{"id":605523804466,"title":"Biofreeze vs. Icy Hot: Which Relieves Pain Better?","created_at":"2023-06-07T22:05:05-04:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Biofreeze vs. Icy Hot: Which Relieves Pain Better?\",\n \"keywords\": \"biofreeze vs icy hot, icy hot vs biofreeze\",\n \"description\": \"Our research team analyzes the ingredients in Biofreeze and Icy Hot based on medical studies to give our take on which product is a better option for pain relief. We highlight some questionable additive ingredients in both products and feature real customer reviews.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/biofreeze-vs-icy-hot\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Taylor Graber\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": \"M.D.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/taylor-graber\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/taylor-j-graber-md-81351642\/\",\n \"https:\/\/www.asapivs.com\/\"\n ],\n \"jobTitle\": \"Content Partner\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"medicine, health, anesthesiology, iv therapy, science, drugs, pharmaceutical, medical research, scientific research, medical journals, entrepreneurship, healthcare, orthopedic surgery, biomedical engineering\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"University of California San Diego\",\n \"Arizona University\",\n \"University of Arizona College of Medicine\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Biofreeze_Vs_Icy_Hot_Thumbnail.png?v=1686190309\",\n\"width\": \"3001\",\n\"height\": \"3001\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/34552033\/\", \n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/22976810\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/27780137\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/neutrogena-hydro-boost-review\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC9634125\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5622383\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/8880210\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/perbelle-cc-cream-review\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/31793418\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32421842\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/29722610\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32638445\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/products\/ceylon-cinnamon-extract\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/18416885\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/30368550\/\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"menthol\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"phenoxyethanol\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"methyl salicylate\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"116falconer\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"Izzy Kornblau\"\n }\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2023-06-07\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"memberOf\": [\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"U.S. Chamber of Commerce\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.uschamber.com\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Certified B Corp\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.bcorporation.net\/en-us\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Natural Products Association\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.npanational.org\/\"\n }\n ],\n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Favicon_48x48_7595c3cc-e27b-47b8-a4fe-edcc7ed9b29a.png?v=1666502785\", \n \"width\": 48,\n \"height\": 48\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Biofreeze_Vs_Icy_Hot_Article_Header_Image_Optimized.png?v=1686189703\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eDisclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice. All statements are merely the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to pain relief.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eB\u003c\/span\u003eiofreeze and Icy Hot are two of the most popular pain relieving creams on the market. Both creams claim to work fast, and it can be challenging for consumers to differentiate between the two products.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eBut do Biofreeze and Icy Hot both have ingredients shown in medical studies to relieve pain? Which product has the better formulation? Does either cream have questionable additive ingredients? And how do real users compare the effects of the two products?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Biofreeze and Icy Hot based on medical studies to give our take on which product has a better formulation, and which we would recommend.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe’ll feature real, unsponsored user comparisons between the two products and provide a cost breakdown to determine which is cheaper.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eIngredient Analysis – Biofreeze\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\" alt=\"Biofreeze ingredients\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Biofreeze_Ingredients_Optimized.png?v=1686189727\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe ingredients in Biofreeze are shown above.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eMenthol\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is the active ingredient, and is clinically shown to reduce pain when applied to the skin.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA 2022 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/34552033\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e found that \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003ementhol significantly reduced pain scores\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e when applied to the skin. This is a commonly-used drug ingredient, and also the active ingredient in products like Vicks VapoRub.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/22976810\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eJournal of Geriatric Physical Therapy\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e reported that pain scores and the ability to complete functional tasks improved significantly in patients with arthritis after application of a menthol gel.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eGrape seed oil\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, one of the inactive ingredients, was shown in a 2016 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/27780137\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e to have pain-relieving effects, although it was an \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ein vitro\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e (test tube) study, which is a weaker standard of evidence than a trial with human participants.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003ePhenoxyethanol\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is the only ingredient in this formulation that may be questionable from a health perspective, as this preservative was shown to be toxic to human cells in a clinical trial as we documented in our review of \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/neutrogena-hydro-boost-review\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eNeutrogena Hydro Boost\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, another skincare product containing this ingredient.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOverall, we consider Biofreeze likely to relieve pain but don’t currently recommend it due to the inclusion of phenoxyethanol.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBut are the ingredients in Icy Hot better? We’ll review in the next section.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eIngredient Analysis – Icy Hot\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\" alt=\"Icy Hot active ingredients\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Icy_Hot_Active_Ingredients_Optimized_0e27e475-9ff6-4342-95a8-57e529e9430f.png?v=1686190633\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe active ingredients in Icy Hot are shown above.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eMenthol\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is included at the exact same concentration as in Biofreeze, and we already documented the research backing of this ingredient for pain relief in the previous section.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMenthol provides a cooling effect.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eMethyl salicylate\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e provides a warming effect, which is why the product is called “Icy Hot.”\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis compound was shown in a \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC9634125\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFrontiers in Pharmacology\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e journal \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003eto relieve pain in over 82% of patients\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA 2017 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5622383\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e described the pain relief capabilities of methyl salicylate as “well established,” but also discussed the potential for salicylate poisoning with over-application of topical pain relief products like Icy Hot.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA 1996 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/8880210\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e described potential dangers from use of methyl salicylate on the skin, including anaphylactic reactions which can be fatal. The study authors concluded:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003e“Physicians should fully appreciate the potential dangers from topical preparations containing methyl salicylate.”