What Is Cold Cream?

One of the most unique items from the Bésame Cosmetics Skincare Essentials is our new Cold Cream. Though it’s based on a very ancient form of cleansing, our Cold Cream takes the best of the past and adds modern innovations to create a deep cleaning cream that leaves skin smooth and hydrated. But what is Cold Cream? We’ll go into the long history of the product and what makes our version so special.

Cold Cream Has Been Around A Long Time!

Even in ancient history, people wanted quality skincare! In 150 C.E., Roman physician Galen created the first cold cream prototype — a mixture of water, beeswax, and olive oil. Since then, versions of this water/oil/wax mixture were used to clean the skin. In the 1600s, almond oil replaced olive oil and additives like rose water were used to improve the scent.

Before the 1920s, cold cream was mostly used by theater actors. First, they'd use cold cream as a base for their heavy makeup. Then, to remove all the layers of cream, powder, and greasepaint, cold cream gained a reputation for deeply cleaning skin and taking away even the most tenacious makeup. As commercial cosmetics became more popular in the 1920s, cold cream was advertised as a makeup remover/cleanser for the average woman. 

For a while, women had only two options to clean the face: soap or cold cream. Since cold cream didn’t dry out the skin, many stuck with the creamy option. 

Plus, it was used as an early form of primer. Women would use a layer of cold cream as a base for their face powder!

As more and more cleansers, primers, and types of makeup were developed, cold cream fell out of fashion, though it never disappeared completely. Now, we’re bringing it back to the forefront!

Why Is It Called Cold Cream?

Every version of cold cream contains a mixture of water and oil. As you put the cream on the skin, the water evaporates, creating a cooling sensation. This cooling effect likely led to the name. 

Whatever the origin of the name, Cold Cream is fine to use at room temperature and doesn’t need to be stored in the fridge. Though some really cold, Cold Cream on a hot day isn’t a bad idea!

Cold Cream Use To Have Some Questionable Ingredients

Though ancient cold creams were made with natural oils, they were labor intensive and hard to keep from spoiling. As commercial cold cream manufacturing took off in the late 1800s, cold cream switched out the natural oils for mineral oils and petroleum products. They even added Borax to the mix as a preservative!

Cold cream did an excellent job of removing dirt, but left the skin with a greasy finish. As other cleansers came along, especially ones that contained added nutrients and no oily residue, cold cream lost a lot of customers.

As cold cream waned in popularity, some companies went to extremes in advertisement. In the ad above from the 1950s, they put radioactive dirt on a model’s face to show the cleaning powers of cold cream. No matter how cleansing or moisturizing it might be, no cold cream can counteract radiation! 

Thankfully with modern techniques, the natural oils and preservatives in our Cold Cream don’t easily spoil and our nutritive additives leave skin nourished, moisturized, and impeccably clean. And we don’t need to use radioactive dirt to prove it!

Bésame Skincare Essentials: Cold Cream

Anything that’s been popular for nearly 2000 years is worth giving a second look! Gabriela wanted to bring the best qualities of Cold Cream to the modern day — and that’s exactly what she did with the Skincare Essentials.

We took the efficacy and hydrating properties of classic cold cream and added natural ingredients, took out the mineral oils (and Borax!), and created a cream that removes makeup easily without stripping the skin. By gently removing dead cells, dirt, and cosmetics buildup, skin looks bright and refreshed.

There’s no greasy residue with this Cold Cream. Remove with a damp cloth or rinse with water and the Cold Cream easily dissolves and leaves skin feeling hydrated and renewed. 

Why not try a modern take on a skincare classic? Our Cold Cream, part of the Bésame Skincare Essentials, is out now!


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1 comment


    Thank for the story about the cold cream. My mother always used cold cream and she died @ the age of 97 with beautiful skin!

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