Healing Stick (1%) Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Balm
0.5 fl. oz. for $14
Last Updated:04.20.2011
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

This specialty skin-care product contains 1% hydrocortisone in stick form. Hydrocortisone is widely available in many anti-itch and anti-inflammatory products at the drugstore for a lot less money than this product. The stick base is wax and Vaseline, and can feel too thick and greasy if applied over large areas of skin. It's nice that it's fragrance-free, but lots of hydrocortisone products at the drugstore omit fragrance, too.

  • Hydrocortisone is a multi-purpose active ingredient that reduces many forms of irritation, including itching and occasional redness.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Expensive considering the wealth of 1% hydrocortisone products at the drugstore.
  • Very basic formula has a thick, somewhat greasy texture.

More Info:

Regardless of which hydrocortisone you use, keep in mind that this active ingredient is for short-term use only. Long-term, regular use (more than 2–3 months at a time) can thin the skin by damaging collagen. For best results, pair a hydrocortisone product with a serum or moisturizer loaded with antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients.


1% hydrocortisone formulation that works on just about anything that inflames the skin. Unlike other hydrocortisone products on the market, this product is a thick, anhydrous stick and not a cream, so it stays put and doesn’t run to areas where the skin doesn’t need it.


Hydrocortisone 1%, Beeswax, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum

Brand Overview

First Aid Beauty At-A-Glance

Strengths: Several fragrance-free products; relatively reasonable pricing; sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection; wonderful fragrance-free body wash.

Weaknesses: AHA pads contain a low amount of glycolic and lactic acids; some products contain fragrant plant extracts; every product contains feverfew extract, which has benefits, but also can be an irritant; jar packaging; for a line meant for sensitive skin, their use of common irritants is disappointing.

With a name like First Aid Beauty (FAB for short), it's obvious this line is meant to rescue your skin from distress, and, indeed, these products are targeted toward those who have sensitive, easily irritated skin, but who still want an elegant, department-store flair. Ironically, FAB falls short on both ends of the spectrum.

Despite the company's claims of providing "therapeutic action" for "tough skin conditions," some of the products contain irritating ingredients that are extremely problematic for any skin type, especially for those with sensitive or compromised skin. It was disappointing to see known irritants like sulfur, balsam resin, and witch hazel in products claiming to calm your skin and reduce redness. "What were they thinking?" was a question that came up more than once while reviewing this line!

On the bright side, First Aid Beauty does have a very good fragrance-free body wash. There are also a few products that omit the fragrance, which is a definite must for sensitive skin, although, in fact, all skin types do best with fragrance-free products. Unfortunately, the fragrance-free formulas in this line come up short on important ingredients, like antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients.

It is best to avoid their Ultra Repair Cream, the SPF 30 sunscreen, Detox Eye Roller, Blemish Eraser, and the Anti-Redness Serum because they all contain enough irritating ingredients to make conditions like acne, redness, and sensitivity worse.

For more information about First Aid Beauty, sold exclusively at Sephora in the United States, call (800) 322-3619 or visit www.firstaidbeauty.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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