Five Muscle Pain Relief Products For Blasting Post Workout Discomfort

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I often feel and look like I got crushed by an anvil hours after exercising or even when I wake up the next morning (it gets that real). This is especially true after pole dancing where I often bruise, or hardcore Pilates and H.I.I.T., where my muscles may feel stiff or strained.

Check out this doozie following a pole dancing class:

So, yeah…don’t ever believe the hype that dark skin people can’t bruise but I digress.

Anyway, I’ve amassed an arsenal of sore muscle pain relief products that I want to share them with you because they need angel wings even though they’re inanimate objects.

1. Shea Moisture Joint and Muscle Relief Balm

The Shea Moisture joint and muscle relief balm has a nice lavender and wild orchid scent, and they’ve added shea butter for moisture. As per the container, lavender has anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate muscle spasms, shea butter moisturizes and heals skin, and it also contains peppermint, which is anti-inflammatory and good for muscle tension. It’s greasy but there’s no testing on animals and it doesn’t contain petroleum, synthetic fragrance, parabens, gluten, paraffins, phtholates, and other chemicals I can’t pronounce. It’s simple to use. You just rub it into the affected area and wait until that good numbness starts to take effect. I like this stuff because it won’t leave you smelling like an 80-year-old woman (no shade to grandma, but I’m just saying), thanks to the nice floral infusion.

2. Arnicare

Arnicare is a creamy white homeopathic medicine that is also paraben-free and scent free. It’s good for general massages as well as bruising, swelling and stiffness.

3. Traumeel (by Heel)

Traumeel is similar to Arnicare in that it’s a white, creamy, homeopathic and scentless. I find that it’s excellent for bruises and according to the Vitamin Shoppe, it’s also paraben-free.

4. Tiger Balm Ultra Strength

Tiger Balm Ultra Strength is a miracle in a jar. It’s a white petrolatum-based herbal infusion of goodness. This is my go to for so-sore-that-I-can’t-move muscles.

5.  Tiger Balm Cream

The cream is not as strong as the jelly but it still works. Tiger Balm is best for soreness and stiffness but the thing I hate about the cream is that it smells like toothpaste. That’s not the worst smell in the world but c’mon son, you don’t want to walk around with your entire body smelling like toothpaste. Keep this one in the house!

I don’t think any one is better than the other because they’re suited for different things, and different levels of pain, but that’s trial and error based on the individual, hence why I have so many (that and because I’m a product junky). From my experience, my favorites are the Traumeel for bruises and the Tiger Balm Ultra for sore muscles, because it gets that serious for me. The Shea Moisture Balm has the best scent and I enjoy using it for massaging muscles at an intermediate level of pain. If you’re the type of person that doesn’t like grease, because I know some of you are texture freaks, then you’re better suited for the creams.

Product Love: Shea Moisture Problem Skin Face Lotion

Shea Moisture African Black Soap

I got a hold of several Shea Moisture products during a trip last summer to New Orleans for the Essence Music Festival and have been up to my neck in trying out the product. That is a good thing, especially with regard to Shea Moisture’s Problem Skin Moisturizer with Tamarind and Tea Tree Oil from their African Black Soap line. As you can see, the packaging says the product’s goal is to clear and balance blemished, oily skin. My skin isn’t oily, it’s more combination than anything but man oh man does it have problems with acne!

It’s rare that I find a face moisturizer that doesn’t make me feel like I just slathered lard on my face so I’m always skeptical. When I first noticed how thick this Shea Moisture stuff was, my side eye was on high alert. But I was wrong!

Shea Moisture Facial Lotion

Shea Moisture African Black Soap

Details: It’s thick, like I mentioned, but a little bit goes a long way. Do you see that bit on my finger in the photo above? That is enough for my entire face. I’ve had this thing since last July and have been using it twice a day for at least four times a week so think about it, July 2013 to March 2014 and I still have a bunch left. You can’t beat that for $11.9 at Target. Plus, it doesn’t feel too heavy and doesn’t clog my skin. It makes my face feel soft and supple (sorry to be cliche, but it’s true) and doesn’t seem to break me out. Score!

It has a mild sweet smell that, to me, is neither pleasant nor bad but if you’re a fan of Tamarind scents then that is the driving smell and you’ll enjoy. It’s also paraben-free and not tested on animals (snaps for the hippy-bohemian divas).

The Verdict: I’ve found a new face lotion worth incorporating into my daily routine.


Nope. I like it that much. Talk about serendipity!

P.S. I was given this product for consideration.