Reviewed: A Drugstore Icon, Pond's Cold Cream

woman applying cold cream


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Grandmas love it. Moms love it. Daughters love it, too. Pond's Cold Cream Cleanser is eternal. Invented in 1846, this iconic product 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." Is this drugstore classic worth the hype? We decided to find out.

Pond's Cold Cream

Best For: Normal-to-dry skin

Uses: Hydration, makeup remover

Potential Allergens: Mineral oil

Active Ingredients: Water, oil

Byrdie Clean?: No; contains mineral oil and Triethanolamine

Price: $5

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

About My Skin: Dry is best

Pond's Cold Cream is an ideal fit for drier skin types, because it's packed with 50 percent 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 features pretty prominently on the ingredients' list.

cold cream
Pond's Cold Cream Cleanser $5
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The Feel: Thick and hydrating

If you have oily skin and generally steer clear of oilier products, Pond's might take some getting used to. It feels like theater makeup or a really intensive moisturizing treatment. If you can get over that, it might actually become a regular in your nighttime skincare routine.

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.

The Results: Moisturizing makeup remover

Short answer: 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.

Key Ingredients

Mineral oil is a highly purified liquid derived from petroleum. It is widely used in cosmetics products as it is known to moisturize and hydrate skin.

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

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, feel free to leave the cream on and let it soak in overnight for best results.

The Value: Great bang for your buck

A 3.5-ounce jar of Pond's Cold Cream costs a whopping $5. 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. That's priceless.

Similar Products: Sensitive skin-friendly options

cold cream
Avene Cold Cream $20
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For an ultra-hydrating, slightly more luxe but still affordable cold cream, 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.

cleanser
Eve Lom Cleanser $135
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If you're sensitive to mineral oil, this high-end cold cream cleanser from Eve Lom is a great pick. It's a thick cleanser that gets its hydrating and makeup removing properties from a blend of chamomile, eucalyptus, clove, and hops oils.

facial balm
Weleda Deep Moisture Facial Balm $28
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When moisture is your top priority, Weleda's Deep Moisture Facial Balm (formerly called Cold Cream) is a wonderful pick that uses beeswax and plant oils to protect your complexion from the elements.

Up next: Learn how to remove makeup with soap or water.

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