cold cram vintage face cream beauty treatments

Why is it Called Cold Cream and Where Did it Come From?

Sometimes I suddenly wonder how a common product or item got its name. Thus with cold cream. Is it because we need it more in winter, when our skin is drier?

My statement may be accurate, but after searching for the real answer, it seems cold cream was named  because of the cool feeling it gives to the skin upon application.

Interesting. In the summer I use Noxzema, for the momentary chill I feel when I spread it upon my face, stressed from the day’s heat. I use cold cream more in winter, as it seems, to me, more soothing, warming.

What Exactly is Cold Cream?

Cold cream seems to differ from lotion due to the cream’s higher water content. It’s basically a mix of some sort of oil, and water along with an emulsifier and a thickening agent. Cold cream is specially formulated for cleansing, without depleting moisture from the skin. It’s sometimes referred to as cleansing cream.

But my mother and many others spread thick layers of it upon their faces at bedtime. To fight the ravages of aging.

These days, sometimes scents, glycerine or other ingredients are added to increase the aesthetic and therapeutic effects.

How Long Has Cold Cream Been Around?

The invention of cold cream has been attributed to Galen, a Roman physician, who reportedly mixed molten beeswax with olive oil nearly 2000 years ago.

In 1846, American pharmacist, Theron Pond began to experiment with women’s beauty products. According to the company’s site, Ponds Cold Cream and Vanishing Cream, designed for skin which tended to be more oily, became very popular as World War II began.

Now the most recognized brand on drugstore shelves, women continue to discover the healing and beautifying properties of Pond’s cold cream, dry skin cream, and related beaut products.

A Mother’s Tradition, Passed on to Daughters

As a child, I felt so grown up when my mother let me spread cold cream on my skin at bedtime. It was common in the 1960’s for women to sleep in rollers, looking like electrified ghosts, with their heavy white cold cream masks. No doubt the product protected their face from aging, the curlers made their hair beautiful for the start of the following day. But I don’t know that young husbands approved of the bizarre bedtime rituals. But wives weren’t expected to be sexy 24/7 back then.

Thankfully today, we know a thin layer of moisturizer is normally sufficient. Blow driers have pretty much eliminated the need for sleeping in rollers.

There are now many products on store shelves for preventing excessive skin aging. But these days when we all need to simplify our lives, cold cream seems to be making a comeback. Many women, including Australian singer, Kylie Minogue, are finding it a favorite beauty product.

I wouldn’t want to return to the days of archaic bedtime rituals, but I must say it’s fun to occasionally don on a bathrobe, put my hair up in rollers, cover my face with a thick, soft plaster of  lightly scented cold cream, and paint my nails a pretty shade of pink.







Published by

Penny Mason

Penny Mason is the name behind Penny Mason Publications and The Penny Mason Post. The Penny Mason Post is a variety blog, based on the theme of "vintage values for today's times". The Post's articles address favorite topics of mystery stories, pets, nature, vintage style and culture, classic rock music, coastal living. The site includes observations, innovations, memories and musings on these and similar topics by associate writers, Posts include suggestions for bringing the best of mid-twentieth century culture into today's lifestyle to relieve twenty-first century stress and make life better for all of us. Penny Mason Publications offers freelance writing and content creation services, as well as publications by associate authors.

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