Written by Grove Collaborative

We tried it: Does Egyptian Magic work?

Last Updated: May 19, 2021

Does cult cream Egyptian Magic really do it all, from soothing chapped lips and cracked nips to treating scrapes and fading scars? We’re about to find out! Grove writer, Mackenzie Sanford, tried out a few different uses for “EgMa,” and she’s here to fill you in.

I love a good origin story –– the weirder, the better. So I was thrilled when I started digging into the story behind Egyptian Magic and found, tucked between glowing reviews and claims of moisturizing omnipotence, the creme de la creme of bizarre beginnings.

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What’s Egyptian Magic’s origin story?

The year was 1986. LordPharoah ImHotepAmonRa, then known as Westley Howard, was a water filter salesman eating in a Chicago diner when he was approached by a mysterious man who introduced himself simply as Dr. Imas. “Brother,” said Dr. Imas, “the Spirit has moved me to reveal something to you.” Over the next two years, Dr. Imas visited him and revealed the ancient formula for what he said was a miraculous skin cream found in the tombs of Ancient Egypt.


Egyptian Magic, with its quirky packaging that touts peace, love, and perfect health, hit the market in 1991 without any paid advertising, endorsements, or publicity, as per Dr. Imas’ explicit instructions. Thus, a cult beauty cream was born — think Weleda Skin Food, Aztec Healing Clay, Dr. Bronner’s soap, or Mac’s Ruby Woo lipstick.


It’s one of those classics people live and die by — it’s won over the hearts of celebrities, makeup artists, beauty queens, and everyone in between, all by word of mouth.

The claim: Egyptian Magic is an all-purpose miracle cream

Many beauty gurus swear by EgMa for a huge range of beauty uses.

What is Egyptian Magic good for?

A lot of popular balms claim to be all-purpose, but they’re either too goopy, sticky, or non-absorbent to be truly suitable for myriad uses. But fans of Egyptian Magic swear by it for all sorts of things:


  • Hair mask
  • Face and body moisturizer, eye cream, and hand and cuticle cream
  • Makeup remover
  • Shaving balm or massage balm
  • Vaginal lubricant
  • Fading recent scars, stretch marks, and skin discoloration
  • Promoting healing of cuts, scrapes, burns, eczema, and psoriasis flare-ups
  • Relieving and renewing chapped lips and cracked nipples, heels, and elbows
  • Treating diaper rash — and making your baby even softer
  • Aftercare for tattoos, piercings, gauges, and waxing

How do you use Egyptian Magic?

Very sparingly! As they say in elementary school, a dab’ll do ya!


Step 1: Dip in with your finger like you’re sneaking a little taste of frosting off your S.O.’s cupcake.


Step 2: Rub it around between your fingers or palms until it melts into a glorious unction.


Step 3: Apply it to your ailing part with a gentle touch.

The buzzzz: What ingredients are in Egyptian Magic?

Before we dive into trying it, let’s take a closer look at the composition of Egyptian Magic. It’s made from just six mystical ingredients (to the Egyptians, at least) — five of them derived from bees.

Beeswax

Beeswax is a humectant, meaning it attracts water to your skin to help it stay hydrated. It’s also a good source of vitamin A, which protects your skin against free radicals and promotes gentle exfoliation of dead skin cells.

Honey

Bee’s honey is used in cosmetics as an antibacterial antiseptic that helps heal wounds and minimize scarring. It’s a natural emollient and humectant that softens skin and seals in moisture –– great for dry skin. Honey reduces redness and inflammation, brightening the skin.

Bee pollen

Bee pollen is a potent antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory substance that’s rich in vitamins, lipids, and antioxidants that help protect the skin. It’s effective for treating burns, regenerating damaged tissues, and reducing skin inflammation.

Royal jelly

Royal jelly, a gelatinous substance produced by bees to feed the queen, is chock-full of amino acids that boost the skin’s collagen production to help smooth fine lines. It’s ultra-hydrating and contains vitamins A, C, B, and E to fight aging.

Propolis

Propolis, a waxy substance produced by bees, is antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and commonly used in dermatology. It’s got tons of vitamins and antioxidants that smooth, soothe, and soften damaged skin, and it’s highly effective for treating wounds and burns.

Olive oil

This Mediterranean powerhouse is high in anti-aging antioxidants and fatty acids, plus it’s packed with skin-healing vitamins A, E, and K and hydrating squalane. It reduces skin bacteria, it’s hydrating, and it may help fade scars and stretch marks.

The experience: 5 ways I tried Egyptian Magic

As a cult-beauty junkie ever in search of miracles, I’ve wanted to try Egyptian Magic forever. I was curious about what texture it would have — hard like beeswax? Greasy like oil? Viscous like honey?


Upon opening the jar and peering in, I thought it was going to be on the harder side, but it has a lovely, sorbet-like texture that’s easy to dip into — and it melts like a dream. It doesn’t have much of a scent, but I imagine that if you were so inclined, you could mix in a few drops of your fav essential oil for an olfactory boost.


I didn’t try all of the reported uses for Egyptian Magic, but I did try the five I was most interested in or curious about.

Miraculous moisturizer

A little magic really does go a long way. I used a bit too much on my face the first time around, but I wasn’t about to waste precious product by dabbing it off. Over the course of the day, it absorbed really nicely, and I still had a subtle glow by bedtime. It’s luxuriously silky on my face and makes me feel like a goddess. An Egyptian goddess.


