About the author: FutureDerm.com 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 (elbashra.com). 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?
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?
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?
[Read more: Spotlight on: 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.
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?
- Boots Original Beauty Formula Cold Cream ($10.99, Amazon.com)
- Noxzema Deep Cleansing Cream ($18.99 for two, Amazon.com)
- Eve Lom Cleanser ($135.00, Beauty.com)
- Avene Cold Cream ($13.67, Amazon.com)
- Ponds ($5.20, Amazon.com) – my personal favorite, only because its scent brings back fond memories of my childhood.
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