Beauty rescue: Rosebud Salve

In 1895, an enterprising man called Dr. George F. Smith set up the Rosebud Perfume Co. to sell a homegrown balm that fast became a hit among his neighbors. He was able to grow the business by setting up a mail order and door to door sales system that not only sold the trademark Rosebud Salve but also perfumes and aftershaves. At one time, he had 70,000 salespeople going door to door to sell this popular product!

More than 100 years later, the Rosebud Salve (P420) is now a favorite among bloggers and celebrities like Natalie Portman, Eva Longoria, and Beyonce to name a few. This petroleum-based product is infused with oils, smells of roses, and is housed in a vintage-looking tin. It can be used as a lip balm, but it's really for any patch of our body that needs some TLC!

The Rosebud Salve is just okay as a lip balm (thin and moisturizing vs its greasiness and slight waxy texture). But you aren't really maximizing this if you just use this on the lips! It can be utilized several ways, but IMHO it is the best at reviving dry nails and cuticles. Do you have how dehydrated and chalky your nails look like after wearing nail polish for a while? Well this salve can give back the healthy glow of your nails, and give them some shine too. Actually instead of using clear nail polish, just use this to get the shine and the boost of moisture.

Here are other great uses for this product!

  • Want long lasting lip color that doesn't feel like it was painted on? Grab your fave lip liner and line your lips. No need to be precise as you will blend the color properly using this balm (go for a brush or just your fingers). I think a red lip liner will work best with this as red stains well.
  • Apply the Rosebud Salve on severely dry patches of skin like elbows, back of the feet, palms or even on scaly patches where eczema or psoriasis may be healing. I have a patch of eczema on my hand and have been applying this balm regularly. Where it was painful and cracking up, now it's smooth and on its way to normal!

  • Are your undereyes and lids looking saggy? You can apply this at night to get a bit of suppleness back by morning.
  • You can use this balm as a highlighter as it has a glossy/shiny look on skin. Apply sparingly on cheekbones, brow bones, and decolletage to capture the light.
  • It's a quick hair fix. If you suddenly encounter a strong blast of wind or if you're just naturally frizzy, warm this up on your hands and apply it on your hair. I wouldn't recommend that this to take the place of proper hair serum, but if you don't have any on hand this is a good quick solution.
  • You can also put this where your shoes, clothes, underwear, or bikini chafe on your skin to reduce friction.

Rosebud Salve vs good ol' petroleum jelly

Some people say that Rosebud Salve is just overpriced petroleum jelly. It has a "petrolatum base" after all! You can certainly use petroleum jelly the way I suggested you use Rosebud Salve. There is a difference though. RS is lighter, smells better (for me as I like roses), and is somewhat absorbed by the skin due to its oil content. Petroleum jelly tends to sit on skin and doesn't truly dry up. RS sort of dries up, which is good if you don't like leaving greasy tracks all over the place.

It's a big tin can. They don't say how much product is in it but it looks a lot.


The Rosebud Salve is a damn useful thing to have in your bag, period. Again you can just use Vaseline and call it a day, but if you want the vintage flair, the rose smell, and the kick of owning something Natalie Portman loves, then go for Rosebud Salve. It's the same reason we like Starbucks more than, say, instant coffee. It's cooler.

Oh if you're iffy about double-dipping in a jar, go for the tubed salves instead! I have the Strawberry one - I don't like the smell so much but it works and it's more hygienic.


Love this stuff. I always keep the tin in my desk and the tube in my bag. :) Very useful for beauty emergencies! You can purchase it online from, the local distributor of RS. It is also available at the following retail locations:

SUESH Makeup Toolkit Showroom and Studio

34 Wilson Street, Greenhills, San Juan
Open, Mondays-Saturdays, 11am-7pm
Tel # 8068013
Mobile: 09178942625


Lower Ground Floor, The Gardens 


2nd floor Shoppesville Shopping Center, Greenhills, San Juan