\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe inactive ingredients in Icy Hot are shown below:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\" alt=\"Icy Hot inactive ingredients\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Icy_Hot_Inactive_Ingredients_Optimized.png?v=1686189767\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eTriethanolamine\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is a pH balancer that was shown in animal studies to be toxic, as we documented in our review of \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/perbelle-cc-cream-review\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ePerbelle cosmetics\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOur verdict: \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003eWe consider Biofreeze to be a better formulation from a safety perspective, and Icy Hot to be a better formulation from an efficacy perspective.\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBiofreeze contains one questionable additive ingredient, but that ingredient doesn’t seem as risky as methyl salicylate based on our review of medical studies.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIcy Hot contains two active ingredients that are both clinically shown to relieve pain, so individuals in severe pain may benefit from discussing this product with their doctor over Biofreeze.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBut how do real users compare the effects of Biofreeze and Icy Hot? We’ll review in the next section.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eReal, Unsponsored User Comparisons\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA YouTube creator named “116falconer” compared the effects of Biofreeze and Icy Hot:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe title=\"YouTube video player\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/iJAD6tmGJ9o\" height=\"315\" width=\"560\" allowfullscreen=\"\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share\" frameborder=\"0\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA YouTube creator named Izzy Kornblau who has chronic pain reviewed a large number of topical pain creams including Biofreeze:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe title=\"YouTube video player\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/L55yY7KXkQg\" height=\"315\" width=\"560\" allowfullscreen=\"\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share\" frameborder=\"0\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003ePrice Comparison\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBoth Biofreeze and Icy Hot are relatively affordable, with the cream version of each product costing well under $15.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSince the products are sold at different sizes, here’s a price comparison per-ounce:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIcy Hot: $4.79 (\u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/amzn.to\/3N3hE3E\" rel=\"sponsored\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003elink to official Amazon listing\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e)\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBiofreeze: \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003e$3.81\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e (\u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/amzn.to\/3J3WwZQ\" rel=\"sponsored\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003elink to official Amazon listing\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e)\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAt the time of publishing this article, Biofreeze is 20% cheaper per-ounce than Icy Hot.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eCan CBD Cream Relieve Pain?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Pain_Relief_Products_Image_Optimized.png?v=1686097141\"\u003e\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/activation.healthline.com\/api\/member-offers\/8359\/redirect?lp=328\u0026amp;tc=120226\u0026amp;subid=rvosubaff_illuminatelabs\"\u003eCornbread CBD Lotion\u003c\/a\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eis our top pick for a topical CBD product.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eCBD \u003cspan\u003eis\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC9859876\/\"\u003eclinically shown\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan\u003eto be effectively absorbed through the skin, and CBD caused\u003c\/span\u003e \u003cstrong\u003e\"significant improvements in pain\" when applied topically\u003c\/strong\u003e in a 2020 \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/31793418\/\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThis lotion also contains menthol, which was shown in a 2022\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/34552033\/\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eto reduce pain scores.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eInterested consumers can check out Cornbread CBD Lotion\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/activation.healthline.com\/api\/member-offers\/8359\/redirect?lp=328\u0026amp;tc=120226\u0026amp;subid=rvosubaff_illuminatelabs\"\u003eat this link\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eto the product page on the official brand's website.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eThere are also food-based compounds which have been clinically shown to support pain relief.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eCinnamon\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan\u003e is a spice that has been studied for its ability to reduce pain and support joint health.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/29722610\/\"\u003e\u003cspan\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan\u003eJournal of the American College of Nutrition\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan\u003e found that cinnamon supplementation at a daily dose of 500 mg reduced inflammation and joint swelling in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eA 2020 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32638445\/\"\u003e\u003cspan\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e found that cinnamon supplementation reduced inflammatory markers. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003eThe study authors concluded that “Cinnamon could be regarded as a safe supplement to relieve pain.”\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eIlluminate Labs manufactures a \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/products\/ceylon-cinnamon-extract\"\u003e\u003cspan\u003eCeylon Cinnamon Extract\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e supplement that’s potent (standardized to minimum 8% flavonoids) and third-party tested to ensure purity and label accuracy (test results published transparently on the product page). It only costs \u003cstrong\u003e$15\u003c\/strong\u003e for a monthly subscription.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eInterested consumers can check out Illuminate Labs Ceylon Cinnamon Extract \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/products\/ceylon-cinnamon-extract\"\u003e\u003cspan\u003eat this link\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eCollagen\u003c\/b\u003e is the core structural protein in joints. The body produces it naturally, but its production decreases with age.\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/18416885\/\"\u003eMedical research\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ehas shown that collagen can reduce joint pain in athletes at a 10 gram (g) daily dose, and can reduce arthritic pain (\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/30368550\/\"\u003e\u003cspan\u003emeta-study\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e, doses ranging between 40 mg and 10 g daily dose).\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eWe recommend \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/bulletproof.fdf2.net\/c\/3271428\/1278011\/9221\" rel=\"sponsored\"\u003e\u003cspan\u003eBulletproof Collagen Powder\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e as our top collagen product because it provides an effective collagen dose per serving (20 g) and contains one single ingredient: collagen peptides sourced from grass-fed animals. There are no questionable additives. This supplement only costs \u003cstrong\u003e$45.16\u003c\/strong\u003e for over a month's worth of product.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eInterested consumers can check out Bulletproof Collagen powder \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/bulletproof.fdf2.net\/c\/3271428\/1278011\/9221\" rel=\"sponsored\"\u003e\u003cspan\u003eat this link\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e to the brand's official website.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan\u003eWe do not recommend using dietary supplements to treat any specific medical condition related to pain.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe consider both Biofreeze and Icy Hot to be likely effective for pain relief, and both products are very affordable.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBiofreeze is a better option for individuals with minor pain because it has a better safety profile in our opinion.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIcy Hot is a better option for individuals with more severe pain because it contains two active ingredients clinically shown to support pain relief (rather than the one in Biofreeze).\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBiofreeze is around 20% cheaper per-ounce than Icy Hot.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2023-06-07T22:17:34-04:00","updated_at":"2023-09-15T16:46:00-04:00","summary_html":"We analyze the ingredients in Biofreeze and Icy Hot based on medical studies to give our take on which product is a better option for pain relief. We highlight some questionable additive ingredients in both products and feature real customer reviews.","template_suffix":"","handle":"biofreeze-vs-icy-hot","tags":"_related:pain-relief"}

