Cold cream is really, truly nothing new—just ask your grandma—and yet most people still don’t really, truly know exactly what it is or how to use it (myself included). Is cold cream just another term for a creamy face wash? Or is it a moisturizer? Am I supposed to wash it off or wipe it off? Or am I just supposed to leave it on forever?! Because I admittedly did not set the curve in my high-school chemistry class, I turned to cosmetic chemists Gloria Lu and Victoria Fu of Chemist Confessions to demystify the world of cold creams and answer my millions of questions.
Keep reading, then check out 13 of the best cold cream products to try…uh…now. K, let’s back up a little and go over what a cold cream actually is. As the chemists explain it, “cold cream” is a historical term that referred to thick creams in a jar that felt cold when applied to the skin.
A cold cream was literally a cold cream in the olden eras. Nowadays, cold creams are typically ultra-rich and moisturizing face creams with a higher oil content than standard creams or lotions. They basically coddle your face in moisture, making them excellent at repairing and moisturizing dry, irritated skin (especially while you sleep).