Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Pond's cold cream saga

Update, January 1, 2015: thanks to all who continue to visit and comment on this "little" post. If you want to see what else I do, by all means come visit me at Pluot

James Boswell once fretted to Samuel Johnson about whether or not he should think of wasting his time reading or writing on some small topic he had in mind. Johnson said, "there can be nothing too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we have as little misery and as much happiness as possible."

I hope that is true, because amid all the awful and serious news in the world, I do have a small subject that frets and interests me. Everyone must promise not to laugh, or be disgusted.

Wonderful Pond's cold cream has lost its wonderful old scent, and now smells like just nothing at all. Chemicals, perhaps, or some kind of locker-room hygienic cream.

Really. That's what is on my mind, as all the micro-blogging platforms ask. What have they done to it? It used to have a fragrance that, now, I'm afraid I can't remember well enough to describe. It was very fresh, flowery but not fussy, a little powdery, fruity but not in the typical melon-and-cucumber style that any cosmetics company can do well and then call pear or kiwi anyway. It was unique.

And now it's gone. I'm sure they have changed the formula, because ever since I noticed the loss well over a year ago, I have continued to buy the product in small sizes and large, in grocery stores and drugstores, reasoning that perhaps that store got a bad shipment, or this one's supply is old and faded. Alas, each jar is now the same. Even my family agree, when I thrust the jar under their noses and demand their opinion that I'm not crazy, that classic Pond's doesn't smell as strong as it once did. The problem has to lie in the factory, and in the decisions made by the nice chemists there. It's become scentless and dull, and even the creamy feel of the stuff is different. I used to be able to catch up a dollop of it on a fingertip, and it sat there white, cool, plump, and perfect, crowned with a little gay curl. Now it is thin, greasy, and tacky. I plunge my fingertip into the jar and I pull away nothing. I have to dig into it with some fierceness, and do my best with a clump instead of a dollop.

I was actually disappointed enough to write to the Pond's company, outlining my complaints and asking why they had changed the formula. Some one from Quality Control wrote me back, apologizing for my experience and insisting that it did not reflect the standards that Pond's is determined to maintain. And wouldn't I please accept a coupon for a free jar, which I would soon find in my mail, while my letter was forwarded through proper channels, etc. I can imagine the person writing this thinking, "get a life, you no doubt ninety-year-old relic."

In a few weeks an entire package of coupons arrived, for all sorts of products. I had no idea that the Pond's people either own or are owned by all sorts of other people -- the people who make Suave shampoo, and Dove soap, too, if memory serves. I didn't use any of the coupons because I don't want two dollars off a soap or a shampoo. I want, at the least, Pond's to confide in me that they have changed the formula, and at best I want them to go back to the old one.

Let me tell you why I love Pond's. (Do I sound as if I am dunning for more coupons? I am not.) Of course every family with women in it is likely to keep a jar in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. It takes off makeup beautifully, and is safe to use even around the eyes. When I was growing up we always had a jar on hand, which seemed to sit half used for years, with the same black swipe plunged into it, from some already mascara-laden fingertip that some woman hadn't bothered to clean off before dipping in for her second helping you might say. Since I don't wear makeup, however, I thought no more about Pond's until it was time to buy a jar, in adulthood, to have on hand to remove my own children's Halloween makeup. And then I opened it and smelled again that scent.

And I was instantly transported back, in the powerful and ridiculous way that scents can do this, to the bathroom of my childhood home. Summertime, the open bathroom window, the heights of the green trees outside, and even the sound of bird calls returned to me in one split second sensation. Because of Pond's. Ridiculous.

So now I, too, kept a jar on hand. Still, apart from Halloween, I had no particular use for it -- tried makeup, found it aging on me -- until I happened to receive a book for a present, called Letters of the Century: America 1900 to 1999. It's a collection heavy on left-wing canonic documents, everybody eyewitnessing civil rights, Vietnam, and so on, but in the middle of it (pp. 368-371) is the best letter in the book. It was written in 1951 by a lady named Myrna Chase to another lady simply named Mary. Miss Chase had no grand national agenda to discuss. She was a medical secretary who was leaving her doctor's practice in order to get married, and her letter was one of instruction to her replacement. Miss Chase obviously loved her job and was very good at it, but she was also a fine writer. Her style is simple, delicate, just verging on the waspish but so intensely ladylike that it remains great fun to read. "I'm sure," she warned Mary, "I don't need to caution you against the horror of a dark slip under a white uniform." "Remember that white in a doctor's office must always be just a little whiter than white." "I know you will not feel it beneath you to supplement the efforts of the overworked janitress with a good dust cloth of your own." "When the doctor is ready to leave, usher him out and tell him good night as if he were the guest of honor. Your respect and admiration can never be too great for a man who is following the finest profession in the world."

And this, at the beginning of the letter: "Your day really begins the night before, when you take a warm bath, brush your hair, cream your face, and relax in bed for at least eight hours' sound sleep."

Now doesn't that sound delicious? It takes us right back to 1951, when -- so we fancy -- women relaxed in the evening in fur-trimmed peignoirs and low-heeled mules, gave their hair a hundred strokes before bed, and laid out a soignée uniform of dress, hose, gloves, hat, stole, and who knows maybe a fresh orchid, for the next day. And "creamed" their faces above all. Fran Dodsworth (Ruth Chatterton), in the old movie Dodsworth, creams her face and wipes it all off savagely while having an argument with her husband Sam (Walter Huston) in a European hotel room. She's forty, and about to become a grandmother.

