With the quaint back-story that Bag Balm was invented for the purpose of moisturizing dairy cows' udders, Vermont's Original Bag Balm has an almost cult-like following. Users swear by the ointment for everything from rashes and dry skin to polishing leather. Over the past several years, the product has gained major popularity as evidenced by hundreds of user reviews on Drugstore.com and MakeupAlley.com. Used primarily as a winter weather and overnight moisturizer, users say the ointment alleviates rough, dry and cracked skin with ease. The product is free of fragrances and is made of only three ingredients; a short ingredient list generally means there is little opportunity for an allergic reaction. Surprisingly, the one thing that users complain about is the smell.
There are no professional or dermatologist reviews for Bag Balm, which keeps it off the ConsumerSearch Best Reviewed list. But users on Drugstore.com and MakeupAlley.com enthusiastically review it. For a dermatologist and expert-recommended ointment for very dry skin, try Aquaphor Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy Skin Protectant.
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With more than 100 reviews on Drugstore.com, Bag Balm gets a perfect score of 5 out of 5 stars, making it, easily, one of the best-reviewed lotions on the site. Almost all users say that it effectively relieves very dry, cracked and rough skin, and most say they specifically like the product for winter skin. Some users say, however, that the product has an unpleasant smell.
Review: Vermont's Original Bag Balm Protective Ointment, Contributors to Drugstore.com
Bag Balm receives more than 100 reviews on MakeupAlley.com (requires free registration), and receives a very respectable score of 4.6 stars. Users here recommend applying the product overnight as it is greasy and doesn't absorb quickly. Some also mention the medicinal smell, but appreciate the fact that it is fragrance-free.
Review: Lotions/Creams - Unlisted Brand - Bag Balm, Contributors to MakeupAlley.com
3. Associated Press
This article, reprinted on the CBS News website, discusses the growing popularity of Bag Balm, an ointment designed to treat the irritated udders of milk cows. The balm slowly evolved into a skin cream as farmers' wives noticed the effect of the balm on their husbands' fingers. It is now used as remedy for all sorts of treatments, ranging from chapped skin to sunburns and saddle sores. This article shares some anecdotes from users but doesn't compare the balm to any other products.
Review: Bag Balm Becomes Popular "Problem Salver", Editors of the Associated Press, Feb. 1, 2010