Originally Posted by Daly Beauty for Stylelist.ca
Face washing is one of the oldest beauty rituals out there. Way back in the days of the Greeks, Romans and Turks, bathing and scrubbing down one’s epidermis was seen as an essential activity — not just to cleanse the skin, but also to heal the soul. A person’s social standing was even determined by how clean their skin was. As a result, washing took place anywhere and everywhere — in public baths, in saunas and in formal suites in private chateaus.
Today, the art of face washing has evolved from a public activity done as often as possible to a ritual that’s performed at least once a day in private. The act, studies have shown, prevents bacteria buildup that can lead to acne, wrinkles and skin infections.
From soap to cold creams, our skincare regimens have evolved a ton as new beauty brands have hit the market.
Here is a brief evolution of face-washing:
The earliest recorded evidence of the use of soap dates back to ancient Babylon and Egypt — it’s believed people would bathe regularly using a soap-like substance made of animal oils and alkaline salts.
Pond’s Cold Cream
The big wave in marketing cleansers to women with the express use being the removal of our war paint started in the first part of the 20th Century with the eponymous cold cream, Pond’s. “Cold cream” is an emulsion of water and fats (usually mineral, olive or jojoba oils), often including beeswax, glycerin and scent. It’s designed to smooth the skin and remove makeup. It was called “cold cream” as that’s exactly how it felt on the skin. Their marketing picked up steam in the 1920s with star-powered advertising of the royalty and actresses who famously used the product. By the ’40s, Pond’s Cold Cream was a staple on the dressing tables of women around the world.
Cold cream was too heavy for teenagers with oily skin, and as they entered the cosmetic market as consumers, cleansers changed to suit their needs. Noxzema had a lighter texture than traditional cold creams, ingredients like eucalyptus and menthol gave it a tingly sensation on the skin. It claimed to prevent pore blockage as well.
Clinique 3-Step System
Tingly toners with salicylic acid hit the market in the ’70s, with names like 10-0-6 and Sea Breeze. These were to be used after cleansing — one would apply the product to a cotton ball then swiped across the face to get “all the dirt the cleanser missed.” The famous Clinique 3-Step System came along in the late ’60s and taught millions of people to cleanse, tone and moisturize the skin.
It was then that every cosmetic line had a system to remove the makeup they’d sell consumers. Some claimed to have built-in toners, some needed required you use a towel or cloth, some just rinsed off.
Makeup Remover Cloths
Next came makeup remover cloths. For the tired too busy or lazy, these cloths were simple and effective to use: one would pull a sheet from a pack and wipe the makeup off their face. From there, they could cleanse and remove facial dirt as they normally would.
Today, face-washing has become more scientific and electronic. A good example is the Clarisonic. The product is a soft bristled oscillating brush for your skin. Oscillation is a gentle back and forth movement of a brush — meaning the soft bristles work with the skin, gently flexing the pores to clarify and cleanse more thoroughly than hands. The Clarisonic now has a cult following. And the product’s science leads us to believe we’ll see more products like this hit the market in the next several years.