Biofreeze vs. Icy Hot: Which Relieves Pain Better?

Biofreeze vs. Icy Hot: Which Relieves Pain Better?


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Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice. All statements are merely the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to pain relief.

Biofreeze and Icy Hot are two of the most popular pain relieving creams on the market. Both creams claim to work fast, and it can be challenging for consumers to differentiate between the two products.

But do Biofreeze and Icy Hot both have ingredients shown in medical studies to relieve pain? Which product has the better formulation? Does either cream have questionable additive ingredients? And how do real users compare the effects of the two products?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Biofreeze and Icy Hot based on medical studies to give our take on which product has a better formulation, and which we would recommend.

We’ll feature real, unsponsored user comparisons between the two products and provide a cost breakdown to determine which is cheaper.

Ingredient Analysis – Biofreeze

Biofreeze ingredients

The ingredients in Biofreeze are shown above.

Menthol is the active ingredient, and is clinically shown to reduce pain when applied to the skin.

A 2022 clinical trial found that menthol significantly reduced pain scores when applied to the skin. This is a commonly-used drug ingredient, and also the active ingredient in products like Vicks VapoRub.

A clinical trial published in the Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy reported that pain scores and the ability to complete functional tasks improved significantly in patients with arthritis after application of a menthol gel.

Grape seed oil, one of the inactive ingredients, was shown in a 2016 clinical trial to have pain-relieving effects, although it was an in vitro (test tube) study, which is a weaker standard of evidence than a trial with human participants.

Phenoxyethanol is the only ingredient in this formulation that may be questionable from a health perspective, as this preservative was shown to be toxic to human cells in a clinical trial as we documented in our review of Neutrogena Hydro Boost, another skincare product containing this ingredient.

Overall, we consider Biofreeze likely to relieve pain but don’t currently recommend it due to the inclusion of phenoxyethanol.

But are the ingredients in Icy Hot better? We’ll review in the next section.

