Is Cold Cream Good for Your Face?

Personal/Inspirational, Skin Care
Is Cold Cream Good for your Face

About the author: is proud to introduce Dr. Hanan Taha, M.D., on our staff as a Contributing Writer. Dr. Taha received her MD from Kuwait University in 2002, and a master’s degree in Dermatology from the University of Alexandria in 2010.  She also runs a blog in Arabic dedicated to spreading the knowledge about dermatology and cosmetic dermatology in a simple, concise manner (  For her full bio, please visit our About page.

I meet a lot of people who are not familiar with cold cream and what it can do for the skin. I’m here to tell you, this stuff is magic!  Our mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers swear by it, and after being sidetracked by all the tantalizing products out there, I faithfully came back to my jar of cold cream.

What is Cold Cream?


Cold cream has been around for centuries. It is the ultimate all-in-one cleanser, makeup remover, and moisturizer.

“Cold” is simply a reference to the cooling sensation it causes after being applied, believed to be due to the water content of the cream evaporating off the skin.

Classically, cold cream was made out of a few simple ingredients: olive or almond oil, beeswax and water (Journal of Chemical Education) . However, as the former two have a short shelf life and spoil rather quickly, other more stable and longer-lasting ingredients replaced them, mainly mineral oil. Various ingredients are added by different manufacturers to infuse a scent or add more moisturizing ingredients.

[Read more: Is Mineral Oil Really Bad for Your Skin?]

What Is Cold Cream Used For?



How Does Oil Cleanse Work 

Cold cream is a wonder when it comes to removing makeup, as its oils dissolve all and any makeup effortlessly. More importantly, it does so without the need for vigorous scrubbing. It can even be gently rubbed against the lashes (eyes shut tight!) to remove stubborn mascara and eyeliner. After applying it gently all over the face and leaving it for a few minutes, it is best removed with a warm wet towel. If it is still bothersome afterwards, some people like to use their regular face wash or use a toner to remove the remaining greasiness.

[Read more: The One Skin Care Product That You Aren’t Using That You Must: Cold Cream!]

Another upside is that cold cream can be quite cheap and it does not go bad easily, largely because of a change in its formulation. Suffice to say,  a single jar can last you a very long time. For what other makeup remover can you say the same?

Are the Ingredients in Cold Cream Harmful?

Mineral Oil

Probably the one ingredient that will cause a few of our readers some worry is mineral oil. Many sources claim that it is unsafe and should not be used on the skin. Let us put this case to rest: the grade and purity of mineral oil used in cosmetics and skin care products has been scientifically proven to be safe. It is non-carcinogenic and non-comedogenic (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology) . Not only that, but because of its nature, mineral oil forms an occlusive barrier on top of the skin that will prevent water from escaping from the skin, therefore improving skin moisture and combating skin aging (Dermatologic  Clinics). Mineral oil has been around for a long time and is being used in many skin care products, including the all famous and very much loved baby oil.

[Read more: Does Mineral Oil Enhance UV Light?]

What about Beeswax?

As for beeswax, what’s not to like?  It’s natural, it’s moisturizing, it’s soothing, and it smells good. Like mineral oil, it is also non comedogenic (The Beeswax Book). Lip balms are the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about beeswax, but it is also found in lipsticks, mascara and hair care products.

[Read more: Spotlight on: Beeswax]

Who Should Use Cold Cream?

People with very dry skin, or who suffer from extremely dry, flaky patches; people on drying skin treatments such as retinoids and tazaroten; and people living in dry, cold climates will find cold cream soothing and a life saver.

Who Should Not Use It?

Cold cream is quite heavy in consistency, so people with oily skin will probably not be great fans, as it will feel very “greasy” to them. However, most people with oily skin can still use it as a makeup remover. Also people living in hot, humid weathers will find this too heavy; cold cream is more of a winter product.

Which Brand Should You Buy?


Cold Cream Brands
Choose your favorite!  Popular varieties include:

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  • Joyce Kucharski

    I have used Ponds cold cream for about thirty years, I am eighty two, every time I go to a doctor’s office they all say the same you don’t look your age, they take me for sixty.
    In a grocery store, they ask me my age before giving a monthly discount on my groceries.

