tube of it in their lineup of indispensable items, using it as lip gloss, mixing it with powder eyeshadows to create creamy eye colors, or applying it to cheekbones for a dewy sheen. It’s been around since 1930. So why did I wait so long to try it?

The truth is, I was afraid of it. It’s in a base of petroleum, with lanolin and mineral oil being the next highest concentrations. These are three ingredients that strike fear in the heart of people like me who suffered for years with chronic adult acne. But it also has vitamin E, and salicylic acid (commonly used in acne-fighting products, as it cleans out pores). Over the past year and a half, my skin has changed. It suddenly stopped breaking out, apart from the occasional blemish. However, I continued to use soap and foaming cleansers for oily-to-combination skin. Then one day I went to Ulta to buy some foundation, and the makeup artist who assisted me told me that my skin was dehydrated! She recommended I use cream or lotion cleansers. And when I saw an adorable 100th Anniversary Eight Hour Cream kit for $20 at T.J. Maxx, I purchased it. The kit contained a 1.7 ounce tube of Eight Hour Cream (a $17 value), plus two tins of Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant. It came boxed in a cute “red door” box that I now use to store keepsakes in.

Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant (it’s full name) has the consistency of the petroleum jelly that makes up 58.8% of the entire product. It has a strong, medicinal smell that I don’t mind, and takes a full hour and a half to fully absorb into the skin if applied all over the face. When I apply it in the morning, I have my coffee while it absorbs, then I pat off the excess with a tissue until the shine is gone. I don’t have time to let it absorb fully before I go to work, especially when I apply makeup over it. In the evening, I apply it before bedtime and let it absorb overnight. It leaves my skin feeling so soft that I can’t stop touching my face. And after a couple of weeks of using it, my face hasn’t broken out. I can see this cream as being my “go to” skin care product once winter comes, but I’m able to use it now, while it still feels like summer. I also apply it to my lips. I keep the Eight Hour Lip Protectant tins in my purse. If you haven’t tried those yet, I recommend them too. When I apply it over lipstick it gives my lips a glossy shine with a hint of golden sparkle. It’s not obvious, but it takes any lipstick color up a notch or two.

Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream is available online at, as well as in department stores nationwide. But if you’re looking for a bargain, many Elizabeth Arden products make their way onto the shelves of discount stores such as T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s, so check them out too. I was so impressed with Eight Hour Cream that I bought a 100th Anniversary jar of it online in the hopes that it will be easier to just swipe my fingers across the top of the cream and apply it to my face. When I squeeze it out of the tube it comes out in a thick dollop that can be a bit difficult to spread over my face like a moisturizer. There’s something so charmingly “old school” about Eight Hour Cream that made me want to try it, but it’s the product’s ability to moisturize that will keep me coming back to it.

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