When talking about these two legendary pain relief creams, there’s that instant effect they remind us of.

Cool, biting yet still soothing and of course, controversial sense.

Before getting right to the point and deciding which to praise officially, let me go through their pros and cons. Come on, let’s dive in together.

Biofreeze: it’s advantages and disadvantages

Verified by the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), the Biofreeze gel is celebrating its 25 years anniversary. It’s a time-tested cream / spray that has been to the aid of many since its debut. Its ingredients are said to be legendary, but does its effect stand up to our expectations?

We’ll find that out in a minute.

Proven by 56 clinical studies, the Biofreeze gel is a top choice even on Amazon’s marketplace for years now. Despite the fact that it’s not the cheapest among pain relief creams.

To be honest, when I first used Biofreeze, I hoped for some magical ingredient to spot, but there wasn’t anything special on the list:

  • 4% Menthol
  • USP-grade Camphor
  • Aloe
  • Arnica
  • Burdock root
  • Boswellia
  • Calendula
  • Green tea
  • Ilex
  • Lemon balm
  • Vitamin E

Thanks to its long lasting formula, when scrubbed in thoroughly in your lower back, the pain relief effect will going to last for 4 to 5 hours. This makes it almost easy to manage back pain issues even for those who’re in the 9 – 5 grind. You can take the bottle with you to the office and apply a good amount of freeze to your lower back from time to time.

Speaking of effectiveness:

This is something that truly alleviates my pain for hours.

In fact, there were two occasions, when I even forgot about my injury and managed to get injured again. Something that makes you forget entirely about your back is injured? Now we are talking.

Biofreeze had compiled ingredients to be effective for many types of pains:

  • Strains
  • Injuries
  • Chronic pain
  • Arthritis
  • Tendonitis
  • Fibromyalgia


Pro tip: If you’re handicapped by lower back pain, and willing to do some minimum amount of exercising daily, check out our review of the True Back stretching pad. 
How does it work?

Biofreeze is often get compared to ice applied to your skin, except the fact that it’s said 2 times effective as ice itself. It slows down blood flow right at your pain point which results in pain relief. Actually, it stimulates nerve endings in the skin which transmit to signals to the central nervous system and competes with pain signals.

According to my experience, the Biofreeze works wonders all the time, when I need instant pain relief in my lower back. It allows me to live with my pain even on days when I’m feeling too tired to practice or use a back stretcher.

One huge benefit Biofreeze has compared to Bengay is that it contains no parabens. No NSAIDS, ibuprofen, aspirin or other salicylates. It’s actually an effective solution of herbs which really work. I won’t say it’s organic, still, it’s good to know that it contains only non-harmful ingredients.

How long does one bottle last?

The 32 oz. bottle usually lasts like 3 months for me and I apply it to my hurting lower back 2 or 3 times a day.

To be honest, I haven’t experienced any of its downsides, but some customers reported that the original, green gel performed much better than the colorless one. Being said that, if color is not a concern for you, you should go with the original one.

This is going to be a tough one for the competitor, Bengay, because Biofreeze seemed to perform at maximum levels in most aspects. Let’s see.

Bengay: Another old one in the ring

Although Bengay’s ingredient list is convincing, somehow less pain sufferers report of its supremeness. Ingredients include:

  • 4% Camphor
  • 10% Menthol
  • 30% Methyl Salicylate
  • Inactive: Carbomer 940
  • Edetate Disodium
  • Glyceryl Stearate Se
  • Lanolin
  • Polysorbate 80
  • Potassium Hydroxide
  • Purified Water
  • Stearic Acid
  • Triethanolamine

As you can see, Bengay contains much more Menthol compared to Biofreeze. Even though customers report that it’s not that effective and it doesn’t last only for a short period of time.

Also, if you’re aware that you’ve a sensitive skin, please don’t use the Bengay. I’ve head (and also experienced) that when it’s applied to the skin it can give you a rash. Perhaps it’s connected to the salicylates which is a main ingredient of Bengay.

Yes, this is a huge letdown of Bengay.

Salicylates can be very dangerous to your health with everyday usage, especially if you suffer of diabetes. If you’re planning to use it on a daily basis (and not occasionally, e.g. if you’re a chronic back pain sufferer), you might end up with salicylate intoxication.

Okay, this is not the common case, but you have to consider that salicylates way more harmful than Biofreeze’s natural ingredients.

Well. I’m not saying Bengay is not working at all.

Actually it can be good for:

  • Minor aches
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain

Compared to Biofreeze, this list was not too long though. To sum up a bit: the main difference between the two products is that Bengay is designed to be used for minor and temporary aches. Whereas Biofreeze is something more powerful.

Bengay does work for many fellow back painters but:

  • On one hand it didn’t seem as effective as biofreeze and unfortunately,
  • It contains harmful ingredients.

And this is something important when you consider using it for two or three times a day, for possibly years to come.

Anything better than Biofreeze?

I’ve been using some essential oils for back pain quite a lot these days.

Being said that, if you prefer an even more natural solution, the DoTerra Deep Blue might be better than Biofreeze for you.

This is not really a cream, but a blend of organic essential oils getting increasingly popular these days. You can check my detailed DoTerra Deep Blue review here.

The Verdict

From the last paragraphs you could probably tell which pain relief cream is the winner for me.

Of course, it’s Biofreeze.

Only a bit more expensive compared to Bengay, Biofreeze is a solution that contains mainly natural ingredients safe to use even in the long term. You can use it freely even 3 times a day without doing any harm to your body.

On the contrary, there’s Bengay. It performs well for most customers with minor aches. Honestly I wouldn’t recommend it over Biofreeze even if you have back aches occasionally, because it’s almost the same price.

Have any questions regarding Biofreeze or Bengay? Let me know in the comments section down below.

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