Badger's Frequently Asked Questions

Hello Badger fans!
We've compiled this list of commonly asked questions, and fun facts about the Badger company and our products. If you don't see your question answered here, feel free to email us and a live Badger will respond as soon as possible.

General Questions
Product-Specific Questions
Ingredient Questions

General Questions:

Click on the questions below to reveal the answer.

What is the shelf life of an unopened tin of Badger?

An unopened tin of Badger stored at moderate temperatures should be good for three years. If you open it and it smells good, it is good. Since most of our products are made with a base of olive oil and beeswax, both natural preservatives, even a balm that doesn't smell as good is still safe to use, just not as pleasant! We do not use chemical stabilizers or any other nasty stuff, so extremes in temperature (such as freezing, thawing, and humidity) can affect shelf life by changing the consistency and lessening the scent of the balm.

How can I find the expiration date on my product?

All of our tins are imprinted with a "Best By" date on the outside of the lid, which is three years from manufacture. Our lip balms have both a date of manufacture and a "BB" (best by) date stamped on the bottom of the stick, which is two years after manufacture. Our oils have a "Best By" date sticker on the product boxes as well as on the bottom of the glass bottle, which is two years from the manufacture date. Our sunscreens have an "EXP" (expiration date) imprinted on the top of the tube within the crimped seal, which is two years from the manufacture date.

Click to find the expiration date on your product.

How long will an opened tin last?

As soon as you open a tin of any product and use it, the life span varies. Since Badger does not use any chemical stabilizers, factors such as storage temperature and humidity, as well as how clean the fingers are that scoop out the product impact an open tin's life span. Essential oils will slowly but surely evaporate from an open tin; that's the pleasant fragrance you smell when you open one. You can expect your opened balm to stay good for 12 months, however if it looks good and smells good, it is still good!

How can I make sure my Badger stays fresh?

Keep it covered when not in use. Keep your product out of direct sun when possible, and avoid repeated freezing and thawing. Refrigeration is not necessary, but it will certainly prolong the life of the product.

Why does the balm in my tin of Badger look different than the last time I bought it?

Badger uses only minimally-processed natural ingredients, and because of this, variation in color from one batch to another is common. Normal variance in sunshine, rain, or temperature from year to year or country harvested can all subtly affect natural ingredients. One season's pressing of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil may be greener in color than others, or you may experience a stronger or subtler scent with an essential oil. These are all normal and to be expected with natural ingredients.

What happens if one of my Badger products freezes or melts? Can I still use it?

Absolutely. However, you may find that the consistency will change a little. Sometimes the product becomes much softer and creamier if it freezes and then thaws, but it is still absolutely fine to use.

Can I use Badger products on my face?

non comedogenic icon

Products designated for the face (Cleansing Oils, Face Oils, and Face Sunscreens) have been tested and approved non-comedogenic, meaning they will not clog pores. To know if the product you’re looking at has been tested, look for this symbol. Almost all of Badger’s products are gentle enough to be used on the face. However we do not recommend using our Sore Muscle Rub, Sore Joint Rub, or Ginger Massage Oil on the face due to the cayenne content. If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a line.

I'm pregnant and/or nursing, are your products safe for me?

We make a line of products specifically for new moms and moms-to-be – check it out!

Almost all of Badger’s products are safe to use during pregnancy, but if you’re unsure you should check with your doctor. As with all new products, it is best to do a skin patch test to test for possible allergic reactions.

Can I use your products on my children/baby?

Absolutely! We have received feedback from moms, dads and grandparents that Badger Balm and Baby Balm are safe and effective when used on even the littlest Badger's skin irritations, cradle cap and diaper rash. Many people also use our Anti-Bug Repellents, Sleep Balm, After Sun Balm, and Night-Night Balm as natural alternatives for their children. As with all new products it is best to do a skin patch test prior to full usage to test for any skin allergies, and if you have any questions please check with your doctor.

I have allergies to gluten, are Badger products safe for me?

