Paws are the best things in the world. Sometimes when Artemis is napping, I do a creepy thing and I lie my head down by her paws, so that I can look at them closely for as long as I want. What little miracles they are! And how wonderful is that corn chip smell! And yet, despite how much these little paws take on, they are also very sensitive due to the concentration of nerve endings on these sweet little pads. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, I have been gently washing Artemis’ paws with Dr. Bronner’s soap. Unfortunately, as with my increasingly chapped hands, I’m worried about drying out her paws. So, at night, when I put on my face mask, I apply balm onto Artemis’ paws.
As a former beauty editor, I’m very particular about the salves and balms I put on my dog. Skin is absorbent, after all, and you want what’s best for your dog. Here are our #ArtemisApproved balms from human brands (tip: look for baby-safe products, and avoid cocoa butter) to keep your pup’s paws soft and pampered. As a bonus, you can use them on your hands and cuticles, too. We could all use a little more TLC these days.
Ingredients: organic ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, organic vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, organic rosa canina (rosehip) seed oil, organic helianthus annus (sunflower) seed oil, organic glycerin, hydrogenated castor oil
Why we love it: All the ingredients are safe enough for the entire family, from newborn babies to fur babies, because the brand has banned all 1400 cosmetics ingredients banned by the EU, as well as 600 more ingredients, such as irritating fragrance oils.. This soft balm is made of plant-based superfoods; it tastes slightly sweet when you wear it on your lips.
Ingredients: petrolatum, ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, beeswax/cera alba/cire d’abeille, lanolin, theobroma grandiflorum seed butter, oryza sativa (rice) bran extract, helianthus annuus (sunflower) extract, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, bht, tocopheryl acetate, tocopherol.
Why we love it: There is a high chance, if you’re on Instagram, that you already have this affordable petroleum-based balm at home. (Glossier even worked with Bark to make a dog toy version.) If you don’t have it yet, we recommend the Original because it’s flavorless and colorless. The formula contains three moisturizers (castor oil, beeswax, and lanolin), and the waxy texture allows the balm to stay in place without melting off.
Ingredients: butyrosperumum parkii butter, salvia hispanica (supercritical chia) oil, prunus armenica (apricot) kernel oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) oil, beeswax, tocopherol (non-gmo vitamin e), 2% essential oils and botanical extracts
Why we love it: This is one of those hard balms that melts into your skin upon contact. A little bit goes a long way on your dog’s paws, and it’s great for your own dry feet, too. Give yourself a pedicure night at home.
Ingredients: ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, glycerin, hydrogenated castor oil.
Why we love it: The fewer ingredients, the better. There are only three ingredients in this formula, originally formulated for post-operative skin, and two of them are castor oil. Plus, it’s fragrance-free, where is our preference for paws and sensitive skin. Luxury products don’t have to be complicated.
Ingredients: helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, beeswax (cera alba), olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), calophyllum tacamahaca (tamanu) oil, calendula officinalis flower extract, anthemis nobilis (chamomile) oil, tocopherol (non-gmo)
Why we love it: This mostly-organic and super gentle balm is formulated for dry baby skin, and it’s one of the most high-quality balms you can buy for under $15.
Photography by Sylvie Rosokoff