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

Pros

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

Cons

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

The Bottom Line

The Pond's Cold Cream Cleanser is a long-time fan favorite that's recently been added to my nightly skin routine.

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: $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.

cold cream
Pond's Cold Cream Cleanser $5
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About My Skin: Dry

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 is prominently featured on the ingredient list.

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 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 as it is known to moisturize and hydrate skin. However, mineral oil is not approved by our Byrdie Clean Beauty Pledge because of the concern 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, 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

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.

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.

"Pond's Cold Cream is a beast at removing every little smidge 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. This cream shouldn't be left on overnight.

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. 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 $24. 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), ($23), is a wonderful pick that uses beeswax and plant oils to protect your complexion from the elements.

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.

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