An Honest Review of the Iconic Pond's Cold Cream

Pond's Cold Cream


Grandmas love it. Moms love it. Daughters love it, too. Pond's Cold Cream Cleanser is generational and an iconic product that stands the test of time. It's the most famous cold cream, and for good reason. Often the ritual of using Pond's gets passed down between family members, because every generation can see the evidence firsthand that it works. According to one esthetician, "When someone tells me she's never had a facial but has skin that looks 20 years younger than her age, I pretty much know she'll also tell me she uses Pond's Cold Cream as a makeup remover and moisturizer."

Meet the Expert

Is this drugstore classic worth the hype? We decided to find out.


  • Moisturizes skin and removes makeup
  • Clean smell
  • Simple to use


  • Mineral oil ingredient may be a sensitivity to some
  • Small container

Pond's Cold Cream

Best For: Normal-to-dry skin

Uses: Hydration, makeup remover

Star Rating: 4.8/5

Potential Allergens: Mineral oil

Active Ingredients: Water, oil

Clean?: No; contains mineral oil and triethanolamine

Price: $9

About the Brand: Pond's is an iconic drugstore skincare brand. It was founded in 1846 and has since become known for moisturizing makeup removers and cleansing products.

cold cream
Pond's Cold Cream Cleanser $9.00

About My Skin: Dry

Pond's Cold Cream is an ideal fit for drier skin types, because it's packed with 50% moisturizer. The product claims to remove makeup without stripping and drying out your complexion the way harsher cleansers can often do. It's also suitable for sensitive skin types, as long as you don't have a sensitivity to mineral oil, which is prominently featured on the ingredient list.

The Feel: Thick and Hydrating

If you have generally steered clear of oilier products, Pond's might take some getting used to. It feels like a really intensive moisturizing treatment.

"Pond's cold cream is like the original makeup remover, skin cleansing beauty go-to product that gets rid of makeup and impurities and leaves your skin feeling fresh and clean," says skincare expert and medical spa owner Kris Adair. "Its main hydrating components, mineral oil and beeswax, help hydrate and prevent over-drying of your skin after product use."

If you can get over the intense moisture, it might actually become a regular in your nighttime skincare routine.

The Ingredients

The main ingredients in this product are water, mineral oil, and beeswax. Mineral oil is a highly purified liquid derived from petroleum. It is widely used in cosmetics products for moisturizing and hydrating skin. However, mineral oil is not approved by our Byrdie Clean Beauty Pledge because of concerns on how mineral oil is sourced.

The Smell: A Spa in Your Bathroom

One of the best things about this cream—other than its apparently miraculous youth-enhancing effects—is its smell. The scent is so fresh and so clean. It's unforgettable and makes the whole experience feel like a five-minute treat every time you slather it on. It has a light yet distinct smell, but if you'd rather a fragrance-free version (which is recommended for those with sensitive skin or a history of eczema), give the Pond's Fragrance-Free Cold Cream Cleanser a try. This product is also offered in a cucumber scent.

The Results: Moisturizing Makeup Remover

Ponds Cold Cream Texture


This product definitely does exactly what it says it'll do, with little muss or fuss.

You may want to use it strictly as a makeup remover and wash your face afterward with a mild cleanser to get the residue off, but that's a matter of individual preference. Some people find that their pores get clogged if they don't rinse it off thoroughly, but, for others, Pond's works well as an overnight moisturizer.

"It doesn’t matter if you have oily skin, dry or sensitive skin, Pond's Cold Cream works for all different skin concerns, especially the fragrance-free version," says Adair. "This is such a great benefit because often clients get overwhelmed trying to figure out which product to buy for their skin type and with Pond's Cold Cream, they get a balanced product that addresses their individual skin concern effortlessly."

However you use it, Pond's Cold Cream is a beast at removing every little smidgen of makeup, leaving your skin feeling baby soft. When using it consistently, fine lines may appear less obvious.

Pond's Cold Cream is a beast at removing every little smidgen of makeup, leaving your skin feeling baby soft.

It's a real game-changer in the winter when the air leaves your skin feeling drier and tighter than normal. Pond's makes a significant difference in diminishing that parched feeling brought on by cold weather.

What's more, this product is super simple to use. The goal is to really massage your face with the cream, for at least a solid minute, before wiping it off with cotton balls or pads. Don't rush the experience, otherwise you run the risk of doing a subpar job of removing every last trace of product from your face.

If you have dry or dehydrated skin, try removing the cream with a microfiber cloth to avoid irritation.

The Value: Great Bang for Your Buck

A 3.5-ounce jar of Pond's Cold Cream costs a whopping $9. That's a steal, especially considering this is an all-time classic beauty product that really delivers. It cleanses like no other, and it truly does help maintain a youthful appearance in the skin. Your skin will be glowing and infused with hydration. That's priceless.

Similar Products: You Have Options

Avene Cold Cream Cremé: For an ultra-hydrating, slightly more luxe but still affordable cold cream ($20), try Avene's version. It's hypoallergenic, soy-free, and gluten-free, with gentle fragrance and the brand's signature Thermal Spring Water to soothe skin.

Eve Lom Cleanser: If you're sensitive to mineral oil, this high-end cold cream cleanser from Eve Lom is a great pick at $60. It's a thick cleanser that gets its hydrating and makeup removing properties from a blend of chamomile, eucalyptus, clove, and hops oils.

Weleda Deep Moisture Facial Balm: When moisture is your top priority, Weleda's Deep Moisture Facial Balm (formerly called Cold Cream), ($25), is a wonderful pick that uses beeswax and plant oils to protect your complexion from the elements.

Key Ingredients

Chamomile is an herb. It contains high levels of an antioxidant known as apigenin, which helps calm, heal, and soothe skin.

Our Verdict: Worth the Hype

Pond's Cold Cream Cleanser serves its purpose, is available at an affordable price point, and is a beloved favorite across generations—which is why it's worth adding to your makeup bag. You'll end the night feeling and smelling as clean as can be after using this product.

  • Can I use Pond's Cold Cream as a moisturizer?

    Pond's Cold Cream can be used as an overnight moisturizer, or as a makeup remover, and washed off after being applied. This all depends on your skin type and whether or not your pores are easily clogged.

  • Why do they call it cold cream?

    Cold cream was originally formulated as a moisturizer that doesn't require refrigeration, staying cold even when kept at room temperature.

  • Does Pond's Cold Cream have side effects?

    There are no known negative side affects associated with Pond's Cold Cream but, as with any topical product, you should discontinue use if you notice a rash or irritation on the application site.

  • Do you wash off Pond's Cold Cream?

    If using as a makeup remover or pre-cleanser, you can wash off Pond's Cold Cream after applying. Alternately, if your skin is dry and tolerates it, you can leave it on overnight as a moisturizer.

Related Stories