Vapour Rubs for Sick Kids: Check the Ingredients!

Vapour Rubs for Sick Kids: Check the Ingredients!

Posted by Laura Klein on 15th Jun 2023

As parents, we want to ensure the well-being of our children, especially when they are under the weather.

Vapour rubs have been popular choices for relieving coughs and congestion. However, it is essential to be aware of the ingredients in such products, particularly synthetic camphor, which can pose potential risks to our little ones.

We want you to understand the ingredients in chemist brand chest rubs and the dangers associated with synthetic camphor.

Plus, what to look for in a natural chest rub, offering safer alternatives for your child's respiratory relief.

Understanding the Ingredients in Chemist Brand Chest Rubs:

Camphor (Synthetic): Vicks VapoRub changed their formula from natural camphor to synthetic camphor in 2004, Synthetic camphor is derived from turpentine oil and has a distinct aroma. However, it is important to note that synthetic camphor can be toxic if used improperly or in excessive amounts or if ingested, particularly in young children.

Menthol: Menthol, another ingredient in Vicks VapoRub, provides a cooling sensation that can temporarily relieve congestion and soothe coughs. While generally safe, it is important to follow the recommended usage guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Menthol can cause extreme discomfort for young children if accidentally rubbed in the eyes.

Eucalyptus Oil: Eucalyptus oil is a natural ingredient often found in chest rubs. It has a refreshing scent and may help alleviate respiratory symptoms. However, it is crucial to ensure that the eucalyptus oil used in the product is of high quality and properly diluted.

Dangers of Synthetic Camphor:

Synthetic camphor, while widely used, can be dangerous if not used correctly or if the substance is ingested accidentally. Some potential risks associated with synthetic camphor include:

Skin Irritation: Applying synthetic camphor directly to the skin can lead to redness, irritation, and even chemical burns, especially in young children with more sensitive skin.

Respiratory Distress: Ingesting or inhaling large amounts of synthetic camphor can cause breathing difficulties, seizures, and even respiratory collapse. Children are particularly susceptible to these risks.

Neurological Effects: Excessive use or ingestion of synthetic camphor may lead to neurological symptoms such as confusion, dizziness, and seizures.

Ingredients in a Natural Chest Rub:

When looking for a natural chest rub alternative, Dr Axe recommends the following ingredients should be a high priority:

Beeswax: A natural emollient that helps protect and moisturize the skin.

Coconut Oil: Known for its moisturizing properties, coconut oil acts as a carrier oil for other ingredients.

Shea Butter: A nourishing ingredient that helps soothe irritated skin.

Essential Oils: Plant-based essential oils like eucalyptus, lavender, or tea tree can provide soothing respiratory benefits. Ensure they are organic and properly diluted for safe use.

Snotty Noses Breathe Balm

Are you looking for a more natural alternative, that is still relieves cold and congestion symptoms? Our organic Breathe Balm is more expensive than chemist brands, but the ingredients and quality are an investment in safe health care. 

Plus a little goes a long way. The shea butter component ensures no sticky residue, and helps the balm absorb into the skin quickly.

Blended in Tasmania, you'll be happy to use these ingredients with your family: Purified Water, Fractionated Coconut Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Shea Butter, Beeswax, Olive Oil, Almond Oil, Macadamia Oil, Xanthan Gum, Microcrystalline Wax, Extracts of Rosehip, Chamomile & Vanilla, Lecithin, Glyceryl Caprylate, Essential Oils of Lavender, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Lemongrass, Sprinkles of Hugs and Happiness

Prioritizing your child's well-being is essential. By making informed choices about ingredients, you can provide effective and safer respiratory relief when your little one needs it the most.

Save $10 on our Organic Balm Duo 


Organic, topical vapour balms (50g) to support breathing, respiratory health and sleep. Handmade in Tasmania

Disclaimer: Our products are offered for sale with general use guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Should any sensitivity to our products occur, please discontinue use. Patch test balms for 24 hours. Not to be ingested. For use on children 6 months and over.

We are not doctors or healthcare professionals or aromatherapists. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, and/or take the place of medical treatment prescribed by a doctor or medical professional.