Yes, and as of July 2015, our products—with the exception of Sunscreens, Soaps, After-Bug Balm and Lip Tints & Shimmers, which are produced outside the Badger facility—are certified gluten free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), one of the top certification programs in the world. When you see the GF logo on a Badger product, you’ll know that product meets strict gluten-free standards that have been independently verified.

Click here for more information. Or click here to view all our gluten free products.

The following Badger products, which are produced outside the Badger facility, may contain the potential allergen gluten:

• Lip Tints & Shimmers
• Soaps (Badger Rose Geranium Face & Body Soap contains finely ground oatmeal)
• Sunscreens
• After-Bug Balm

Badger Lip Tints & Shimmers, soaps, After-Bug Balm and sunscreens are filled off-site by subcontract manufacturers using machinery that also produces products containing wheat. Our subcontract manufacturers do careful cleanings between product runs to greatly reduce the possibility of cross contamination, and all Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards are followed. Batches are also periodically tested to be sure that the cleaning processes are sufficient to reduce cross contamination of any allergens. However, these products cannot be guaranteed gluten-free. 

When using a new product for the first time, it is a good idea to read our full-disclosure labels carefully and/or perform a skin patch test prior to full use.

What does gluten-free mean?

Gluten refers to certain proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley. People with gluten-related disorders or sensitivity cannot tolerate the proteins found in foods containing these grains. Products certified gluten free contain none of the proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley.

I have allergies to peanuts, are Badger products safe for me?

Badger products do not contain peanuts or peanut products. However, Badger does not claim that our products are peanut-free because we do not have a peanut-free certification.

Products that are manufactured at our subcontractors' facilities (sunscreens; soaps; lip balms manufactured prior to July 2015) do not contain peanuts. However they may be produced on equipment that does produce products containing peanuts. While GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) standards are met during the cleaning process, the company does not claim to have a peanut free facility, nor does it hold any peanut-free certifications.

When using a product for the first time, we recommend that you read our full-disclosure labels carefully and/or perform a skin patch test prior to full use.

I have allergies to tree nuts, are Badger products safe for me?

The following Badger products do contain the potential allergen of Tree Nuts (Argan, Baobab, Cocoa, Coconut, Nutmeg, and Shea):

• Badger After-Bug Stick (coconut oil)
• Badger After Sun Balm (cocoa and shea butter)
• Badger Argan Cleansing Oil (argan oil)
• Badger Argan Face Oil (argan and baobab oil)
• Badger Argan Beauty Balm (argan and baobab oil)
• Badger Argan Hair Oil (argan oil)
• Badger Damascus Rose Antioxidant Face Oil (baobab oil)
• Badger Seabuckthorn Face Oil (baobab oil)
• Badger Unscented Face Oil (baobab oil)
• Badger Cuticle Care (shea butter)
• All Badger Cocoa Butter Lip Balms (cocoa butter)
• All Badger Every Day Body Moisturizers (cocoa, nutmeg and shea butter, coconut oils) - Note: These items have been discontinued.
• Badger SPF 15 Lip Balm Sunscreen (cocoa and shea butter)
• Badger SPF 35 Sport Face Stick Sunscreen (cocoa and shea butter) 
• Badger SPF 35 Kids Face Stick Sunscreen (cocoa and shea butter)
• Badger SPF 25 Unscented Sunscreen Lotion (coco-glucoside derived from coconut & coconut extract)
• Badger SPF 25 Rose Sunscreen Lotion (coco-glucoside derived from coconut & coconut extract)
• Badger SPF 25 Tinted Rose Sunscreen Lotion (coco-glucoside derived from coconut & coconut extract)
• Badger Pre-Shave Oil (baobab oil)
• Badger After Shave Face Oil (baobab oil)
• Badger Beard Balm (baobab oil) 
• Badger Man Care Hair Oil (baobab oil)
• Badger Shave Soap (shea butter and sodium cocoate derived from coconut oil) 
• Badger Hair Pomade (coconut oil and shea butter) 
• Badger Mustache Wax (shea butter) 
• Badger Pregnant Belly Balm (cocoa butter, coconut oil) 
• Badger Pregnant Belly Oil (coconut oil) 
• Badger Nursing Balm (coconut oil)

GMP standards for cleaning are followed to eliminate any possible cross contamination at the Badger facility and its subcontractors' facilities, however we cannot guarantee that our other products not on this list are 100% nut-free, nor do we currently hold any certifications for this.