Ingredient Analysis – Icy Hot

Icy Hot active ingredients

The active ingredients in Icy Hot are shown above.

Menthol is included at the exact same concentration as in Biofreeze, and we already documented the research backing of this ingredient for pain relief in the previous section.

Menthol provides a cooling effect.

Methyl salicylate provides a warming effect, which is why the product is called “Icy Hot.”

This compound was shown in a clinical trial published in the Frontiers in Pharmacology journal to relieve pain in over 82% of patients.

A 2017 medical review described the pain relief capabilities of methyl salicylate as “well established,” but also discussed the potential for salicylate poisoning with over-application of topical pain relief products like Icy Hot.

A 1996 medical review described potential dangers from use of methyl salicylate on the skin, including anaphylactic reactions which can be fatal. The study authors concluded:

“Physicians should fully appreciate the potential dangers from topical preparations containing methyl salicylate.”

The inactive ingredients in Icy Hot are shown below:

Icy Hot inactive ingredients

Triethanolamine is a pH balancer that was shown in animal studies to be toxic, as we documented in our review of Perbelle cosmetics.

Our verdict: We consider Biofreeze to be a better formulation from a safety perspective, and Icy Hot to be a better formulation from an efficacy perspective.

Biofreeze contains one questionable additive ingredient, but that ingredient doesn’t seem as risky as methyl salicylate based on our review of medical studies.

Icy Hot contains two active ingredients that are both clinically shown to relieve pain, so individuals in severe pain may benefit from discussing this product with their doctor over Biofreeze.

But how do real users compare the effects of Biofreeze and Icy Hot? We’ll review in the next section.

Real, Unsponsored User Comparisons

A YouTube creator named “116falconer” compared the effects of Biofreeze and Icy Hot:

A YouTube creator named Izzy Kornblau who has chronic pain reviewed a large number of topical pain creams including Biofreeze:

Price Comparison

Both Biofreeze and Icy Hot are relatively affordable, with the cream version of each product costing well under $15.

Since the products are sold at different sizes, here’s a price comparison per-ounce:

Icy Hot: $4.79 (link to official Amazon listing)

Biofreeze: $3.81 (link to official Amazon listing)

At the time of publishing this article, Biofreeze is 20% cheaper per-ounce than Icy Hot.

Can CBD Cream Relieve Pain?

Cornbread CBD Lotion is our top pick for a topical CBD product.

CBD is clinically shown to be effectively absorbed through the skin, and CBD caused "significant improvements in pain" when applied topically in a 2020 clinical trial.

This lotion also contains menthol, which was shown in a 2022 clinical trial to reduce pain scores.

Interested consumers can check out Cornbread CBD Lotion at this link to the product page on the official brand's website.

There are also food-based compounds which have been clinically shown to support pain relief.

Cinnamon is a spice that has been studied for its ability to reduce pain and support joint health.

clinical trial published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that cinnamon supplementation at a daily dose of 500 mg reduced inflammation and joint swelling in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

A 2020 clinical trial found that cinnamon supplementation reduced inflammatory markers. The study authors concluded that “Cinnamon could be regarded as a safe supplement to relieve pain.”

Illuminate Labs manufactures a Ceylon Cinnamon Extract supplement that’s potent (standardized to minimum 8% flavonoids) and third-party tested to ensure purity and label accuracy (test results published transparently on the product page). It only costs $15 for a monthly subscription.

Interested consumers can check out Illuminate Labs Ceylon Cinnamon Extract at this link.

Collagen is the core structural protein in joints. The body produces it naturally, but its production decreases with age. Medical research has shown that collagen can reduce joint pain in athletes at a 10 gram (g) daily dose, and can reduce arthritic pain (meta-study, doses ranging between 40 mg and 10 g daily dose).

We recommend Bulletproof Collagen Powder as our top collagen product because it provides an effective collagen dose per serving (20 g) and contains one single ingredient: collagen peptides sourced from grass-fed animals. There are no questionable additives. This supplement only costs $45.16 for over a month's worth of product.

Interested consumers can check out Bulletproof Collagen powder at this link to the brand's official website.

We do not recommend using dietary supplements to treat any specific medical condition related to pain.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

We consider both Biofreeze and Icy Hot to be likely effective for pain relief, and both products are very affordable.

Biofreeze is a better option for individuals with minor pain because it has a better safety profile in our opinion.

Icy Hot is a better option for individuals with more severe pain because it contains two active ingredients clinically shown to support pain relief (rather than the one in Biofreeze).

Biofreeze is around 20% cheaper per-ounce than Icy Hot.