≡ Menu

Is band-aid blister block a rip off?

Chelsea feels cheated: I just bought a tube of Band-Aid Blister Block, and while it’s working wonders with my new shoes, I’ve got a question. The ingredients listed are hydrogenated vegetable oil, cetyl alcohol, parfum. Did I just buy the most expensive, scented shortening, or is this molecularly different enough to justify the price? I’m not sure how much I’d like to rub Crisco on my feet every morning, but if it does the job just as well, I may just try it!

The Right Brain restores her faith in modern chemistry:

We LOVE questions like this because it shows you’re reading the label to learn about ingredients in your products. You’re already on your way to becoming a smarter shopper!

Have a blister, sister?

Band-Aid Blister Block is indeed composed mostly of hydrogenated vegetable oil, a Crisco-like compound made by adding hydrogen to certain kinds of vegetable oil. But the oil is not alone; it’s combined with cetyl alcohol, a waxy solid.

When the cetyl alcohol and the hydrogenated oil are mixed in the right ratios, they form a stick that gives you the best of both worlds: it’s soft enough to spread easily on your skin, but hard enough to leave a protective layer that doesn’t leave a greasy mess. This protective layer helps the shoe straps slide across your skin without chafing. Ergo, no blister. (Finally, after two years we figured out how to use the term “ergo” in a post!)

Would Crisco alone work just as well as the Band-Aid Blister Block? Maybe, but it wouldn’t give the right balance of lubricity and protection. And it wouldn’t feel as elegant. (And you might have to take a spa bath to get your feet clean.) But hey, if you’re the do-it-yourself type you could give it a try. Or better yet, we can ask Sarah Bellum to do the experiment for us. She bought a pair I mean a few pairs I mean too many pairs of expensive Sergio Rossi shoes on her trip to Europe, so she’s got blisters in her future for sure!

The Beauty Brains bottom line

This product seems like a well-formulated solution for a common problem. But if you feel like you’re getting ripped off because you’re paying for “shortening,” you could try cheaper alternatives (hand lotion? lip gloss?) and see how they work for you. If you find something that keeps you blister-free, let us know and we’ll blog about it!

What do you think? Are blisters from new shoes a big problem for you? Does it bother you enough to buy a special product? Leave a comment and share your shoe stories with the rest of the Beauty Brains community.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Katie November 9, 2014, 8:32 am

    I am an evangelist for Band Aid Blister Block, I love it so much. Sometimes I see girls wincing at parties and I want to whip out my Blister Block and change their life. You can also buy larger anti-chafing sticks at running stores (about the size of a deodorant stick). Sometimes with a new pair of shoes, or particularly strappy sandals, I like the larger size stick as it is easier to quickly cover my whole foot than with the petite Blister Block. It is also probably less expensive per ounce, although not as easy to slip into your cocktail bag.

    • Carene February 26, 2019, 9:49 pm

      I know your comment is almost 4.5 years old, but I just ran into it and thought I’d ask.

      Since Band-Aid’s Friction block has been discontinued, I haven’t found an alternative.

      Could you please share what other blister/friction block brand were you referring to?

      Thank you!

      • Kathryn July 17, 2019, 11:30 am

        I was just investigating these type of products myself. Body Glide is an anti-chafing product that comes in a 1.5 oz size ( as well as smaller).

  • Evelyn May 28, 2017, 5:10 am

    Is it true that it is not recommended to apply Blister Block on open sores? Good for prevention, but not recommended on open sores?


    • Randy Schueller May 30, 2017, 7:47 am

      I haven’t looked at this package lately but it makes sense that it would not be applied to open sores.

  • Gary June 11, 2019, 3:55 pm

    I have been making this for my wife for years. We saved the old blister block containers and refill them. This will fill 4 of the blister block containers.

    36g of Crisco
    4.5 tsp of Cetyl Alcohol (1 pound at soapgoods.com is $10) it will last you for the rest of your life. Cetyl alcohol is a solid.
    Microwave on high about 35 seconds or until a clear liquid appears (do not over heat) if not completely melted add 5 seconds until clear.
    Add 1 drop of lavender concentrate(optional) and stir.
    I use a ramikin for heating.
    Spoon liquid into container or mold.
    Note: The more cetyl alcohol you add the harder it gets.

    We have not had any issues with this but use at your own risk. I would not apply to open skin.