When using a product for the first time, we recommend you read our full-disclosure labels carefully and/or perform  a skin patch test prior to full use.

I have allergies to soy, are Badger products safe for me?

The following Badger products do contain the potential allergen Soy or ingredients derived from Soy:

• Badger Anti-Bug Shake & Spray (soybean oil)
• Badger SPF 20 Damascus Rose Face Lotion - 2015 formula (lecithin derived from soybean)
• Badger SPF 20 Damascus Rose Face Lotion Tinted - 2015 formula (lecithin derived from soybean)

Separate filling tubes are used when producing Badger Anti-Bug Shake and Spray as this product contains soy to also avoid any potential cross contamination.

The following Badger products may contain the potential allergen Soy or ingredients derived from Soy:
• After Shave Face Tonic
• Badger Lip Tint & Shimmers
• Lip balms manufactured prior to July 2015 

All products packaged in tins are made on machinery that has not touched any soy ingredients.

When using a product for the first time, we recommend you read our full-disclosure labels carefully and/or perform  a skin patch test prior to full use.

I have allergies to corn, are Badger products safe for me?

The following Badger products do contain the potential allergen Corn:

• Badger After Shave Face Tonic (corn-derived denatured alcohol)
• Badger sunscreens manufactured prior to June 2012 contain Tocopherol (natural vitamin E), which is partially derived from corn. All of Badger Sunscreens manufactured after June 2012 are made with 100% Sunflower-derived Vitamin E. Look for this specification (e.g. Tocopherol (Sunflower Vitamin E)) on the product label if you have allergies to corn.

When using a product for the first time, we recommend you read our full-disclosure labels carefully and/or perform  a skin patch test prior to full use.

My dog, cat, lizard ate my tin of Badger, will they be OK?

All the ingredients contained in Badger products are natural (and most of them are also food-grade Certified Organic). In most cases, if consumed by a pet (except cats), there would be no harmful effect. Cats cannot process essential oils, so if the product has a high essential oil content it may make your cat sick. Check with your vet to be sure, since different animals have different sensitivities to essential oils, and though we're Badgers we're no animal experts!

Is it ok to use Badger on my cat?

No, it is not okay to use any product containing essential oils on a cat. They cannot process essential oils in the same way that dogs or humans do and it may make them sick.

Do you do animal testing?

No way – we love animals and will never test on them! W.S. Badger conducts no product testing on animals, as all the ingredients are safe and "food grade" when used in the proper amounts (our essential oils are always properly diluted.) We test all prototype products on families, friends, volunteers and ourselves. It's fun. If the new product does not pass our tough standards it does not make it to the marketplace. We are also certified by Leaping Bunny which means that not only do we not test our products on animals, but we have confirmed that none of our suppliers test their ingredients on animals either.

Do Badger products contain any animal ingredients? Do you use oil made from badgers in your products?

No, our products do not contain any animal ingredients and this includes badger oil! Most of our products do contain beeswax, which is produced by bees. Currently our only vegan products are our Massage Oils, Body Oils (including Baby Oil), Face Oil, Anti-Bug Shake & Spray, Hair Oils, Pre-Shave Oil, Aftershave Oil, Beard Oil, Shave Soap and our Damascus Rose Face Sunscreen Lotions.

Do Badger formulas contain any chemical ingredients?

