I must, subconsciously, have a real obsession with these weird waxy multi-tasking balms that claim to solve all of the skin ailments you can possibly think of. I didn't realise that I had bought so many, but here we are... with a ton of different kinds, each with different benefits and uses. So I figured I'd do a bit of a multi-purpose balm breakdown... Let's do this... *insert muscle emoji*
These four I own full-size of, and use regularly; Yu-Be Moisturising Skin Cream, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream (fragrance-free), Glossier Balm Dotcom, Homeoplasmine. None are excessively impressive in the packaging department sure, but its the performance that counts, right? I figured to make things simple I'll look at the texture, price, availability and the most functional uses of each product...
The ever famous Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream needs no introduction; everyone and their mums, grandmas and goldfish have at some point used this gooey orange balm. The texture is very sticky, but thins out once it comes into contact with skin. Despite its long list of uses, I use it most as a lip balm, a highlighter on my cheekbones, and even using the teeniest amount to groom brows. (Yes, really.) Typically priced around £26 it isn't the cheapest lip balm, but is easy to get hold of, being stocked on numerous online sites and is available at all Elizabeth Arden counters. Despite being fragrance-free, it still has a weird lingering smell that puts me off using this on my lips during the day while eating or drinking.
Yu-Be is a Japanese product, which has just recently made its way overseas after gaining cult status. It appears as thick as 8hr cream, but when you start to apply, it thins out completely and feels almost like nothing on the skin, meaning you need a very small amount of product. Its strong camphor smell and thin texture means it doesn't work too well as a lip balm, but is as I've found, an INCREDIBLE foot cream. The glycerin base in the cream seems to create a barrier, which allows hydration to go much deeper, hydrating feet quickly, and leaving them soft for days. Needless to say using it as a foot cream uses up a lot of product, so the £13.50 price tag, and Space NK availability makes it a bit of a pain when it comes to repurchasing.
Another foreign import is the French Homeoplasmine (which according to my family looks like nappy cream. Glam.) which is available in this currently through Escentual at £9.95 for a huge tube. It's texture is slightly waxier and thicker than Vaseline, clear in colour, and has a natural matte finish when applied. While it's best used as a lip balm, I've found this to work really well at aiding the healing of spots, and preventing any later scarring. The added bonuses for me, are the pleasant texture, absence of fragrance and cheap price.
And yet another foreigner, Glossier's Balm Dotcom is something all of those in the beauty loop got highly excited about. It's the cheapest (in theory) at only $12 a pop, but its US only availability makes it nearly impossible to get your hands on without an unlimited stream of money. Like Homeoplasmine, its a clear waxy balm, with a natural matte finish which works best as a heavy duty lip balm. The super thick texture means you need the smallest amount of product, and thanks to the small tube, its significantly more handbag friendly than the others.
Overall, I'd say that the endless lists of uses for each product that seems to be promoted with multi-purpose balms are really unrealistic. Making the term "multi-purpose" pretty ironic when it comes to I cannot imagine for a second using any of these as moisturisers, either for my face or my hands (really, Elizabeth Arden? THE STICKINESS.) But, they are without a doubt amazing products to have in your arsenal, depending on exactly what you're looking for. If I'm going to suggest one right now, it's going to be Homeoplasmine. It is easy to get hold of, and much unlike 8-Hr cream, won't leave behind any smells, stickiness or an empty purse.
What do you all think of multi-purpose balms? Have you ever tried any of these, or do you use another multi-purpose balm in a similar way? Next on my list? Paw-paw ointment.