The History and Benefits of Barrier Skin Cream

The idea of a barrier skin cream began with the Egyptians. Scientists have proof this ancient civilization experimented with many different products in the hopes of creating a barrier between their skin and the harsh life they lived. But it wasn’t until a young British-born chemist who lived in Pennsylvania discovered the foundation that is barrier cream today. In 1852 Robert Chesebrough was visiting an oil field when he noticed the workers were taking the ‘rod wax’ or the waste product collected on the rods of oil well pumps and putting it to good use. Up and until then, this sticky residue had to be removed from the rod or it would hinder the operation of the equipment at the well head. The workers were slathering on this wax over their cuts and wounds. This was so effective the men never even used bandages and instead relied completely on the wax to protect their skin and let it heal.

From nineteenth century ‘rod wax’ to twenty first century barrier skin cream, a lot has changed since Chesebrough made his discovery. You no longer have to work on an oil rig to have access to this protective formulation. Yet there are still so many misconceptions about barrier skin cream. At Workman’s Friend we are regularly inundated with questions as to what does our cream do and how can I use it? It’s time to explain the many advantages of this cream and clarify some of its misconceptions.

What is a barrier cream?

This product’s main job is to help your skin retain water, more specifically the outer layer or epidermis. According to scientists the most effective type of cream acts as a short-term shield that helps enforce our skin’s natural moisture barrier.

It is also designed to protect against common skin irritants that can be found in a variety of products that you use at home or at work. When an irritant comes into contact with your skin, you may experience dryness, itchiness, irritation, and in more severe cases cracked and bleeding skin. Imagine the cream as an invisible glove that you slip-on every time you apply it.

When can I use the cream?

Perhaps the question should be where can’t I use this cream? From planting flowers, laying sod, to transplanting bushes and trimming hedges, there isn’t a gardening chore our barrier cream can’t handle. From changing the oil in your car, to fixing the air-intake on your motorcycle, Workman’s Friend can be used there too. If you’re about to paint your kitchen, stain a piece of furniture, or are planning a bathroom renovation, our barrier skin cream will work alongside you. Or if you’re a teacher working on arts and crafts with your kindergarteners and science experiments with your grade fours’, you’ll give Workman’s Friend an ‘A’ for its effort in protecting your hands.

In essence, if you can think of a task, project or chore that you want to do, our barrier skin cream is up for the challenge. It is an unwavering ally in protecting your epidermis from all irritants and drying agents.

The Misconceptions

Many people think our barrier skin cream formulation is just another hand cream-false. Unlike your run-of-the-mill hand cream which is designed to add moisture to your skin, we do more. Workman’s Friend hydrates your skin and our cream locks in that moisture and prevents it from being lost.

Some of customers believe you can apply Workman’s Friend whenever you want, before, during and after your work. This is untrue. Our cream is most effective when you rub in a dime-size portion of our formulation before you start gardening, working in the garage, or making crafts. Workman’s Friend must be sufficiently absorbed for it to be an effective barrier cream.

Workman’s Friend cannot make my clean-up process any easier there isn’t a cream that does that, wrong! If you apply our barrier skin cream before you begin working with any greasy, sticky or staining substance, once you’re done, a wipe of your hands and they’re clean. You will no longer have to spend at least 45 minutes over the sink with a nail brush scrubbing your fingers and hands. It’s true, Workman’s Friend makes clean-up easy.

A Barrier Cream

What started as a by-product on an oil rig has turned into a revolutionary tool that can protect and heal. Workman’s Friend unique formulation is fit for thousands of uses and will make your clean-up process easier. Perhaps the greatest barrier for our cream is for users to understand its versatility and utility.


Workman’s Friend Barrier Skin Cream is light-weight and odorless product. A simple application of our non-greasy, formula means your hands will be moisturized and protected from common irritants.

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