We are committed to using ingredients that are as close to nature as possible and most of our products are USDA Certified Organic and/or certified natural. Read our labels and you will not see any petroleum derived ingredients, sodium lauryl sulfate, dyes, fragrances, parabens, carcinogens or anything controversial. The few chemical sounding ingredients we use in a few of our products, such as the sucrose cocoate and gluconolactone in our sunscreen lotions, are directly derived from natural plant materials and are uncontroversially safe. All of our minerals, including the zinc oxide in our sunscreens and the minerals in our tinted lip balms are processed in a laboratory to ensure purity.

Do your products contain sunscreen?

Only products labeled with an SPF value are registered with the FDA as sunscreens. Our Lip Tint and Shimmers do contain minerals that offer some sun protection (titanium dioxide and iron oxide) but these are not registered sunscreen products and we make no claims as to their sun screening ability. Our other balms do help heal and soothe dry parched skin but offer no protection from the sun. See our About Badger Sunscreens page for more information on Badger's full line of sunscreen products.

Do Badger products contain antioxidants, particularly vitamin E?

Yes, Badger products are rich in antioxidants and vitamin E, which naturally occurs in the oils, butters, waxes, and extracts we use to formulate our powerfully pure products. Our sunscreen creams use a naturally-derived Sunflower Vitamin E for preservation. We believe that the best place to get these is from the plants they naturally occur in.

Do our plastic tubes contain BPA or Phthalates?

No, they are BPA- and Phthalate-free.

I got stains on my clothing/linens from using Badger products—what can I do?

White Stain: Zinc Oxide
Unfortunately, one of the natural properties of Zinc Oxide is that it is white. This whitening effect can sometimes cause stains on darker fabrics. To help remove these stains, here are a few tips:
Soak the garment in regular white vinegar for a while then launder in the hottest water the fabric can handle. Then, AIR DRY. If the stain is still apparent after air drying, repeat the soaking process and launder again. It is best to do this before the item is placed in an electric tumble dryer which can set the stain.
If you are concerned about the color of the garment being affected by the vinegar, you can try looking for an "enzyme based" commercial brand of stain remover that is specifically for colored fabrics.

Grease Stain: Olive Oil
Treat stains of this nature just like a stain from salad dressing! If the stain you are dealing with is mostly from the oil in the product (rather than the white of the Zinc Oxide) try putting some baking soda on the stain and letting it sit for a while before laundering. Then, add a little dish soap to the water when washing the garment—this will help to break up the oil component that regular laundry detergents do not always provide.
Again, wash in hot water and air dry to be sure the stain is removed before drying in an electric dryer.

Please be aware that the combination of white vinegar and baking soda can cause a bleaching reaction. Do not use both of these stain removal techniques together if the garment is not totally white!

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Product-Specific Questions:

Click on the questions below to reveal the answer.

Sunscreen Questions:

How much sunscreen should I apply?

The FDA tests sunscreen's SPF using 2 milligrams of sunscreen per square centimeter (2mg/cm2) of skin. This is about 1oz for a full adult body (about a shot glass full) or about 1/3 of a teaspoon to cover your face. It's nearly impossible to actually measure and evenly apply sunscreen according to these guidelines, so we suggest applying a visibly whitening coat of sunscreen to all exposed skin and rubbing it in to reduce the whitening effect. To ensure that you have achieved full and even coverage, let this coat dry/sink in for 15-30 minutes and then reapply. Think of it as a base coat and finish coat.

To maintain maximum effectiveness, sunscreen should be reapplied at least every 2 hours and directly after extended swimming or sweating. For sensitive skin, apply a small amount of the product to test before full use. Keep out of eyes and keep off broken or unhealthy skin. Adult supervision recommended when using this product on children. If separation in product occurs, knead tube to remix product before use.

Does sunscreen expire? Where do I find the expiration date?

Badger sunscreens have a shelf life of two to three years from the date they are manufactured (depending on the product). That is the expiration date that is printed on the crimp (top edge) of the tubes. The product should remain good for use for one year after it is opened, or until the expiration date has been reached. We cannot guarantee that an expired product will adequately protect you from the sun and you should replace the tube. Note: Extreme temperature fluctuations may cause the natural ingredients in these products to expire early. We recommend that you store Badger sunscreen in temperatures below 90 degrees F.

