This Balm Is Almost 90 Years Old, and Everyone I Know Still Loves It

Although it was launched way back in 1930, Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream remains a must-have beauty product amongst makeup artists, celebrities and stylish women alike. The packaging might have changed over the years, with limited-edition releases continuing to go down a storm with Arden devotees, but there's no doubt that this apricot-coloured balm remains continually popular. In fact, a tube is sold every 30 seconds worldwide. So after almost 90 years in existence, what exactly has enabled this unassuming product to stand the test of time?


Created by Elizabeth Arden herself, the balm is a blend of vitamin E and petrolatum that was specially created to soothe the skin of clients at her Red Door salon in New York. In line with Arden's ethos on all things beauty, it was specially formulated to actually do good to the skin—healing it from the outside, rather than just masking the problem like many other cosmetics at the time. Legend has it that the name came about when one of Arden's regular clients used the balm to treat her child's grazed knee. Eight hours later, the skin was healed, Arden had a name for her product and a beauty best seller was born.


Whether you buy the anecdote behind the ointment or not, there's no disputing that this restorative balm has been used to troubleshoot a multitude of beauty qualms since then. Arden even used it to soothe her thoroughbred horses' legs in the '50s and remarked on how it worked double-duty by caring for her hands at the same time. Today, you'll likely find that most women have owned a tube of this all-purpose beauty balm at some point in their lives. Victoria Beckham swears by it post-flight for combating dehydrated skin, while Reese Witherspoon's makeup artist, Molly Stern, uses it on the actress as a pre-shoot moisturiser.


Of course, it's not just the A-list that adore it. Make like Scandi's coolest girls and use it to add a sheen to bare lips (and soothe any dryness at the same time), or press into your cuticles to add a little polish to bare nails. Arden's iconic balm is an essential in every backstage kit for makeup artists, too. Smooth a small amount through your brows for a laid-back approach to grooming, or pat it onto your eyelids for a cool glossy look.


The Eight Hour Cream franchise has since expanded to include sun protection, portable pots, and scent-free takes on the much-loved formula. Now in its 88th year, the brand has collaborated with British artist James Goldcrown for a fresh graffiti-inspired incarnation: Love Heals x Eight Hour Cream. This collaboration is lending the classic balm a contemporary new guise. Scroll down to see our favourites, new and old.

A colourful update on the classic balm from muralist James Goldcrown.

Launched in 2015, this viscous take on the cult balm intensely hydrates your face, body and hair—making for serious amounts glow.

Formulated specifically for lips, this handbag-friendly stick boasts the same ingredients as the classic Eight Hour Cream. Apply to cheekbones for a subtle, on-the-go highlight.

The one beauty secret that all fashion girls swear by is SPF. This one launched in 2011 and contains the same skin-soothing benefits of the original balm alongside SPF 50 for UV protection.

An undone approach to wearing colour, apply this balm directly to your lips and blend out the edges with your finger for a lived-in look with all-day nourishment.

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