Featured Review bytraviasonApr 01, 2016 @ 12:52 PM
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the product (which within the Newschoolers community is probably most) Bag Balm is a heavy duty skin balm that will do the job when regular moisturizers aren't enough. You might be asking yourself, "why the hell is this guy writing a skin balm review on a ski site?" and initially I would have wondered the same thing, but after using the product they sent us all winter I can vouch that it's definitely something serious skiers should check out.
First off a little history lesson - The petroleum/lanolin based formula actually dates back to 1899 when a Wells River, VT pharmacist concocted it to help relieve chafed and cracked cow udders. Don't let that scare you away though because it was so much more effective than any other product that it quickly spread into other applications and 117 years later it's used by high intensity athletes, outdoorsmen, farmers, and in any other activity that's tough on your skin.
There are a few direct applications in skiing that I've found this balm to help more than most other products I've tried. The first is to help reduce callouses that typically pop up on my feet about halfway through winter due my socks repeatedly rubbing various pressure points. After I started applying the balm after skiing they dissipated quickly.
I also attend and manage a ton of events that require me to take my gloves off for shooting photos or filming Snapchat stories and as a result my hands are frequently exposed to the cold dry air for long periods of time. Pair that to the fact that I rock climb and always have moisture absorbing chalk on my hands, I've been left with dry and cracking skin that looks more like that of my grandpa than a 25-year-old. I'd been using a regular glycerin based cream which definitely helped but my knuckles and the skin between my fingers were still in pretty bad shape. After a few days of applying Bag Balm to those select points I saw significant improvement.
Another symptom of running weekend events is that you spend most of your time outdoors in the sun and cold and rarely are able to drink as much water as your body needs. The after-parties and late nights don't help either. As a result, I usually head home with extremely dry lips to the point that they physically crack and sometimes even bleed. Regular lip balms help but I usually find you need to reapply every half hour or so to do any good. On the last 2 occasions that this has happened I've started using Bag Balm and found I needed to reapply way less frequently and it acts much faster getting things back to their normal state.
Keep in mind this product isn't to be used in lieu of an every-day skin cream. Its petroleum based so if you lather it all over you're just going to feel greasy. Instead you just need to use a tiny dab in the concentrated places that really need it. As a result, a small can will last you forever. I only got a 1-ounce sample and it's lasted me all winter.
Final thoughts: I never thought I'd ever have the need to hold an opinion about something like skin balm but this product is pretty great! If you're someone like me who does a ton of sports and activities that are rough on your skin, be it skiing, hiking, climbing, gardening etc., then I'd definitely suggest heading out to Walgreens and shelling out $8 for a tin.