Many more Badger Sunscreen FAQs (new page)

Can I use your Zinc Oxide Diaper Cream with cloth diapers?

The simple answer is 'no'. While many moms and dads here at Badger use this diaper cream with cloth diapers, they generally use a liner to make sure the diaper is protected. For the official word on whether or not you can use our diaper cream with your brand of diapers - check with your diaper service or the manufacturer of your cloth diapers.

Can I use your Anti-Bug products on my children? How about my baby?

Badger Anti-Bug Balm, Anti-Bug Spray, and Anti-Bug Sunscreen are formulated with all natural and USDA Certified Organic ingredients, including essential oils that have insect repellant qualities. Essential oils in high concentrations could irritate the skin; however, the percentages in our products should not cause irritation unless your child has an allergy or specific sensitivity. We have heard from many users that our Anti-Bug repellents have proved to be safe and effective for their children. Consult with a doctor before using this product on an infant or toddler. With all new products, it is best to do a skin patch test prior to full usage and if you have any questions check with your doctor.

Do your Anti-Bug Repellents help repel ticks?

We have anecdotal evidence that they are helpful, but due to the risks associated with Lyme Disease we do not recommend relying on our Anti-Bug Repellents to keep you or your pet tick free.

Why did Badger remove the USDA Organic logo from the bug repellent packaging?

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates all bug repellents and they only allow these products to reference a single federal agency on their labels as they are concerned that consumers will not know who to go to if they have a problem with the product. Our Anti-Bug Balm and Spray are still certified organic, but we cannot reference the USDA on the labels.

Do Badger Anti-Bug Products protect against Zika? Were your products tested on the type of mosquito that carries the Zika virus?

The W.S. Badger Company, Inc. manufactures Anti-Bug Balm, Anti-Bug Spray, and Anti-Bug Sunscreen using all natural ingredients that are DEET-free. These products are formulated and lab tested to repel mosquitoes but they are not intended to control or mitigate specific species of insects that may transmit diseases to humans, such as those that carry the Zika virus.

What kind of testing has been performed on your Anti-Bug products?

A laboratory trial was conducted to assess the efficacy of Badger's Anti-Bug Balm formula as a mosquito and stable fly repellent. The test results concluded, "Badger Anti-Bug Balm was highly effective in controlling mosquitoes and stables flies for up to one and a half hours post treatment, in terms of 95% repellency. Efficacy remained high up to three and a half hours against mosquitoes and three hours against stable flies."

Badger's Anti-Bug Spray and Anti-Bug Sunscreen were both laboratory-tested to determine the efficacy of these products as mosquito repellents. Test results concluded, "The Anti-Bug Spray provided a narrow range of 3 to 4 hours of protection, with an average of 3.4 hours. The Anti-Bug Sunscreen allowed a wider range of 3.5 to 5.5 hours of protection, with an average of 4.1 hours."

Are the minerals used in Badger's Lip Tint & Shimmers safe?

Yes. We believe we are using the safest and most effective lip tint colors available. Badger uses the following high grade pigments: mica, silica, iron oxide, and titanium dioxide. Our pigments are specifically designed to meet all FDA requirements for color used in cosmetics and lip care products. The pigments that we use also meet requirements for a number of international natural standards, including; the NPA Natural Standard, the Ecocert Natural Standard, the Na True Natural Standard, and the Whole Foods Premium Body Care Standard.

Can Badger Balm help heal eczema and psoriasis?

Our products are not medicines or drugs (except our sunscreens which are considered sunscreen drugs by the FDA), they are natural remedies that support your body's innate ability to heal itself. We have received regular feedback from customers that Badger Balm has helped to soothe the discomforts of skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis, but we cannot say definitively that they help to heal these skin ailments.

What is your best product for dry skin?

All of our products are based in healing oils, butters and waxes and are designed to moisturize the skin in addition to their other properties. Unsure where to start? Why not take a look at our bestsellers!

