How to Make Your Own Cold Cream

model massaging cold cream onto her skin
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Cold cream is a renowned French skincare staple. You'll find the moisturizing, multi-purpose makeup remover and hydrator lining the shelves of every French pharmacy you walk into, so that's how you know it's legit. And, well, seeing that Parisian ladies have some of the glowiest, clearest complexions in the game, naturally, we wanted to know more about the famed product. 

After digging deeper, we realized cold cream actually couldn't be easier to make, so why not try to DIY it in the comfort of your own kitchen? All you need are a few classic ingredients you can find at your local grocery store or on Amazon. With that said, keep scrolling for a deep dive on cold cream and a crash course on how to make it yourself. 

What is Cold Cream?

Cold cream is a creamy, multi-use moisturizing product meant to be used to remove makeup or nourish dehydrated skin. It's known for being particularly great for dry skin types, because it's so emollient, and works amazingly in its capacity as a makeup remover for sensitive complexions, too. What's more: It's beyond easy to use, it shouldn't irritate your eyes, and you don't even have to wash it off. Just simply massage it in and wipe off any excess. No water necessary. Of course, all of this hinges on which specific cold cream product or recipe you're using.

Now, you're likely wondering what cold cream is actually made up of. Turns out, the time-tested cream is essentially an emulsion that includes high concentrations of mineral oil and waxes (like beeswax) in water. 

Acclaimed New York City-based dermatologist Patricia Wexler told HuffPost, "Cold creams generally consist of four main ingredients: water, oil, emulsifier, and a thickening agent." These days, they often replace beeswax and olive oil with mineral and jojoba oils, especially now that vegan and cruelty-free skincare is such a huge trend. 

That being said, many cold creams, such as the top-rated and long-beloved rendition from Pond's, are not exactly natural or organic. It's also $9 per tub at your local drugstore, which for some people can be a lot for a basic cleanser. It's for this reason that we thought it couldn't hurt to make your own. It's the perfect homemade product to add to your skincare arsenal. 

How to Make Your Own

First things first, you'll need one tablespoon of jojoba oil, which acts as an excellent base for a homemade makeup remover as it's super nourishing and hydrating. And unlike some oils, it won't turn rancid. 

Next, add eight tablespoons of vegetable shortening (think Crisco). While it may sound abnormal, vegetable shortening is made from soybean or cottonseed oils and is completely A-okay for the skin—unlike lard, which is made from animal fat. 

Finally, you'll want to include several drops of your favorite essential oil, so long as you've used it on your skin before and know that it's safe. Lavender oil is a stellar option because it's super gentle on the skin and has a relaxing aroma that's lovely to take in while winding down after a long day. Other good options are calendula, cardamom, Roman chamomile, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and neroli.

This step is totally optional, as not everyone's skin can tolerate essentials oils. If you're not sure, you should always do a patch test or talk to your doctor first.

Now, find your go-to saucepan, a trusty whisk, and a glass or jar with a cap that will serve as your container. You're going to want to warm the oil and shortening in your saucepan over low heat until it's completely melted. Then, remove it from heat and let it cool for 10 minutes. From there, add several drops of any essential oil and whisk until your mixture thickens. Lastly, pour your mixture into a glass with a cap and refrigerate it for one hour. And voilà: That's all, folks. It's really that simple. 

How to Use It

The traditional way to use cold cream is to apply a thick layer of the formula over your whole face, let it sit for roughly a minute, and then wipe it off with a damp cotton pad. You're generally supposed to repeat this until your pad is free of dirt and makeup. However, other women on the Internet swear by using a warm washcloth to remove your cold cream instead. Massaging your face with the washcloth after can also act as a gentle exfoliant to remove any lingering dirt and dead skin. Whatever method you choose, you're bound to look fantastic as long as you have cold cream in your skincare collection. 

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Lin TK, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-inflammatory and skin barrier repair effects of topical application of some plant oilsInt J Mol Sci. 2017;19(1):70. doi:10.3390/ijms19010070

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