    It has to be the cream as through the Years I have had much stress to deal with.
    Because I have drier skin I use the cream with blue lid for dry skin.

    • Jane Lam

      They inquire about your age in the grocery shops to comply with legislative and corporate policy. They don’t care about your skincare regimen of your actual age but are doing it to abide by store regulations which require sales assistants to confirm legal ages before selling certain items. If they didn’t ask, and they inadvertently sold alcohol, cigarettes or any other age-restricted products to below-age customers they would lose their jobs or be in contravention of state or federal policy.

  • Erica

    Hi Mia,

    Why do you like the Jergens Cold Cream so much. What has it done for your skin? I am currently looking to try a cold cream and am wondering why people like certain ones for their skin.

    Thank you in advance for replying!

  • Mia

    I see that the last post was on December 2012, but I just found it and can’t pass without commenting about my favorite cold cream/all in one face cream.

    I’ve been using it for more than 30? 40? years. Do not even remember when I started using it.

    The cream is Jergens All Purpose Face Cream. I love the cream, the texture, the smell… And it is so inexpensive!

    • @Mia
      Yes Jergens All Purpose Face Cream is good and it has the same essential ingredients of cold creams in general. The price for that huge jar is pretty fantastic!
      Thank you Mia for your addition. It always helps when there are a few good options to chose from.

  • kk

    which one is the best cold cream? name please

    • @kk
      Hello! The only one I ever tried and do really like is the Pond’s cold cream. It comes in a white jar with a minty green lid.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Christy Nuhfer

    years ago I used a product called water rinseable cold cream. I have never found a product quite like it again. Others say they rinse off real easy but they don’t. my skin had never felt better and I never broke out. Still looking for a great product like that

    • @Christy Nuhfer
      It is always such a bummer when a product we love is discontinued! Do you recall the name of the brand though? I do hope you can find it again or at least find a decent replacement.
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

  • Lynne Nelson

    I found care one cold cream is the best! It works wonders and it does NOT leave my nose shining all day as pond cold cream does. Why don’t you have this product on your list? I believe if people knew about this product, the manufacturer would have it in more stores and more accessible to the consumer. As it is, it’s almost impossible to find.

    • @Lynne Nelson
      That sounds fantastic. I actually never heard of it before. I could not find a site for care one though. If you would provide a link I would be happy to include it in the list. Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • T

      What’s the name of the product u talking about

  • @Francesca,

    Thanks for your question. The answer depends on your budget! If the sky’s the limit, the best dermatological answer is either a series of chemical peels or laser treatments, depending on the reason your skin looks dull and dry in the first place (i.e., acne scarring vs. sun damage vs. crepiness vs. other factors) and the nature of your skin at this point. For the neck, fillers, such as Juvederm (temporary) or Artefill (more long-lasting) are all the range. Mid-range treatments, such as the PaloVia at-home laser (around $500) are also good options, though do honestly take longer than their more expensive counterparts to see results. If you want to spend $200 or less, I would recommend a prescription retinoid cream for use nightly. Or, I’ve also seen great results with the NIA 24 line, with nicotinic acid. Skin becomes reddened for a few days, but once your skin adjusts to the product, it really glows! Another option is the Jan Marini Transformation line, with glycolic acid and a slew of other brighteners; I’ve been using it for a few weeks now, and I’ve been getting a lot of compliments on my skin! Let me know if any of this helps!

  • Francesca

    Hi Nicki: I’m 48 and my skin looks fresh & young in the a.m. but by the end of the day I look dry again. Is there a good way to prevent this (other than becoming 22 again:))?
    Also: any tips on keeping crepey neck skin from creeping up?

  • I’ll keep that in mind, Lanvy! Thanks! πŸ™‚

  • I love it when you do non-complex products. I grew up on nozxema but moved on to the expensive toners (which I never could finish). Thanks to this article, Im going back to my childhood favorite.

    • Rita ochipinti

      I too grew Up on noxema cream 55 yrs ago. Where can I find it?

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