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Best Chest Rubs: Breathe Easy Through the Night

If you begin to feel congested due to seasonal allergies, common colds, or any other illness, you probably would do anything to be able to breathe clearly- especially through the night. Luckily, there are some simple solutions that can help ease your breathing and treat your symptoms in order to get the rest you deserve to help fight off your ailments.

Chest rubs include various natural ingredients that help clear up your sinuses and break up chest congestion to soothe and clear your airways. They are effective and safe, and can be used in a few various ways to bring you relief. Take a look at our top picks to find what works best for your needs.

Rank Product Highlights
#1 Vicks VapoRub Chest Rub Ointment 

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  • Size: 3 pack of 1.76 ounces
  • Active Ingredients: camphor, eucalyptus, and menthol
  • Base Ingredients: cedarleaf oil, nutmeg oil, petrolatum, thymol, turpentine oil
#2 Puriya Chest Rub Cream for Congestion Relief

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  • Size: 2 ounces
  • Active Ingredients: eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree, and peppermint
  • Base Ingredients: beeswax and olive oil
#3 Mentholatum Nighttime Vaporizing Rub

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  • Size: 1.76 ounces
  • Active Ingredients: camphor, eucalyptus, and menthol
  • Base Ingredients: carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower, fragrance, lavandula angustifolia (lavender), rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil, white petrolatum
#4 Maty’s All Natural Vapor Rub

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  • Size: 1.5 ounces
  • Active Ingredients: Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, and Pine
  • Base Ingredients: Sunflower Oil, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, and Sunflower Wax
#5 Zarbee’s Naturals Baby Soothing Chest Rub

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  • Size: 1.5 ounces
  • Active Ingredients: Castor, Wintergreen, Eucalyptus, Lavender
  • Base Ingredients: Carnauba wax, beeswax, shea butter, vitamin E

Proper Way to Use a Chest Rub

Chest rubs are designed to be rubbed over the neck and upper chest area directly on the skin to allow the ingredients to get to work. This also provides a clear path for the effervescence to be inhaled. It often is more effective to place a clean cotton cloth or flannel over the chest as well to help hold in the heat that is generated.

For those who have sensitive skin, you can also put the rub directly on a cotton cloth and set it over your chest under a shirt. Although not as effective, it still provides a warming sensation and will help you breathe it in. This is also a good technique for younger children.

There has been talk of using rubs on the feet as well. And although not many studies support its effectiveness, it does seem to bring a degree of relief to those looking to relieve aches and pains.

Active Ingredients

The most popular ingredients in chest rub include camphor, eucalyptus, and menthol. However, you may also find other ingredients either blended with them, or in place of them to create a sensitive formula for more sensitive skins. Lavender, orange, tea tree, peppermint, rosemary, cinnamon, clove, or Thieves oil are all options you may see as an active ingredient.

In particular, these ingredients are the ones you want to pay the most attention to for quick, soothing relief:

— Camphor

Camphor has a calming effect that helps stimulate relaxation and can aid in sleep. It also has strong antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties to aid with healing and pain relief.

— Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus not only has a pleasant smell, but it also contains a natural chemical that gives it antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. This soothes pain and can reduce swelling.

— Menthol

Menthol is the primary compound of peppermint and provides a cooling and healing sensation. Although it does not have properties that directly heal, it does stimulate the body’s thermoreceptors which send a signal to the brain that the body is cooling. This ‘tricks’ the mind into a soothing relief that is very effective.

— Lavender

This gentle ingredient is excellent for sensitive skin and packs some powerful ingredients that work to both stimulate the mind, as well as heal the body. The scent works to help calm the mind and influence relaxation and sleep, while the antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties soothe both inside and out- making it effective as a topical and for inhalation.

 

Best Chest Rubs

The following chest rubs are some of the best marketed to help clear airways and provide relief from your ailments. They include various ingredients designed to soothe and heal, and offer sensitive formulas for sensitive skins as well.

1. Vicks VapoRub Chest Rub Ointment

SPECS:

  • Size: 3 pack of 1.76 ounces
  • Active Ingredients: camphor, eucalyptus, and menthol
  • Base Ingredients: cedarleaf oil, nutmeg oil, petrolatum, thymol, turpentine oil

Label: Top Pick Chest Rub 

Tried and true, Vicks is consistently given a 5-star rating and is considered a top pick for chest rub products due to being a best-selling product for over 100 years. Considered a safe cough relief option for children 2 and up, it works to relieve cough and congestion, open airways and provide ache and pain relief. 

Made with a blend of camphor, eucalyptus, and menthol, it is fast-acting when placed on the throat and chest. The petroleum and oil base allows you to apply it to the surface of the skin without the worry of it dripping or melting, and keeps it in place for effective use.

Pros Cons
  • Help keep airways clear with a clean, menthol scent
  • Can reduce swelling of hemorrhoids
  • Allows for a more productive cough
  • None found

Who This is For

This is an option for those who want fast cough and chest congestion pain relief. The ingredients work to ease pain and inflammation as well on other parts of the body. 