But the magic isn’t just for faces. I’ve got super dry skin on my legs — even after slathering all kinds of lotions and oils on them, they still feel rough. I was excited to see whether Egyptian Magic would help. First, I exfoliated my sandpaper gams with a Turkish bath mitt then moisturized my freshly-polished shanks with EgMa. The softness this combo yielded was legendary.


If you fall into the dry-skin category, Egyptian Magic could be just the miracle you’re looking for.

Failed face mask

I read an interview with Liv Tyler once where she said that her face can take a lot of product, and I think about that often, probably because my face is the exact opposite — it’s easily overwhelmed and doesn’t absorb products very well.


So I knew going in that I might not like Egyptian Magic as a mask, but I was determined to slather it on my visage in the name of a proper, honest product review.


In the end, I was right: I didn’t like it. It’s a little too oily and heavy to sit so thickly on my face for any length of time — even though it did leave my skin super soft and glowy. But I like less-goopy face masks.


If you struggle with dry facial skin — or you’re like Liv Tyler and your face can handle a lot of product (lucky!) — then this stuff will be a godsend for you.

Masterful makeup remover

I used Egyptian Magic to take off my waterproof mascara, eyeliner, new favorite lipstick, and glitter — and it worked like a charm! Why? Because chemistry. The “like dissolves like” principle says that one material will dissolve other materials that have a similar chemical structure.


Makeup is often made up of oils and heavy waxes, and since Egyptian Magic is an oil- and beeswax-based product, and like dissolves like, it’s a super-effective makeup remover that — unlike so many others — left my face completely makeup-free, super-soft, and ultra-hydrated.


I will say, however, that Egyptian Magic is pretty pricey to use just to take off your makeup — the market’s full of less-expensive and just-as-effective natural makeup removers and makeup remover towels.

Velvety vaginal lubricant

Sorry, no photos for this one! Egyptian Magic claims it can be used as a lubricant, but I couldn’t find any reviews by people who had tried it out. Always willing to go the extra mile for the sake of informed journalism, I texted my ex and asked if he’d be up for helping me investigate.


Unlike other things in life, Egyptian Magic lasts. I’ve tried other commercial and natural lubricants before, and I definitely liked this better than most of those other brands. It was non-irritating, and it didn’t make me feel like a dolphin on a slip ’n’ slide (I’m looking at you, Astroglide.)


I’ll say it again, though — if you’re getting this for the sole purpose of lubrication, there are less-spendy options out there that work just fine (and some even come in handy squeeze bottles.)

Curative cuticle moisturizer

I’m addicted to theatrical manicures that make me feel like a Disney princess or one of David Lynch’s femme fatales (depending on my mood come mani day.) Unfortunately, they’re terrible for my poor nails, and after a particularly violent manicure in which the technician nicked my skin in a few places, I (in a bit of a blind panic, so don’t judge!) soaked my nails in acetone for quite some time to get the offending fakies off. You can imagine how badly my nails and cuticles needed some gentle lovin’ after that ordeal.


Here's an image of my nasty, gnarly nails before using Egyptian Magic. Jaggedy tips, dry, peeling nail bed, and angry, red cuticles (Can you blame them?).

Enter Egyptian Magic. I’ve been using it on my beat-up cuticles for several days now, and not only is it soothing and healing for my poor cuticles, but it’s also moisturizing my dry, scraggly nail beds — with visible results.


Here's an image of my nails after using Egyptian Magic. After just three days of twice-daily treatment, things are looking up for my nails and cuticles.

Shop Egyptian Magic for your own skin, nail, and other needs

The verdict: A cult classic for a reason

Y’all, I think Egyptian Magic fully deserves its cult beauty product status. It’s soothing, healing, hydrating, and 100% natural — and it’s the only product I know of whose seventh secret ingredient is Divine Love.


Even so, it’s definitely not a cure-all for serious skin problems, and I wouldn’t recommend slathering it into a deep, gaping wound. If you’re unsure if you should use it as such, check with your doctor/psychic/cult leader — and tell ‘em LordPharoah ImHotepAmonRa sent you.

About the author: Mackenzie Sanford is a writer and musician trying to find a decent nail salon in the Midwest. She’s been writing for Grove since 2020.

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Some more Egyptian Magic FAQs

Is Egyptian Magic Vaseline?

I’ve seen Egyptian Magic compared to Vaseline — it’s got a similar consistency and delivers an incredible shine — but it’s nowhere as sticky and unbreathable as Vaseline is. Not to mention, Vaseline is derived from petroleum, and it can cause allergic reactions, fungal or bacterial infections, and — when it’s inhaled — aspiration pneumonia.


How long does it take for Egyptian Magic to work?

Egyptian Magic delivers softer skin right away. If you’re using it to fade recent scars or stretch marks, it can take a few weeks to notice a difference, but consistent use delivers the best and earliest results.


Does Egyptian Magic clog pores?

Egyptian Magic will not clog your pores. The comedogenic scale, which ranges from 0 to 5, measures how pore-clogging an ingredient is. Egyptian Magic’s all-natural ingredients include olive oil, which rates a 2, and beeswax, which rates between 0 and 2. All of the other ingredients score a 0 on the scale.

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