Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream is currently trending, and it’s not for its impressive ability to impart skin with a lit-from-within glow or instantly soothe dry patches. (Although it does both beautifully.)
The iconic apricot-coloured ointment—which has been a bestseller for over 90 years and is said to have counted Queen Elizabeth II as a fan—makes a surprise appearance in Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare, where he shares an alternative way to use the all-purpose cream. Spoiler alert: It involves his penis.
It all began when a trip to the North Pole (not a euphemism) caused his royal todger (his word) to suffer an unfortunate case of frostbite. “I’d been trying some home remedies,” writes Harry, “including one recommended by a friend. She’d urged me to apply Elizabeth Arden cream.” While we can’t be sure that he is indeed referring to the Eight Hour, all signs point to yes. The cream is renowned for its strong—and very distinct—scent. In his book, Harry says that the fragrance immediately unlocked memories of his mother, who used it as a lip balm. We won’t ruin the rest of the passage for you, but let’s just say that it raised a few eyebrows.
The anecdote doesn’t go on to address whether or not the home remedy actually worked, but it left us wondering: Is using the ointment down there safe? According to the Elizabeth Arden website, Eight Hour Cream can be used to create a barrier between skin and cold air “as protection from windburn.” However, Toronto dermatologist Dr. Renée Beach explains that the ointment’s ingredient list contains several potentially irritating fragrance agents and derivatives, and she recommends avoiding the use of it on the genitals to prevent discomfort. “It’s surprising to me that it was tolerated on this delicate skin,” she notes.
Despite Harry’s misuse of the product, it’s a classic formula for a reason. Here, we share 10 safer applications for this iconic ointment.
1. As an all-over moisturizer
First and foremost, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream can be used to soothe dry, itchy skin and provide hydration on elbows, knees, legs, feet and any other rough spots on the body. The formula is a little sticky, so start with a tiny amount and work from there.
2. For slugging
Eight Hour Cream is a great replacement for petroleum jelly in slugging. Using a dime-sized amount, apply the ointment as the last step in your nighttime skincare routine (over your go-to moisturizer) to lock in moisture, and wash off in the morning.
3. As a lip balm
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4. As a brow gel
Unruly brows are no match for this classic. To set your brows, squeeze a tiny amount onto your finger and slowly work it into your brows to create your desired shape. For extra precision, you can apply it with a small brush or a spoolie.
5. As a highlighter
Achieve the coveted glow-from-within look by applying a few dabs of Eight Hour Cream on the high points of your cheeks, around your temples and under your brow bones.
6. As eye gloss
The glossy eyelid trend has never been easier to achieve. Brush a small amount of ointment over your finished eye look, or mix a bit of shimmer or eyeshadow into the ointment before applying it to your lids.
7. As an overnight treatment for hands and feet
Apply a generous amount to hands and/or feet and let the product work its magic overnight. (To avoid making a mess, wear cotton gloves or socks to bed.)
8. As cuticle balm
Swap your cuticle oil for a little Eight Hour Cream, making sure to massage the product all around the nail bed. (And use it as a hand cream while you’re at it, just avoid getting it on your palms if you’re applying during the day!)
9. As an anti-frizz hair treatment
Warm up a small amount of product between your fingers, then gently smooth out flyaways. You can also go over any frizzy areas with a small hair brush afterwards. The brand also recommends working a little bit of product into dry ends to restore moisture.
10. As nipple cream
Breastfeeding and out of nipple cream? The ointment is a good alternative—just be sure to use the fragrance-free version on any sensitive spots.