In the 1880s Lunsford Richardson must have known that he’d come up with something noteworthy. It was a cold-fighting salve, and the pharmacist named it after his brother-in-law Dr. Joshua Vick. Nowadays, of course, we slather that same formula onto our chest to help us beat colds. But Vicks VapoRub has more than one use. In fact, you might be shocked by the 20 other ways you can use the menthol-rich formula.
20. Relieves Headaches And Migraines
Most people look to Vicks for cold and congestion relief. After all, the product markets itself as a remedy for these ailments. But the brand has long touted another benefit to its menthol-laden product. It provides proven relief for headaches and even migraines, the latter of which can be a debilitating condition.
Matteo Vistocco via Unsplash
Cool And Calming
In fact, a quarter of U.S. households contain an adult who deals with migraines. To alleviate their pounding heads, they can take a dollop of Vicks and massage it into their temples. Then, the menthol scent and coolness can start to assuage the head pressure and dull the migraine or headache.
19. Tackles Nail Fungus
Older adults’ nails tend to get drier and more brittle than their younger counterparts. These cracks in the nails allow fungus to intrude, which can cause a slew of different symptoms. Nails may become thicker, turn yellowish-brown, change shape or even give off an off-putting scent. If this has happened to you – regardless of your age – reach for a jar of Vicks VapoRub.
Leighann Blackwood via Unsplash
Take a dab of Vicks and rub it onto the affected nail bed and over the nail itself. You might notice that your nail goes dark afterward – and that’s a good thing. That means the Vicks – or more specifically, its antimicrobial and antibacterial ingredient thymol – has killed off the fungus. Your nail should start to grow out healthily without it.
18. Relaxes Achy Muscles
Perhaps you’re a marathon runner who logs multiple miles on your feet each day. Maybe you sit in a less-than-ergonomic desk chair for eight hours a day. Either way, you come home and your muscles ache. So, to dull some of the pain, reach for your trusted jar of Vicks VapoRub.
Applying Vicks to the affected area will quickly soothe your pain. It promotes circulation in the area, which gets the muscles back to normal. The rub – complete with the active ingredients camphor, eucalyptus oil and menthol – has been proven to relieve moderate cases of myalgia, or muscular aches. So, after a long run or long day at the office, have some at the ready.
Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash
17. Hastens the Healing Of Bruises
Apparently, it typically takes about two weeks for a bruise to fade away. During that time, your skin will put on a serious show as the bruise morphs from a red color to blue to a greenish hue to brown. This muted rainbow appears in time as the blood that formed the initial bruise gets reabsorbed into your body.
Francesca Dagrada/EyeEm/Getty Images
Speed Up The Heal!
If you don’t want to wait two weeks for your bruise to disappear, you can hasten the process with a bit of Vicks VapoRub. The product’s inclusion of menthol will cool down the area, thus dulling the pain that came with your initial injury. Then, camphor will tamp down the inflammation. Altogether, those effects speed up the healing process.
16. Plumps Chapped Lips
Oil glands keep many areas of your skin moisturized and plump. Your lips, however, do not have that luxury. That explains why wintery weather, sun exposure or a lack of quality self-care can cause your lips to get chapped or dry. Once again, though, Vicks VapoRub can come to your rescue.
A Little Bit Goes A Long Way
A very thin layer of Vicks VapoRub can give your lips the hydration they need to plump back up. You can also use the menthol-rich salve to soothe sore or cracked lips, too. Regardless of why you’re applying, be sure to use only a tiny amount and avoid ingesting any of it.
Photographer, Basak Gurbuz Derman
15. Disinfects Minor Cuts
It’s not often that you suffer from a sizable cut that needs bandages or stitches. But small scrapes, paper cuts, splinters and other scratches? Those happen all of the time. And while you may leave them to heal on their own, you can use Vicks VapoRub to help the process go even more smoothly.
SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images
Clean Cuts Mean Faster Healing Cuts
For one thing, Vicks has antiseptic qualities, meaning it can clean out your cut or splinter. A tiny bit will keep infections at bay, but it will also speed up the healing process. Anyone who’s had a painful paper cut or splinter will know that hastening its disappearance is ideal.