Do I have to put the aromatherapy Mind Balms on my temples?

Badger Mind Balms are made from 100% Organic, All-Natural ingredients and can be applied anywhere on the body to help you experience their aromatherapy benefits. Application to the nose and lips is safe and effective.

Can I use Badger Lip Balms around my eyes? What about Foot Balm on my hands, Cuticle Care on my feet, etc.

Almost all of Badger's products can be used on any part of the body (regardless of their name) - it really comes down to what you fancy!

*Please use caution when using our Sore Muscle Rubs and Anti-Bug Repellents, as they may irritate sensitive areas such as eyes, nose, and mouth.

Does Sore Muscle Rub help relieve arthritis symptoms?

Badger Sore Muscle Rub is neither a medicine nor a drug. Rather it is intended to gently warm and soothe muscles; making it perfect for use before and after exercise, after a long day, or anytime you're feeling a little stiff. Cayenne is rich in vitamins C, E, and other powerful antioxidants

Does Sleep Balm contain any chemicals or drugs?

Sleep Balm is all natural, USDA Certified Organic, and does not contain any chemicals or drugs. The fragrant, relaxing mixture of essential oils helps to calm your thoughts, and then you fall asleep naturally. There is no risk of dependency (unless you become addicted to having really soft skin wherever you apply it!)

Can I use Badger Balm on my lips/face or is it just for hands?

The Original Badger Balm and the Unscented Badger Healing Balm can be used on any body part that needs it. We Badgers use it on hands as well as legs, elbows, feet, faces and lips. Badger will soothe any parched and thirsty skin.? Most of our products are safe to use anywhere on your body. Do use caution on sensitive areas because essential oils may be irritating. Be especially cautious with our Sore Muscle Rub line, because most contain an extract of Cayenne Pepper which is especially painful if you get it in your eye.

Is the Damascus Rose Beauty Balm (formerly Evolving Body Balm) good for scars?

Yes, this is a good product to use on soothing wounds or scars. The Seabuckthorn is a particularly good ingredient for skin rejuvenation, as it contains powerful plant-based antioxidants, and has been used traditionally for thousands of years for this purpose.

Is Aromatic Chest Rub a decongestant?

Our Aromatic Chest Rub can act as a natural decongestant, especially when you use it in a steam. Just put 1/2 teaspoon of balm in a basin of hot water, make a tent over the basin with a towel and inhale the steam deeply. The Eucalyptus, Menthol Crystals, and other essential oils will help to clear your stuffy nose so that you can breathe easier. You can also apply Aromatic Chest Rub directly to your sore, chapped nose and not only will it help to clear your stuffy head, it will soothe your poor skin.

What are those bumps in my After Sun Balm and Cuticle Care?

Those bumps are concentrated beads of nourishing Shea Butter. The Shea Butter will occasionally separate a bit, but it is not a problem and the little bumps will melt right away as you rub the balm into your skin.

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Ingredient Questions:

Click on the questions below to reveal the answer.

What is Castor Oil and where does it come from?

Castor oil is a soothing emollient, cold-pressed from Castor "Beans." The Castor plant is a semi-tropical shrub whose common name is "Palma Christi" or "Palm of Christ." Castor Beans are poisonous, but Castor Oil is not. The toxic part of the bean is water-soluble and is not present in the oil.

What makes Extra Virgin Olive Oil "Extra Virgin"?

It is a "First cold-pressed" oil of olive that has been pressed while the olive fruit is still fresh, resulting in a low-acidity, high quality oil (this is what qualifies it as "extra virgin"). It has a lovely color that ranges from greenish to golden, and retains all of its naturally occurring vitamins and antioxidants making it very nutritious, soothing and healing for your skin.

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How do I perform a "skin patch test?"

We mentioned this a few times. Some people are sensitive to essential oils. When in doubt, test. Apply a small amount of the product you are testing to the inside of your elbow or any other sensitive area. Best to cover it with a band-aid. Leave it overnight. In the morning check for signs of irritation or other skin sensitivity.