Old School Skin Care

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With winter in full swing, my skin has been feeling dry lately. Add to that the fact that I have a birthday right around the corner, and my skin is looking old and tired. So I had to resort to extreme measures. I’m talking about Ponds Cold Cream. This retro skin care product has been around for 100 years. But competition with department-store brands and high-end drugstore lines, and the introduction in the 1990s of cosmeceuticals have given Ponds Cold Cream the “unglamorous” or ineffective reputation that can accompany inexpensive beauty products.

But don’t count Ponds out just yet. It still has a legion of faithful users. When singer Kylie Minogue revealed that she used Ponds Cold Cream, she created a “Kylie Effect” that sent sales soaring. And Kylie is in good company. Marilyn Monroe also included Ponds as part of her skin care regimen.

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Because of the nature of cold cream, it has to be used correctly. Since cold cream is a mixture of oil, beeswax, and water, it is not water-soluble so it can’t be removed simply by rinsing. I apply it to dry skin to really emulsify dirt, oil, and makeup. Then I remove it with a warm washcloth. This, or wiping it off with a tissue, are the only ways to remove cold cream. Because it’s so rich, it will leave some moisture behind. Those who complain about cold cream leaving a film on their face probably don’t have skin that is dry enough to need cold cream. It does make an effective makeup remover, so those with oilier skin could follow it with a foaming cleanser. But my skin has gotten dry over the past couple of years, so my skin absorbs any moisture that the cold cream leaves behind.

There’s something so delightfully retro about using cold cream to wash my face. I feel like I have the same beauty regimen as Hollywood movie stars of the Forties and Fifties. And the fragrance reminds me of my childhood, seeing a jar of Ponds Cold Cream on my mother’s dresser.

For about the same price as a venti latte from Starbucks, a jar of Ponds Cold Cream is a budget-friendly alternative to pricey department-store hot cloth cleansers or oil cleansers. Ponds Cold Cream leaves my skin soft and glowing.

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