Created by Elizabeth Arden herself, the balm is a blend of vitamin E and petrolatum that was specially created to soothe the skin of clients at her Red Door salon in New York. In line with Arden's ethos on all things beauty, it was specially formulated to actually do good to the skin—healing it from the outside rather than just masking the problem like many other cosmetics at the time. Legend has it that the name came about when one of Arden's regular clients used the balm to treat her child's grazed knee. Eight hours later, the skin was healed, Arden had a name for her product and a beauty best seller was born.
Whether you buy the anecdote behind the ointment or not, there's no disputing that this restorative balm has been used to troubleshoot a multitude of beauty qualms since then. Arden even used it to soothe her thoroughbred horses' legs in the '50s and remarked on how it worked double duty by caring for her hands at the same time. Today, you'll likely find that most women have owned a tube of this all-purpose beauty balm at some point in their lives. Victoria Beckham swears by it post-flight for combating dehydrated skin, while Reese Witherspoon's makeup artist, Molly Stern, uses it on the actress as a pre-shoot moisturiser.