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July 16, 2018

Not All Ben Gay Products Are Created Equal

Filed under: Health,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:10 am

Last week, we spotlighted a particular variety of Preparation H that actually had none of the active ingredients found in regular Preparation H cream. It was “Preparation H” in name only.

This week, our trusty mouse looks at the ingredients statements of various Ben Gay products after getting a tip from a reader.

Bengay, as everyone knows, has that distinctive menthol smell and provides pain relief for sore muscles and joints.

Bengay regular

Like many brands, the company has created some line extensions to meet particular preferences of customers. For consumers who don’t like the greasy feel, they have a greaseless version. And for people who find the menthol scent overpowering, they have a vanishing scent variety.

But before you grab one of these newer versions, you better compare the ingredients statements.


Bengay ingredients

The regular version has three different pain-killing ingredients. The greaseless version only has two, and cuts the strength of one of them in half. And the vanishing scent variety, only has one pain-numbing ingredient and it is only one-fourth the strength of the regular product.

And for people who want to get away from creams altogether, Bengay now has an “ultra strength” patch. Despite the name, that patch is missing two of the three pain-relieving ingredients present in the ultra strength cream, and it has only half the menthol strength.

So, while you get a product benefit by choosing one of the newer varieties, you may be trading away some product efficacy that drew you to Bengay in the first place.

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  1. Reminds me of the vitamin supplement for Alpha Lipoic Acid I was looking for this past week. I found a really great price on 600 mg dose when compared to other 600 mg dose capsules. The kicker was when you looked at the ingredient list, it said to take 2 capsules to get the 600 mg this making the true price double what was listed.

    This is happening more and more on many more items. Along with package shrinkage. I love looking at old recipes calling for say a can of tune fish back when it was 8 ounces, not they are down to 5 ounces with about 4 ounces of usable meat. Make you wonder.

    Just like so many generic items are advertised same as xxx brand when in fact they are missing key ingredients.

    Bottom line is, we as consumer must read the labels. Any vote with the pocket book. Maybe companies will get the message.

    Comment by Joseph — July 16, 2018 @ 8:41 am
  2. I am conflicted on this one. On the one hand I don’t believe that most consumers who buy the other products have read the ingredient label and understand the differences, having said that, I can also understand from BEN GAY’s end it may not be feasible to make the texture or smell differences to the formula without reducing or changing active ingredients. Menthol is a perfect example as it has a very overpowering smell; even if you include masking agents to cut the smell, it may be that only reducing the percentage of menthol in the product will cut down on the smell.

    And in fairness to BEN GAY the main product is specifically listed as ‘Ultra Strength’ so it is understandable that other types of the product would not be as powerful, though the patch you mentioned may be a bit misleading.

    Comment by Joel — July 16, 2018 @ 9:20 am
  3. I am reminded of the following slight-of-hand by OTC drug manufacturers. There are many over-the-counter cold/allergy formulations that contain an antihistamine and a decongestant. But the antihistamine can cause drowsiness. So the companies also peddle a “non-drowsy” formula. But it’s no magic they perform. The simply take out the antihistamine.

    Comment by HMC — July 16, 2018 @ 4:31 pm
  4. I don’t purchase many medicinal products, so I am glad to know what to look out for when deciding on a brand and product.

    Here I was foolishly thinking that all of the basic formulas were similar.

    Comment by Wayne — July 16, 2018 @ 10:23 pm

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