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Cold Cream: The Make-up Remover Mom Swears By

We’re all familiar with makeup videos; they fill up YouTube and have made many of the video’s makers into cosmetic stars. Yet, there doesn’t seem to be as much interest in how to remove the makeup that took hours to put on in the first place. Today we have multiple ways forms of makeup removers, but decades ago many people relied on one form, cold cream, to take off all the hard work they painted on their faces. Cold cream is a well-known product from the 50s, but it has fallen out of popularity as less messy products such as makeup removing wipes became more popular. But there has to be a reason this old-school product was so popular and lives on the vanity of many women to this day. For a week, I put away the wipes and took up the cream as my makeup remover to see how it affected my skin.

Before we get started, I should probably tell you what kind of skin I have. My skin is oily and I have a tendency to break out, which is why I’m diligent to take off my makeup in the rare occasions I wear it (you can read the article I wrote on being makeup-free here).  

Image via Hip 2 Save

First, what is cold cream? And If you’re wondering like I was, no, you don’t have to keep in the refrigerator.

For this experiment, I’m going to be using the iconic Pond’s Cold Cream, and according to the back, the cream’s first ingredient is mineral oil. According to the comedogenic scale (a list of which measure how pore-blocking an ingredient is with 5 being incredibly pore-blocking and 0 being non-pore-blocking), mineral oil is a 0, so we should be in no danger of the ingredient causing pimples. One use for mineral oil is typically used to soothe dry skin by creating an oily barrier that traps water in the skin. Because of the abundance of mineral oil, the cream can be used as an oil cleanser, the first step in your cleansing routine.

The Week Routine

To stay in the in the spirit of the 50s vibe the Pond’s Cold Cream was giving me, I decided to take out a few of the products from my beauty routine. So I said goodbye to my Mario Badescu and to my electric cleansing brush but kept my toner and day moisturizer/SPF because there are some things I am just not willing to do. I’m going to use the cold cream at night to remove my makeup, wipe it off with a wet towel, and then repeat to actually cleanse my skin. In the mornings, I will do my morning routine (sans cleansing brush) of cleanser, toner, and lastly moisturizer/SPF.

Image via Giphy

Days One to Three

I’m not going to lie and say that I wasn’t a little nervous. While I know that the mineral oil won’t clog my pores, I was worried that it wouldn’t remove all my makeup, which is why I decided to do it twice. I was also scared that the cream would feel a bit gross on my skin, and it did, but there was also weirdly satisfying to see all my makeup be completely wiped off with a cotton round. There is another aspect of this routine I didn’t like: the number of cotton rounds I had to use to wipe this cream off of my face. I would usually use four or five every night, not counting the one I use for my toner. And while I am a proud owner of a Costco-sized package of cotton rounds, watching five of them go into the trash can night after night pained me. Also, my previous assessment of this method being messy is a hundred percent correct! I’m just grateful that all my bath towels are black.

In terms of my skin, it wasn’t oily as I thought it would be and surprisingly soft. But is it completely taking off my makeup? That remains the question.

Day Four

I have a pimple. Yep, it’s true. The pimple has recently moved into the middle of my chin, and all housewarming gift should be sent there. The bi*ch is registered at Target. Kidding aside, I’m taking this to mean that the cold cream isn’t actually removing all my makeup and the products I use are just stewing in my skin, leading me to inevitable result that is ready to erupt on my chin. Part of me is mad, but not surprised.

Image via Giphy

Day Five

Aside from a pimple, I’m finding my skin to be drier. Which is strange considering the cream’s main ingredient is meant to combat dryness. It seems the skin between my eyebrows is dry causing my makeup to cling to it. I’m going to save you all having to look at it, so you’re going to have to trust me when I say that it is not pretty and I am baffled that my oily skin can actually become dry.


Days Six and Seven

I lumped these two days together because they were basically the same. My skin continued to feel drier so I added another moisturizer to my night routine. I found that on Day Seven that my skin was slowly returning to normal, but unfortunately my pimple has not been evicted yet. On the upside, other than my t-zone, my skin is very soft and not dry at all. Maybe the skin in my t-zone reacted differently to the cream because that is the part of my skin that overproduces oil. Again, I’m not surprised about my skin’s randomness.


Image via Giphy


Will I continue to use the cream as a makeup remover? Probably not. This is a product that’s going to live in the back of my drawers. Maybe on the drier skin, the product works differently, but any oily-skinned guy or gal wanting to use it should probably steer clear.

Happy Cleansing!

Image via Giphy

When SoCal native Lucely Chavez isn't up to her ears in words, she's continuing her mission to find the best coffee ice cream in the world (McConnell's Ice Cream is the current #1). She's currently in her 4th year at UC Santa Barbara where she is majoring in English and minoring in Professional Writing. 
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