If you’re looking for a vintage beauty regime, it doesn’t get much more historic than Cold Cream…

Lets take a look at the history of the most famous Vanishing Beauty Cream there is and how you can make your own at home today…

Cold Cream has been around probably a lot longer than you ever imagined. It was formulated by a Greek physician named Galen in the 2nd century.. His formulation consisted of one part white wax that was melted and then added to three parts olive oil. To add a scent to this cream, he steeped rose buds in the oil. He then blended in as much water as he could and voila… cold cream!


The formulation has changed a little since Galen’s experiments, but its core essence of a moisturising cleanser has stayed with us; and for good reason.  This splendid concoction has the unique ability to deep cleanse whilst nourishing the skin, which has seen it remain a firm favourite all over the World.  Cold cream was a real hit in the 1940s when women liberally used it all over their bodies to achieve all-round glowing skin, but more to the point in a time of austerity it was an affordable luxury for everyone.

Have you met:”Peter” and “Polly Ponds”?  Funnily Little Characters invented to sell Ponds Cold Creams in Magazines in the 1920’s to everyday people… Sachet Samples were placed in each magazine…  Funny, commercial cosmetics are still using the same advertising campaign today with their free giveaways.


Here’s some home remedies you can make yourself…

NB:  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.  When preparing them be mindful of contamination, make sure you wear gloves or utensil when mixing and use really clean containers.


The recipes comes from a Swedish beauty book from 1946, Skönhet by Vivan Huber.

Cold cream

A classic recipe.
250 gr Spermaceti (Jojoba oil/ester)
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.

Lemon cold cream
250 gr Almond oil
14 gr White beeswax
14 gr Spermaceti (Jojoba oil/esters)
250 gr Rose water
5 pinches of Borax
50 drops of lemon juice or essence

Made in the same way as Cold cream.

Almond cold cream
5 gr Borax
300 gr Water (Distilled)
100 gr White beeswax
100 gr Spermaceti (Jojoba oil/esters)
200 gr Almond Oil
300 gr Lanolin
30 drops of Rose oil

Made in the same way as Cold cream.

Salicylic cold cream
For irritated skin
5 gr Salicylic acid
15 gr Glycerol
150 gr Water (Distilled)
100 gr White beeswax
100 gr Spermaceti (Jojoba oil/esters)
500 gr Lanolin
10 drops of Bergamot oil
10 drops of Orange flower oil

Heat wax, spermaceti and lanolin while stirring and the add a mixture of borax, water and glycerol. Stir until the creme is frothy and then add bergamot and orange flower oil.

Nourishing cold cream

Spermaceti (Jojoba oil/esters)
Olive oil
9 drops of Bergamot oil

Made in the same way as Cold cream.

Muscle oil
Not a cold creme, but this oil is an excellent complement. Used to ward to wrinkles around eyes, mouth and on the forehead.
20 gr Castor oil
10 gr of Almond oil
8 drops of Rose oil

Pour all ingredients in a bottle and shake until well mixed. Keep in a cool place



  1. I love making my own products at home, thank for sharing these recipies Chrissy!

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