Maria Fuchs/Getty Images
14. Cools Sunburn
A whopping one in three Americans report that they get sunburn each year. If you’ve had it before, you know just how painful it can be. Your skin aches and pulsates, and it may even feel hot to the touch. Most people would reach for aloe to quell their epidermal pain, but you also have a friend in Vicks.
Damaged Skin Soother
Firstly, applying a layer of Vicks will have the same effect as aloe. Apparently, you’ll be able to feel how it cools the surface of your skin instantly. If that’s not relief enough, VapoRub can also neutralize the redness. So, slather it on this time and be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen in the future.
13. Removes Stubborn Lipsticks
Surprisingly, 80 percent of ladies in America say that they wear lipstick often. Furthermore, over a quarter of them won’t walk out of the house without a painted pout. Of course, lipstick can look pretty, but anyone who wears it will know just how tough it can be to take off.
No More Smearing!
Let’s say you’ve wiped off your lipstick, but a hint of the color still lingers. If that’s the case, slather a thin layer of Vicks over the unwanted stain and leave it to sit on your lips for five minutes. Then, you should be able to wipe off your make-up with ease. And as an added bonus, you’ll have moisturized your pout after a day of wearing lipstick.
12. Fights Acne
Up to 50 million Americans deal with acne each year. If you’re one of them, it might seem like you’ve tried so many remedies. But we bet you haven’t tried Vicks VapoRub, though, which has worked for some who want to get rid of their acne once and for all.
Monitor Your Skin’s Reaction
Vicks VapoRub’s ingredient list includes camphor and eucalyptus, which both have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Together, they can soothe your skin, calm inflammation and neutralize an unclear complexion. However, you should be cautious if you try this tip. For some, Vicks causes more breakouts because it contains petroleum jelly, meant to keep skin moisturized.
11. Moisturizes Dry Feet
Your feet can dry out for a multitude of reasons. Perhaps you’ve taken too many hot baths or spent too much time with your feet exposed to a humidity-free environment. Or you might have athlete’s foot, a fungal infection that can cause skin to get sore, flaky and dry on all of its different parts.
Stomp Out Athlete’s Foot
You can rely on Vicks to help you with your dry feet in all of the above scenarios. Its formula includes petroleum jelly, which quenches your skin and locks in the provided moisture. Meanwhile, VapoRub includes a handful of antimicrobial ingredients, which kill off the bacteria responsible for your athlete’s foot.
10. Diminishes Warts
Perhaps it was months ago when your skin came in contact with the virus responsible for causing warts. It doesn’t matter – a bump can still form on your skin after that much time has passed. And once it appears, it can sometimes take months or years for the wart to go away on its own.
Results Speak For Themselves
Vicks VapoRub aficionados swear by the stuff as DIY wart relief. They dab a bit onto the bump in question, then cover it with a bandage. Experts have yet to weigh in on this remedy, so proceed with caution. And if you want the quickest possible removal of these things, ask your doctor for help.
YouTube/Click On Detroit | Local 4 | WDIV
9. Repels Insects
Summer is the season that beckons us all outdoors. But it’s not a pleasant experience when we have to deal with bugs – especially mosquitoes. If you feel like you’ve tried every insect repellent on the shelves without any relief from bites and stings, then dab a bit of Vicks onto yourself before stepping outside.
Bugs Hate It
Vicks VapoRub works wonders as an insect repellent because it contains cedar leaf oil, an effective way to keep mosquitoes and other bugs away from you. Be sure to put a bit on your legs, arms, neck, ankles and other exposed skin. Then, return to enjoying the outdoors in summer and beyond.
8. Dulls Hemorrhoid Pain
Hemorrhoids hurt, and sometimes sufferers might not have the right remedy on hand to soothe such a sensitive spot. Just know that you can always reach for Vicks VapoRub for temporary, effective relief. Take a generous dab of the menthol-laden stuff and layer it over the area to dull the pain and itchiness you feel.
It’s not just hemorrhoid sufferers who rely on Vicks for relief. Experts even recommend it sometimes for patients who need instant relief from pain and swelling. However, they will likely follow up with a visit to the doctor’s office for a long-lasting cure of hemorrhoid pain, which comes with professional treatment.
7. Tightens Skin To Fight Wrinkles
It’s no secret that skincare products can often cost a lot of money. And not all will fulfill the promises made on the bottle. And then there’s Vicks VapoRub, which costs a fraction of what you’d pay for a fancy face cream and makes zero promises about its wrinkle-fighting abilities.
