To Do: Cold Cream

To Do: Cold Cream

Do any of you use cold cream or a cleansing milk instead of washing your face?

According to my facialist, my skin is so dry that it should never be washed with soap (perhaps, why I didn’t start washing my face at night at all until after college). Instead, I’m supposed to do a sort of “wax-on, wax-off” with a cleansing lotion, but I’m a bit confused about the details.

Is the trick to use copious amounts of the stuff so that it doesn’t just soak in? Is there a brand beyond good-old Ponds I should try? Do you put on more moisturizer after rubbing off the cold cream?

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There are 23 comments for this article
  1. MaryG at 5:25 pm

    I have crazy dry skin and I have recently converted to Phytomer–I use their Perfect Visage Cleansing Milk. The directions say to 'rinse' off but I find my skin seems softer and more hydrated if I just remove it with a damp washcloth. Then I follow up with their Rosee Visage Toning Cleansing Lotion which is really soothing and refreshing, and then use a moisturizer. I only do this at night–in the morning I just rinse my face in the shower and then use a day cream with SPF. I've been doing this since march (after my esthetician best friend gave me samples of Phytomer stuff) and my skin is in really good shape.

  2. marga at 5:42 pm

    I don't think Noxzema or Johnson & Johnson "Clean & Clear" counts as soap. Or you could try olive oil on a cotton ball. I think there is something on the bunnyshop blog about olive oil.

  3. Rhonda at 5:59 pm

    I absolutely live for cold cream. I prefer ponds, but when on a budget, I buy Suave.

    I do use apricot scrub in the mornings, because i have an oily t-zone and once I put tinted moisturizer on, i'm all slick.

    But at night, I put on cold cream, even rub it right onto my eyes to remove the makeup. Then I wipe it off with a damp washcloth. I put extra moisturizer only if I have dry patches, which i get sometimes.

    I don't put tons of the cream on and it makes my skin so soft and supple.

  4. Hannah at 6:19 pm

    My grandmother used it and I've recently started using it too (damn genetics). I put a fair amount on and wipe off with a warm damp (only slightly) wash cloth and then apply moisturizer afterward. My skin is so unbelievably dry but it's been working pretty well.

  5. erica at 6:23 pm

    i use rms beauty's raw coconut cream as a cleanser and moisturizer. i just wipe it off with a dry cloth (no water). you'd think oil would make my face oilier, but instead, my cystic acne prone skin has almost completely cleared up after 3 months. years of benzoyl peroxide products, and all it took was raw coconut cream to do the trick!

  6. Emily at 6:48 pm

    My skin went through a brutal dry spell a few years back and I had great luck with Origins' Pure Cream cleanser. I used it the same way many of the commenters are reporting- slather on a generous amount, gently remove with a damp washcloth, and moisturize after. If you feel like cream cleansers leave a film on your skin you can always try using a gentle toner between it and your moisturizer (Kiehl's made one for sensitive skin that I used from time to time, but I can't recall the name). That combo worked well for me and I still keep the Pure Cream around in the winter for dry skin flare ups.

  7. Beth at 7:19 pm

    Cetaphil is a life-line for me. I think maybe they call it cleansing "lotion" or something like that? It's basically wax-on, wax-off but can be used with water too if you prefer that.

  8. Anonymous at 8:16 pm

    My mother used Pond's, but I have sensitive skin, so never even tried it. When I was in the US, I could use Cetaphil, even Aveno products… But what I really liked, and what isn't that expensive as a bottle lasts for-ev-er, is Lancome's cleansing milk. No need to use it in copious quantities, you will see, the texture is just great. Just put a little on, smooth round the face, and wipe off with cotton swabs.

  9. at 8:30 pm

    I also have dry skin. I have used Cetaphil but never felt clean afterwards. I use only Dove soap. I only wash my face occasionally (I wear hardly any make-up.) But every time I do wash I use moisture cream on my face immediately, to keep in as much moisture as possible. I like Lubriderm Advance FOrmula for dry skin (maroon color cap) which I get at Walgreens or Target. It has a slightly waxy quality but seems to get absorbed by my skin.

  10. Melissa at 9:15 pm

    Oh, cleansing milk is where it's AT for me – I too have very dry skin, and avoid soap particularly since moving to the Bay Area from the more humid Northeast many years ago.

    I agree with the previous post about Lancome cleansing milk, but I like both Carita (reasonable) and Sisley (unreasonable but fantastic) cleansing milks specifically for dry skin.

