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Friday, 6 December 2013

Trusty Old Friend to every vanity table - Cold Cream


There are many beauty regiments out there for the modern woman, but it’s hard to know which one is the right choice. There is one however that has lasted through generations and is still in use today. Cold cream has a number of benefits to the skin and could be a godsend to those who really need it.

What IS "cold cream"?
Simple way to put it is: it is a mixture (an emulsion, as they like to call it) of oil and water. Nothing more.

The invention of cold cream is credited to Galen, a physician in second century Greece.
GALEN, the celebrated physician of Pergamus, in Asia, but who distinguished himself at Athens, Alexandria, and Rome... was the inventor of that particular unguent, a mixture of grease and water, which is now distinguished as cold cream in perfumery, and as Ceratum Galeni in pharmacy.
George William Septimus Piesse (1857), The Art of Perfumery
In France, this substance is still known as cérat de Galien ('Galen's Wax'). A copy of the London Dispensatory, edited by Nicholas Culpeper and published in the year 1650 included the following formula for this substance:
Take of white wax four ounces, oyl of roses omphacine a pound; melt in a double vessel, then powr it out into another, by degrees putting in cold water, and often powring it out of one vessel into another, stirring it till it be white; last of all wash it in rose water, adding a little rose water and rose vineger.
Nicholas Culpeper (1650), London Dispensatory

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An 1814 poem credited to "Dr. Russell" gives the following account of the benefits attributed to cold cream in that day:
WHEN a pot of cold cream to Eliza you send,
You with words to this purpose your present commend;

Whoe'er with this cream shall her countenance smear,
All redness and roughness will strait disappear,
And the skin to a wonder be charmingly clear;
If pimples arise, this will take them away;
If the small-pox should mark you, those marks will decay;
If wrinkled through age, or bad dawbing the face is,
'Twill be smooth in a trice, as the best Venice glass is;
All this, and much more (could I spare time to write it,
Or my pen go as fast, as your lips would indite it)
You affirm of your cream: and I would not abuse it,
But pray tell me one thing — Do you yourself use it?
Dr. Russell, "To A Lady: in imitation of the thirtieth Epigram of the fifth Book of Martial"

Uses of cold cream

The primary use of cold cream is for skin treatment. Because of the mineral ingredients that are in the cream, it works as a moisturizer and works really well for those that have very dry skin. With that in mind, it’s best to know what your skin type is before using it for the best results. If you live in an area where dry skin is always a problem, this is the best option for you. It can also be used as an alternative for lip balm if you have very dry, chapped lips. This is not to say that it won’t work for those that don’t have dry skin; the cold cream will still work on skin types other than the dry type but the results and the efficiency will vary greatly.

However, here's the list to show you how many uses this small, cheap gem of toiletry has:

1. Makeup primer

Using a small amount of cold creme in the morning, before you star putting on your makep will build up a "barrier" between your fragile face and all the makeup you're sporting.

2. Nourishing face mask

Like the lovely gal in the picture, by putting on thick layer of cold cream on your face and leaving it on (while you make your breakfast?) you are provoding your skin with the nourishing treatment it need to fight off all the pollution it'll have to face the day ahead of you.

3. Lip balm

Why not, I ask you? It's just oil, it's something you can easily slap on your lips while you're alone at home, to give them extra noursment (and, allow me to say this: one tube of Labello has 4 grams, and has the same price as one good old blue Nivea that has 250 grams - we must think of the financies).
Since we're talking about saving, I'll recommend using Vaseline for lips the way Grandma did:
a) Find a small cosmetic jar, clean it well
b) Melt small amount of Vaseline
c) Add pea-size ball of lipstick to it, stir till mixed
d) Pour into the jar, let cool and
Viola! You got a whole jar of home made (cheap) lip balm. I do this all the time.. it's my version of "rationing".

4. Body lotion

Let's just say it like this: when I need to travel, I start thinking about the space in my suitcase I need just for my beauty products. Now, by packing cold cream.. it's all in one.

5. Makeup remover

You saw this one coming, right?
Naturaly, I was sceptic about it. Then I started thinking. By it's compounds, it's oil & water. As my basic undersanding of chemistry goes: oil disolves with oil; and majority of our makeup is oil based. Hence: there's no better solvant.

Make sure you CLICK and open this in new window, 
and enjoy the lovely story this ad has for us.

Cold cream recipe

To find the right ingredients you probably have to look around a bit, though some can be found in your friendly neighbourhood food store. I have found beeswax in stores for art supplies. Borax in a craft store and rose water in a store for Oriental food. Various other oils in health food stores. Drug stores are a good bet too and in all probability there are online stores as well. Home made beauty products lack preserving components and don't last as long as the stuff you buy, so it's a good idea to keep them in the fridge.

250 gr Spermaceti (Jojoba oil)
25 gr White beeswax
250 gr Olive oil
150 gr Rose water
2 drops of Rose or Lavender oil
7 pinches of Borax

Mix oil, wax and spermaceti and heat it slowly under constant stirring. Let it cool a little and mix the borax with the rose water with a silver spoon. Add that to the cream and continue to stir until it is cold. Then add the rose or lavender oil.

Ever since I could remember, I've been friends with Nivea. Blue metal tin, without much change in it's desing since it was created.

I use it for my face, I use it remove my makeup, it's the only face mask I'm not allergic to and it's the perfect cream to put in large quantity on my hands (then put the glowes on and sleep with it).

Do you use cold cream?
♥♥ Pinky Honey


  1. Fabulous! I use it as body lotion, its fantastic! I wish you a darling weekend, dear!

    1. Hey there!
      Indeed,it is fantastic. There are so many uses for a product that has a price that makes it available to all.