Stupid Little Things is all about the random cheapies, odd tricks, and miscellaneous things that make my day.
Bag Balm is a cult classic beauty product that...isn't technically meant for humans. If you don't believe me, take a look at the picture on the side--yes, those are cow udders. This really is a balm that was designed over a hundred years ago to prevent irritation on milking cows' udders. I totally understand if that turns you off of this neon goodness from the start. That being said, several human beings in my life have been using Bag Balm for years, and when I started testing it out on my own skin a few years ago, I was totally hooked.
Bag Balm has a pretty simple formulation, consisting of lanolin, petroleum, and 8-hydroxyquinoline sulfate. The first two ingredients are popular in balms: lanolin is a wax that comes from wool-bearing animals like sheep, and petroleum jelly is an occlusive that holds moisture in by creating a barrier on your skin. The unusual ingredient is the 8-hydroxyquinoline, which has antiseptic properties...and it's also probably the source of Bag Balm's bright yellow color and medicinal smell. (I kind of like the smell because I'm weird, but if you dislike it, no fears: it fades quickly on the skin.)
Everybody uses Bag Balm for different things. Several of my friends use it as lip balm, for example, and I have one friend who will actually rub it all over windburned skin or on top of his zits. I personally like to use this on the driest parts of my body: my cuticles and my elbows. I also use it around my nose when the skin is chapped from a cold or sinus infection. Nothing soothes or softens those patches like Bag Balm! As an added bonus, a teeny tiny bit goes a VERY long way.
I got my giant 8 ounce tub for less than $10 on Amazon.com, but if that huge container doesn't appeal to you or you want something more travel-friendly, there's a 1 ounce tin you can get instead. Personally, I prefer to just depot small amounts of Bag Balm in to small jars when I'm on-the-go.
As a final warning, be careful if you have pets! For whatever reason, cats and dogs seem to love this stuff--my cat will actually lick it right off of my elbows. (She also licks the lotion on my legs and any cleaner remaining on the bathroom floor...so maybe my cat is dumber than I think.)