    The key for me as part of the nighttime routine was adding in a heavier moisturizer to replenish while I was sleeping.

  11. L. at 9:26 pm

    Ditto on the Cetaphil tip – but there are two kinds, one of which bites, the other (the super original, can be used as a wipe-off or rinse-off cleanser) is amazing! The kind you want is labeled Gentle or Original Cleanser. The kind you DON'T want is labeled Daily Cleanser – it is a newer formula, meant for normal to oily skin and lathers/has to be rinsed off.

    When I do the wipe-off with Cetaphil, instead of rinsing, I never feel greasy, just like my face is totally moisturized and calm. I moisten my skin before applying though, so it holds in that moisture.

    Cetaphil also makes a nice cream that I've only ever used as a moisturizer, but I wonder if it could be used as a cold cream.

  12. Laura at 9:44 pm

    Cold Cream! I have used Pond's since the day I was first allowed to put on eye shadow on when I was 13! My friends and roommates made fun of my over the years for being such an old lady but I swear, the stuff works. It is a wonderful make up remover and takes off even the stubborn waterproof mascara I wear every day. Plus it is cheap and one container of it will last you 4 or 5 months.

    My mom has used it since she was a teenager and my grandmother before her. We were always taught it was a real deep south thing!

  13. Zoƫ Yule at 10:47 pm

    I'm on the Cetaphil wagon as well, which my doctor recommended after I developed dermatitis on my face. My mum swears by Nivea cream – the original, in the dark blue pot. It's super thick, and you don't need much, but I used to use it to take off stage make-up, so I know it works! I'm sensitive to the lanolin in it though, so doesn't work for me long-term. Definitely steer clear of soap, even Dove, if you have dry skin!

  14. mrsem Author at 11:02 pm

    Wow! So many great suggestions! I'm going to buy a sampler of a few of these suggestions and give it a go.

  15. Gracie73 at 12:26 am

    I swear by Estee Lauder Soft Clean Tender Creme Cleanser. I do rinse it off and it makes my face and neck feel very hydrated and clean. I've tried several other milk cleansers that seem to leave a film behind and I don't feel like it has totally been rinsed off. It's the DVF of cleansers…..all I can say is, you get what you pay for!!!

  16. Anonymous at 1:11 am

    I have very dry, picky skin, and Cetaphil has been a life-saver. I don't use water–just squirt a bit on a cotton round and use it to clean off both makeup and my face. Like "L" said, make sure you get the original formula. I don't even both with moisturizer at night; the cetaphil works well enough. It's much cheaper than the makeup counter brands. And, as a bonus, it can be used as shaving cream if/when you run out.

  17. Cecilia at 5:07 am

    The Arizona desert really affects my dry skin and the only cleanser for me is Beauty Society's Easy Going. It leaves my skin clean, soft and silky

  18. Meghann at 5:11 am

    I love Pond's cold cream – I've used it since day one of wearing makeup as a teenager. My skin tends to the oily side, at least in the t-zone, so I only use it as an eye makeup remover these days, but it takes it off better than any other product. I wipe it off with a damp washcloth or sometimes with just a tissue or cotton ball. I even converted my product-faithful makeup loving sister-in-law over to Pond's.

  19. Susanne at 2:16 pm

    I have super dry and sensitive skin. I have also become more concerned about the chemicals in all of the stuff we put on our skin. My dermatologist actually recommended "washing" my face with olive oil. At first I thought she was nuts, but I did a bit of research and now I wouldn't do anything different. Put a couple drops in you hand, rub it onto dry skin and then take a warm wash cloth and gently wipe off. My skin has never looked better. My husband thought I was crazy, but even he is now using it!

  20. Anne Living Life at 2:58 pm

    I agree with Mary G. Phytomer products are divine. Especially the Rosee Toning Lotion.

    Unfortunately my budget is more along the lines of Pond's. I use it every night to remove my makeup then wash my face with Cetaphil. But my skin is more combo than dry.

  21. A Simplified Nest at 1:38 am

    I actually have combo-oily skin but I swear by Pond's at night. I put it on for a few minutes, rub gently with a warm washcloth and that's it. No need for me to do anything else. You'll have to let us know what you've tried. It looks like your readers really like beauty posts from you!

  22. Alyssa Coberly at 9:04 pm

    people may have already said this but im too lazy to read them all (hehe) I LIVE by Cetaphil … you can wash your face with no water, it has no harsh anything and so so gentle – – and you can get it at walgreens (wahoo)