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2. Puriya Chest Rub Cream for Congestion Relief

SPECS:

  • Size: 2 ounces
  • Active Ingredients: eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree, and peppermint
  • Base Ingredients: beeswax and olive oil

Best Beeswax Based Chest Rub

Made with a beeswax and olive oil base, Puriya’s chest rub includes the active ingredients of eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree, and peppermint to provide fast-acting, soothing chest and cough relief. It also helps muscles relax and relieves pain, reduces cold and flu symptoms, and influences sleep.

Fast-acting, this is a sensitive skin option that is approved for children 2 and up. Always be sure to do a skin test before first using, but the soothing ingredients are generally considered an allergy-free option. Beeswax even has its own anti-inflammatory and moisture-locking properties!

Pros Cons
  • Fast-acting to help soothe sore airways
  • Calming and provides a clean, crisp scent that is not overwhelming
  • Helps calm coughs and influence deeper breathing
  • The light menthol smell is not as popular as products that are stronger

Who This is For

This is a great choice for those who are sensitive to petroleum products, and also are looking for a skin-soothing recipe that helps lock in moisture and heals from the outside in. 

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3. Mentholatum Nighttime Vaporizing Rub with soothing Lavender essence

SPECS:

  • Size: 1.76 ounces
  • Active Ingredients: camphor, eucalyptus, and menthol
  • Base Ingredients: carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower, fragrance, lavandula angustifolia (lavender), rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil, white petrolatum

Best Lavender Scented Chest Rub

Mentholatum is a product that has been around even longer than Vicks, and is just as popular as the best-seller due to the effective ingredients both use. This particular product is mixed with a blend of natural oils that have their own active properties to help relieve your symptoms and provide a calming fragrance. 

A strong showing of camphor, eucalyptus, and menthol is blended with calming, anti-inflammatory ingredients such as lavender, rosemary, and chamomile to provide aromatherapy feel that also helps heal from the inside out. Together they create a soothing experience that helps open airways, reduce inflammation, reduce coughing, and help you relax. 

Pros Cons
  • Really nice scent
  • Very calming and relaxing
  • Soothes and calms inflamed airways
  • Always check for skin sensitivities due to botanical oils

Who This is For

If you want the effectiveness of a strong chest rub, but need the soothing scent and influence of calming botanicals that support healing, this is an amazing choice.

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4. Maty’s All Natural Vapor Rub – Petroleum Free

SPECS:

  • Size: 1.5 ounces
  • Active Ingredients: Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, and Pine
  • Base Ingredients: Sunflower Oil, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, and Sunflower Wax

Label: Best Petroleum Free Chest Rub

If you are looking for an effective chest rub that is petroleum product free, Maty’s All Natural Vapor Rub is a great alternative to other products without sacrificing effectiveness. Created with pure, simple and natural ingredients, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, and pine oil make up their effective ingredients in a natural oil and wax base for easy application to your throat, chest, and anywhere else you are looking for cooling pain relief. 

Vegan, this is considered a safe option for all skin types and is approved for children 2 years and older. The health-promoting ingredients soothe coughs and colds, as well as reduces aches and pains related to various illnesses.

Pros Cons
  • Soothing scent that isn’t too harsh
  • Helps calm coughs and relieve congestion
  • No heavy greasy feeling
  • May not last as long as other products

Who This is For

When you want all-natural ingredients, Maty’s is an excellent solution that doesn’t sacrifice strength and provides relief and soothing effectiveness. 

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5. Zarbee’s Naturals Baby Soothing Chest Rub

SPECS:

  • Size: 1.5 ounces
  • Active Ingredients: Castor, Wintergreen, Eucalyptus, Lavender
  • Base Ingredients: Carnauba wax, beeswax, shea butter, vitamin E

Best Sensitive Skin/Baby Safe Chest Rub

When your baby needs nighttime relief, Zarbee’s Naturals is the 5-star option you want. Created for babies 2 months and older, it is a gentle, yet effective formula to help create a trouble-free breathing experience when run on the chest, back, neck, and bottom of feet. The soothing ingredients are cooling, calming, and therapeutic. 

Made from a mix of castor, wintergreen, eucalyptus, and lavender oils in a beeswax and shea butter base, it is nourishing and protective to delicate and sensitive skin. Help open airways and calm your babies and young children to allow them to eat and sleep better with this all-natural formula. 

Pros Cons
  • Soothing, calming scent that is not overpowering
  • Gentle formula that smooths on easily without being sticky or drippy
  • Help clear stuffy noses
  • None found

Who This is For

Designed for infants and young children, this is a soothing, gentle formula made from all-natural ingredients. Keep it on hand to help alleviate the worst of the congestive symptoms.

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Conclusion

If you have been looking for relief from aches and pain, congestion, and respiratory ailments, a chest rub is a safe, effective way to alleviate the worst of your symptoms. Help clear your airways with any of these great products to provide youtube means tourists easier and allow your body to heal.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Use a Chest Rub?

As mentioned, a chest rub is used to help bring relief to congestion and ease symptoms of respiratory distress. Ingredients help improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, and open up airways to allow you the ability to breathe through your nasal passages unobstructed. They can also help ease the feeling of chest heaviness and work to break up any accumulation of phlegm in your lungs due to sinus drainage. They often make a cough more productive as well to clear your airways. Also, it is important to note that many of the ingredients are known to help soothe aches and pains due to their anti-inflammatory properties. This can help soothe fevers and even reduce swelling.