Tincture of benzoin - what it is, how to carry it


Tincture of Benzoin is a brown liquid that looks like iodine, which toughens skin and makes it very grippy for tape application. 

Putting a dab on your heels be fore taping is a great way to get tape to stick on sweaty feet for blister prevention.

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I always have it in my first aid kit. Put a few drops of benzoin on a fingertip, rub it over the area to be taped, and wait about 2 minutes for it to dry. Rip off some tape, and smooth it over the benzoined area. The benzoin will make the tape grip on your sweaty feet, and the surface of the tape provides a low friction surface to stop blisters from developing. 

However, benzoin generally comes in a heavy glass bottle that holds much more than you’d need on a weekend trip. 

It also comes prepackaged in some commercial first aid kits, in small glass vials or pre-applied on a Q-tip sort of thing. Both of these are Less Than Ideal, because the glass can break, and the single use Q-tip thing can dry out before you use it.

Here’s a great way to carry benzoin, with just the amount you need in a tiny container that will never leak.

  1. Buy the tiniest (and cheapest!) bottle of eyedrops you can find – probably 1/8 of an ounce.

  2. With a safety pin, slightly enlarge the dropper hole.

  3. Squeeze out and discard the eyedrop solution.

  4. Pour a bit of benzoin from the large drugstore bottle into a bottle cap or other small disposable container.

  5. Squeeze the empty eyedropper bottle to make a vacuum, then place the tip into the bottle cap of benzoin.

  6. Release, and the eyedropper bottle will partially fill with benzoin. Repeat until full.

  7. Label the bottle. Cloth first aid tape and Sharpie pen works well.

  8. Refill after a trip as needed. This weighs next to nothing, is leakproof, holds enough for many applications and it’s easily refillable. The original glass bottle is huge and holds more than you'll ever use, so feel free to share it with a friend.


Tiny eyedropper bottle about 1/2 full of benzoin, penny for scale.