Everything Old Is New Again

“Out with the old and in with the new” is how the saying goes, but don’t jump and rid your makeup bag of the old just yet. Retro beauty products and routines are making a come back. From skincare products to makeup items, these older cosmetic trends are gaining popularity across today’s market.

Of course, skincare never goes out of style, but there are many different products that always rise and fall in popularity over the years. Among them, an old standby is the cold cream. Amazingly enough, it was invented and found its origins in second century Greece, but in 1846 had a resurgence in the United States as Pond’s Extract, which evolved in 1904 to Pond’s invention of the cold cream that we know. This revolutionary skin cream gained such popularity that it soon became available at drug stores and retailers across the country. We all remember our mothers and grandmothers sporting that cold-cream look, which actually frighteningly reminded most of us youngsters of Crisco on their faces. Oh, the horror! But since the inception of such cold cream cleansers, there have been many incarnations and derivations, such that today’s skincare market has an innumerable variety of skin cleansers available for every skin type and every skin need.

Believe it or not, cold creams are on the rise again. Historically these creams aren’t exactly the most elegant, often on the heavier side, but very emollient and deeply moisturizing. However, because of these properties, they have a variety of uses. Cold creams are effective skin cleansers and can be applied to the face as a thick layer, massaged into the skin, and then rinsed or tissued off. Their heavily emollient property allows them to dissolve and lift off even the most stubborn makeup. Cold creams can also be used as an effective eye makeup remover, as well as a deep moisturizer for any rough patches of skin found on the body.

The tried and true classic that is still around is Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser, and it has a very loyal following to this day, over a hundred years later. Its ability to hold its place in the cosmetic market since the very early 1900’s is a testament to its effectiveness. In support of the resurgence of cold cream popularity is that Avene, one of our most favorite skincare lines, makes its own Avene Cold Cream that is fabulous for dry, sensitive skin. Most recently, some of the fancier, trendy skincare lines have launched their own new, updated versions. Eva Lom Cleanser, a luxurious spinoff of the old cold cream, has a tremendous cult following for its remarkable ability to deep clean without drying or stripping the skin.

Micellar cleanser is also back on the market, which I blogged about in my previous post here. Developed for Parisian women in the 1990’s, these clear liquid mixtures of water and suspended small fatty surfactant molecules or micells attract makeup and dirt, and allow them to be gently swiped or washed away. The Avene Micellar Lotion that is available for purchase in our office is one of our favorites. Not only is it a convenient gentle cleanser that effectively removes makeup, but it also works great for everyday use without stripping or drying the skin.

Among the oldest of the old is charcoal, where in ancient Egypt, women used it to accentuate and beautify their exotic eyes. Believe it or not, skincare products containing charcoal are popping up on beauty shelves again in a range of products. You can find this natural substance in cosmetic products from skin de-oiling and de-clogging strips to facial masks that use activated charcoal to pull and absorb oily particles and dirt from the skin surface. Check out Origins Clear Improvement, which is a line of cleansing products containing bamboo charcoal. Or take a look at Boscia Charcoal Makeup Melterwhich literally contains charcoal powder suspended in a cleansing oil-balm to dissolve your makeup away. Although there is some validity to these various product claims and may certainly be very effective, the black-mask look may be a bit disarming to the innocent UPS man when you greet him delivering packages to your door.

Makeup trends are also reviving the vintage genre. Companies like Besame Cosmetics are formulating their own modern incarnations of classic, vintage makeup for today’s woman. From pressed powders to cake mascara, Besame offers all the benefits of vintage-style cosmetics, but presents them in a modern, fresh way. Other cosmetic companies like Nars and Anastasia Beverly Hills have revived the vintage as well, where the classic red lip is on-trend as an entirely glamorous and luxurious look again.

And so, it goes to show you that everything old can be new again, and skincare is no exception. Certainly, makeup trends come and go, but the tried and true will have its loyal fans and stay constant. No matter what the volatile and unpredictable cosmetics market is touting or doing, you may find yourself returning to your good, old, reliable skincare regimen as well. But don’t ever forget that even stodgy, old cold cream was once the revolutionary, trendy, new product in its day.

Happy Skincare!

–Senada and Dr. H

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