Werther's Originals, old cookie tins filled with sewing supplies, Oil of Olay, canned goods that expired in 1997: There are just some things that will never not be associated with your grandmother's house, even if your actual grandma never bought a five-pound bag of caramel-flavored hard candies or perfected a cross-stitch in her life. Cold cream, the classic face-cleansing emulsion so named for its cooling feeling when first applied to skin, is another one of those things — a relic of decades (centuries? millennia?) past, from a time before we had makeup wipes and micellar water.
But just because we have those things now doesn't mean there's no merit to the products our predecessors swore by. And, as the eponymous brand of celebrity-favorite esthetician Kate Somerville has set out to prove with the new Cold Cream Moisturizing Cleanser + Makeup Remover, any lingering aversion to cold cream is entirely unwarranted.
Well, it is now, at least. Beyond the unfairly negative old-lady connotations (which, by the way, are also unwarranted; there is nothing wrong with being an old lady), the pore-clogging properties and heavy, musty scents were really what gave cold cream its bad rap. But this lighter revamped version is non-comedogenic and free of mineral oil, making it exceptionally good for even sensitive, acne-prone skin. And it really — no, really — leaves skin feeling softer and more moisturized after cleansing. A little goes a long way, and a small amount scooped out with your fingers and massaged into skin, then wiped away with a warm, damp washcloth, is enough to remove your most waterproof stubborn mascara without irritating your skin.
But rather than trying to reinvent a really old wheel, this souped-up cold cream does have a few things in common with the original. There is a distinct floral scent — a combination of jasmine, rose, and daisy extracts, with a boost from some kind of special white honey — but this one smells fresh and inviting, not powdery or stale. And then, of course, there's the unique sensation that gives cold cream its name. You will feel the chill, and then you'll wonder how you got this far in life avoiding cold cream just because it reminded you of your grandmother. Then consider buying her a jar, too.