Eight Hours, Infinite Uses

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Sure, plenty of exciting products parade across our desks every day—we're not bragging, stay with us—but there’s something to be said for those certain standbys that go missing immediately upon making their way into the office. We're talking about every tube of Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream—just as quickly as a few arrive, they’re ever so slyly swept into one of our handbags/desk drawers/apartments.

For those of you who've never encountered the white and red tube in the hands of your grandmother, mother, best friend, or favorite makeup artist (we’re looking at you, Pat McGrath), let’s get one thing clear: Eight Hour Cream is not actually a cream… It’s a balm, now available unscented or in the classic citronella version, and it can be used for just about everything. Don’t believe us?

Ms. Arden (her name was actually Florence Nightingale Graham) was known, on occasion, to dab some of the ointment on her horses' bruises, and legend has it, the “eight hour” title comes from one happy customer’s experience healing her son’s scraped knee with a smear of the stuff in that exact window of time. Healing properties or not, the apricot-tinted, glossy balm has a definite beautifying effect, whether applied to your cuticles or your eyebrows—use it anywhere you would use Touche Éclat—and maintains the title as the World’s Sexiest Lip Gloss, but, again, don’t take our word for it:

Bibi Cornejo Borthwick lives by her grandmother’s rule that “if there’s ever anything wrong on your body, just put that on,” which includes, for Tabitha Simmons, sunburns and subsequent peels; for Swedish beauty Helena Carlberg, dry skin; for ITG's Alessandra, dry hands; and, for ITG’s Elizabeth, overnight lip moisture replenishment. Yes, it has a nostalgic hold on our hearts—the petrolatum, beta-hydroxy, and vitamin E cocktail was whipped up in the 1930s, and for so many of us, including Annabelle Dexter-Jones, was among our first beauty-product memories—but it feels more relevant than ever applied as a devil-may-care eye shadow with a “dewy sheen." (Jessica Stam agrees.) In sum, we count ourselves among the masses who, like Vogue'Kelly Connor, find Eight Hour Cream "seriously addicting.” Use it liberally, anywhere you please. And if you've discovered other uses than those mentioned here, do tell. Please.

Photos by Elizabeth Brockway.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • maren

    I use a bit on the end of a q-tip to exfoliate and moisturize my lips...that tip is courtesy of Lisa Eldridge!

    • Janet Lee

      LOL, I saw that tip when I watched her tutorial on 'meeting up with your ex makeup'

  • Ari Smash

    I adopted a kitten recently and found it heals up Kitten Attack scars pretty quickly.

    • Janet Lee

      Wow, really? Right, I'll be using it on that, then :)

      • Ari Smash

        Oh! And I've found it at TJ Maxx on occasion for 9.99! It's random but I always stock up when I find it.

  • Bella

    Unscented, thank goodness. I once tried Eight Hour cream about 10 years ago, believing all the hype as I struggled to the gym with cracked hands in subzero temperatures.
    I threw the powerfully stinky tube of petroleum jelly into the first dirt bin I could find in the gym change room and scrubbed my long suffering hands. I could not believe that anyone could tolerate the stuff anywhere. The trauma was so huge I'm not sure I'm brave enough to sniff the "unscented"...LOL!

    • Cat

      I also cannot stand the original's scent, but I assure you the unscented version is totally fine. It does have a faint smell to it, but not at all unpleasant, more like Vaseline. Just try a tester before you buy, if you want to give it a go again!

      • Janet Lee

        Thanks for the tip. I can't really use anything scented, so that's helpful. The 'smell' is among the first thing people mention when I bring up the cream.

        • Ari Smash

          I like the 'smell'. It's not a good smell, but it reminds me of my grandparents, and it's the smell of something that works.

  • Cat

    I use the TINIEST amount of this with my Chanel Illusion d'Ombre gel/mousse eyeshadow. I thought I was going to have to throw it out (the eyeshadow) after 6 months because it dried out. Not completely, but enough so that it doesn't blend anymore. Well, by accident I discovered that if I take a pin sized amount of this thing and blend it on the back of my hand with the Chanel product, it works wonderfully again (maybe even better, less fallout!) as a shadow or as a liner (I have the "Mirifique" shade). I would imagine it works with other brands too, if you're having a similar problem.

    Also, I put it on my elbows! I used to have the roughest elbows, and they are so much softer since I started using this. Even my sister was like "What did you do to your elbows, they're soft!" So I got one for her right away. It makes for a really chic but PRACTICAL little gift :)

    • murt

      If you stick it in the microwave for 10 seconds, that might revive the eyeshadow - I've done that with MAC gel eyeliners to revive them, and that has worked.