A Miracle Skin Lift?
However, Vicks VapoRub can make skin brighter and tighter after just a night’s wear, especially on the fine lines that appear on your neck and chest. Pharmacist Shabir Daya explained why it worked so well to the Daily Mail. According to the expert, “It is the combination of menthol and camphor that have a tightening effect on the skin.”
Caroline Tompkins/Refinery29 for Getty Images
6. Softens Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are part of life and often mark an incredible milestone in a person’s life – carrying a baby, anyone? Still, you may want to soften the appearance of these jagged lines on your skin, and you can do so with a helping of Vicks VapoRub. Some who’ve tried it have reported that their marks had diminished by 60 to 100 percent after just a week of usage.
Beyond Cocoa Butter
VapoRub has a slew of ingredients that work together to mute stretch marks’ appearance. The combination of camphor, eucalyptus oil, cedar leaf oil, petrolatum and turpentine oil soften the skin that’s been stretched. Meanwhile, these five ingredients quench skin so it looks less dry, thus preventing the stretch marks from protruding too far from the surface.
5. Moisturizes Dry Scalp
It could be cold air. Perhaps you’re having a bad reaction to a new shower gel or shampoo. Or maybe, you’re just getting older. Regardless of the reason, you have a dry scalp, which isn’t only uncomfortable, but aesthetically displeasing. No one wants flakes of dead skin floating from their head.
Remoisturize And Revitalize
You can quench a dry scalp with the help of Vicks VapoRub and the petroleum and eucalyptus folded into it. These two ingredients transform the cough-relieving remedy into a scalp salve. Just work a thin layer over the driest areas of your head just before bed. Then, sleep with it in place.
4. Makes A Sinus-Clearing Shower Bomb
As you know, Vicks VapoRub is a great tool in the fight against coughs and congestion. You also may be aware that breathing in hot shower steam can help relieve these ailments, too. Now, imagine how good it’d feel to combine the two. Then, get to work on these DIY shower bombs to make it happen.
DIY Nasal Passage Clearing
You only need three ingredients to make a Vicks shower bomb. These are three tablespoons of VapoRub, a half-cup of cornstarch and two tablespoons of water. You’ll put the Vicks into a bowl, add the cornstarch and then the water. Form the resulting paste into balls and leave them out overnight to harden. Then, pop one onto the shower floor and let the whole chamber fill with soothing Vicks fumes.
3. Softens Coughs… If You Put It On Your Feet
Any Vicks VapoRub aficionado can tell you that the stuff helps to soothe coughs and colds. You just have to rub some onto your chest and breathe in deeply, right? Well, some pioneering users have come to realize that it’s not just an upper-body-only remedy when it comes to coughing.
Mallika Wiriyathitipirn/EyeEm/Getty Images
Instead of slathering Vicks on your chest, try rubbing it onto the bottoms of your feet before sliding them into socks. According to some people, this application sends the right message to your throat – stop tickling. And with that, your cough will supposedly subside overnight. And your chest will loosen up a bit, too.
YouTube/The Upcycle Chic
2. Calms Eczema Or Rosacea
We know that Vicks VapoRub can quell some of your acne breakouts and redness. But that’s not the only inflammation that your skin might face. Indeed, you may have been diagnosed with eczema or rosacea. Luckily, you can use the over-the-counter remedy to clear up these skin conditions, as well.
Always Test Before Diving In
Vicks VapoRub’s eucalyptus and camphor are, of course, both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. The salve’s ingredients also improve the skin’s appearance and dull any discomfort you may feel from rosacea or eczema. Start with a small section to ensure your skin reacts well. Then, layer it onto your face and experience the relief.
1. Boosts Hair Growth
Four of Vicks VapoRub’s ingredients are said to promote the growth of a person’s hair. Lavender boosts blood flow around the follicles, while eucalyptus fights dry scalp and stimulates the hair. At the same time, menthol rids the scalp of irritants and camphor boosts circulation, which helps stronger strands to grow.
Blood Flow = Growth
As such, some people swear by Vicks as a natural supplement for allowing hair to grow. Experts do acknowledge that boosted blood flow can, indeed, inspire improved hair growth. However, they say it’s pretty unlikely that a VapoRub application would lead to any considerable amount of length added to your locks.
[H / T Eternallysunny.com]