Vicks VapoRub® is a familiar household product with a venerable history. It has been around since the turn of the 20th century, and for much of that time, it contained natural essential oils. In the 21st century, however, the manufacturer substituted a synthetic compound for one of the ingredients. Does that mean you should pay less for Vicks VapoRub?
With Synthetic Camphor, Reader Wants to Pay Less for Vicks VapoRub:
Q. I recently spent $4.50 for a 1.75-ounce tub of Vicks VapoRub® (brand name). When I read the ingredients, I noticed that after camphor it says (synthetic). I wrote to the company and the response was: “We have used synthetic camphor since 2004/2005.”
I have found house-brand chest rub for just $0.99, and the ingredients don’t list anything synthetic. I don’t see why we should pay so much more for synthetic.
I was recently in Germany and had a nasty cough. It responded immediately to Klosterfrau chest rub, which contains camphor, menthol and eucalyptus oil. Nothing synthetic in it!
A. The manufacturer of Vicks VapoRub® stated in response to your query,
“VapoRub’s formulation has natural ingredients as well as synthetic ingredients to more reliably ensure our ability to source our raw materials. The synthetic camphor was tested and proven to deliver the same product benefits as the natural camphor for VapoRub®.”
The active ingredients in Vicks are camphor, eucalyptus oil and menthol. They have been staples in this product for over 100 years. Other “inactive” ingredients include cedarleaf oil, nutmeg oil, petrolatum, thymol and turpentine oil.
To learn more about unusual ways people have used Vicks VapoRub®, you may wish to download our free Guide to Unique Uses for Vicks. Tell us how you use it, and whether you have found a way to pay less for Vicks VapoRub®.