      I've pretty much given up on buying either gel eyeliners or eyeshadows that come in glass pots now because they dry out so fast. Instead, I try to buy only the ones that come in plastic pots (Clinique) - they seem to close much more tightly, which prevents the eyeshadow/eyeliner from drying out.

  • bluesky557

    As a person with oily skin, the thought of this "cream" has always squicked me. Other than my cuticles, I can't see any other uses for it--and that would be a pretty expensive cuticle cream!

    • Carol

      I have pretty oily skin myself but it still works wonders for me... as a healing balm for pimps or blemishes, as an occasional moisturizer (dabbing a small amount on the slightly dry areas - it soaks really fast and it looks awesome after) or even as a highlighter, kind of. It's the key for that beautiful "natural" glow. I've never even used it on my cuticles.

  • isaobeso

    I like this on my lips and hands or anywhere on my body, but if it touches my face, it breaks me out immediately so, can't use it as a highlighter or gloss sadly.

    visit me at http://www.peoplewearfashion.com

  • tera

    The Honest Company has a healing balm that is really good, and not full of cheap ingredients (mineral oil parabens BHT)
    I really love it. Their products have all impressed me, in fact, far more than any other celebrity run company.

  • therealblonde

    I don't like the petrolatum. I recently found a great natural alternative - Waxelene!

    • bluesky557

      I love Waxelene!

  • Désirée Delphine

    Amen! Nothing will even comes close. I have two packs: one in my purse for my lips and, well, everything. And one at home for my skin. Great when used as a night cream in deep winter.

    http://ladelphinenoir.blogspot.com

  • Tamta B

    apply a small dab of 8 hour cream to my eyelash curler, in between the rubber and squeeze. it creates super natural effect without mascara. try it.

  • Chantel

    Nice post!

  • Carm

    Forever a fan of the 8 hour cream!

  • Mina

    "...the petrolatum, beta-hydroxy, and vitamin E cocktail was whipped up in the 1930s..." - telling, as in this day and age, nothing could compel me to use a petroleum-based product!

  • http://fancylauren.blogspot.com/ Lauren Ashley

    This stuff totally saves my face in winter - I use it like an intensive moisture mask over night, or a little bit warmed up in your hands can be used like a primer in colder/dryer months. Super soothing on dry legs too. Prefect for traveling - one amazing multi-purpose "cream." Plus it looks so glamorous.

  • Brooke

    I don't know if I'm just completely wacky, but isn't this basically the same thing as Eucerin's Aquaphor? I compared the ingredients and they see pretty much the same, with the exception of salicylic acid and parabens! Agree, disagree?

    • bluesky557

      It just seems like very expensive Vaseline.

    • http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/ Nomadic D.

      I second this question! Can anyone give us an unbiased scientific answer? I love my aquaphor, is the 8 hr cream actually better?

      http://www.nomadicd.com

  • http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/ Nomadic D.

    I'm actually super happy to read this article, not because I love the 8 hr cream, but because I've always wished I did. Cause really, who doesn't want to love an iconic beauty product like this? But first, that SMELL. So glad to hear about the new unscented one. And second, I just had no idea what to do with it. I couldn't see putting it on my face, as someone with oily skin that's just unthinkable. And my cuticles are fine. So, much as I always wanted to have to have it, I just never got it. Maybe it's time for me to give it another try now...

    http://www.nomadicd.com

  • susan t

    My mother turn me on to this when I was a girl...let's just say I have a serious 8 hour creme addiction. I'm never without it. I use it on my lips, eyebrows, eyelashers, cuticles and highlighter...I can't live w/o it; it's the perfect all purpose balm.

  • Maria

    I used it on my hand after it burned with boiling hot water, and i swear it healed, i didn't even feel the burn after a few minutes). Also used it on my son's bottom and cured his rash!! It really is a wonder product.

  • judithleslie

    I used to like 8 Hour Cream until I saw what was in it....then I tried Lanolips 101 Ointment which is a world ahead. ALL natural, no petroleum, no parabens, no smell, super duper moisturising - I cant use anything else now

  • Amy Bevis-Smith

    Am I the only one who prefers the smell of the original formula?! I use this for everything - best for lips and cuticles x

    amoiuniverse.blogspot.com

  • Sherry Jones

    People, Petrolatum and Petroleum are NOT the same thing. Petrolatum is in Bag Balm, Petroleum is in Vaseline.

  • Hannah

    Actually, petrolatum is vaseline which derives from petroleum jelly, so they're basically the same thing

  • livia

    what is problem with petroleum products??

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