Ah hah. What is the point of cold cream, anyway, and where does it come from? I imagined it as somehow a product of nineteenth century Victorian leisure and chemistry, or as another brilliant invention of one of those hardscrabble ladies of the early twentieth century, who simply created whole cosmetics and fashion industries from scratch and sheer brainpower -- Estée Lauder was one, Chanel another. Not so, it seems. Cold cream, so named "because it leaves the skin feeling cool and refreshed" (a bit pat, no?) is credited to the classical Greek physician Galen. He stirred together the simple ingredients olive oil, beeswax, water, and rose petals, and arrived at what the French still call le cérat de Galien, Galen's wax. Modern formulas eschew olive oil, because it spoils too quickly. Its replacement is mineral oil.

Do we trust Wikipedia on this important little issue? My French dictionary includes no such word as "cérat"; the word for wax is la cire. That same dictionary also translates cold cream forthrightly as le cold-cream (masculine, oddly). However, my French dictionary is not the only source of information on skin care on the planet. A French website called Huiles & Sens Aromathérapie agrees that, with this invention Claude Galien, "un médecin grec de l'Antiquité," did indeed give us one of the oldest of all cosmetic recipes. And they call it le cérat de Galien.

I was so charmed by Miss Chase's retro advice to cream your face each night, and so pleased by the rediscovery of Pond's at about the same time I was given that book, that I have been cleansing with "the cool classic" religiously every night since. Letters of the Century came out in 1999, so that makes a good ten years of the ritual. And now they've changed the formula, the fragrance is gone or almost gone, and I continue to use it though half the pleasure of it is also gone.

If you wish to follow up on this little, this positively Lilliputian (Boswellian?) matter, if you want to achieve true cold cream geekiness, you may do so by surfing the net for websites which actually are devoted to makeup and makeup reviews -- and reviews of products that remove makeup. While embarked on this sub-project I found someone who knows more about the nice chemists at Pond's than I do, but whose information confirms my suspicions, and frightens me a bit, too. Hear this, dated 9/11/09 from Makeupalley.com:

"However, I am disappointed that Pond's reformulated the product by adding toxic ingredients like the preservative DMDM Hydantoin. The upside of this change is that the original Pond's cold cream is still manufactured [update, as of at least 2014, no it isn't]. You just have to look harder. My local drugstore has it while one major drugstore carried the new reformulated one. Good luck!"

I can't tell what is more extraordinary, this confirmation that I'm not crazy, or the news of toxicity in my Pond's, -- or other reviewers' complaints about the cold cream's intense, "been around for decades," "granny" smell. "I despise the smell of roses," one woman huffed.

Really? It still contains Galen's roses? I almost think I'm better off not noticing them, rather than being such a poor soul as to dislike them. Meanwhile, it's almost time for my nightly ritual. Bring on the DMDM Hydantoin.

112 comments:

  1. my girlfriend was fascinated by this - she has called Ponds and they still deny everything - your blog has got her steaming mad - I will tell you what happens when she call for the 7th time ! N.B Montreal

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  2. Wow. I'm so flattered that my little post got somebody riled up. I hope she has luck with that 7th call ....

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  3. I found this site by googling "my cold cream smells bad." I am disgusted with the horrible smell. I have switched to CVS brand, which doesn't smell good either.

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  4. By golly, I think we have the makings of a crusade here. Bring back the smell of roses!

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  5. If you check the ingredients, they've added a bunch of chemicals and preservatives. I'm really upset :(

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  6. The ingredients list struck me as much the same as before, but the product has been different for so long now -- several years? -- that possibly my memory of the "original" fails me. When will a Pond's chemist come forward and tell us the story?

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  7. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! Now I know I'm not crazy! I can't stand this new formula - I'm really disappointed by it. But I am excited by the fact that the old one still exists. I'm off to search!! Thanks again. :)

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  8. I have looked everywhere for the original Pond's Cold cream with just 7 ingredients (the new one has like 12-14 ingedients). Only the generic drugstores carry the old formula ingredients. But are any of them just like the original Pond's? I bought a jar of Rite Aid's cold cream. Lately, I've been using Albolene with no fragrance to clean my face nightly. It works pretty good. But alas, I sure would like a jar of the old original Pond's Cold Cream.

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  9. my girlfriend returned 8 jars of the new cream with the extra chemical and after a lot of hassle was refunded $82 dollars - we finally found one jar in an indian pharmacy here in Montreal and we might have found another ten jars in New York but what a lot of work and they think no one noticed...keep the pressure on Unilever to bring back the original

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    1. hi! would you mind letting us know which indian store- I'm also in Montreal and looking for the original! thanks :)

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  10. Thanks to everyone for all the comments. Do you think Unilever would listen to us? Was the old Pond's so expensive or troublesome to make? I'm off to look up their website ....

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  11. After buying-throwing away-buying again I finally realized Ponds had changed their formula. Just googled around and found your post. I'm so disappointed. Opening the old Pond's jars always brought back memories of my mom and my grandmother. The old formula truly kept my skin younger. This new formula is worthless. What a loss to us purists who knew a great thing!! Thank you for your post.

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  12. I'm glad that the post has at least brought together a community of Pond's purists who did indeed know a good thing. I am now using "Best choice" cold cream and it's ok -- at least it smells pretty good. It's the little pleasures that matter, don't you think?

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  13. Hi Nancy
    Was so glad to find your post! The new Pond's formulation (confirmed as such by Unilever Customer Services here in the UK) now irritates my skin. Much to my children's amusement (and my husband's horror), I have scoured the globe for pots of the original formula. For the first year or so (2008, I think it was), I eked out a few pots I imported from Greece, but since then, despite buying on-line from as far afield as India and the US, I have failed miserably. My make-up drawer is now bulging with my attempts at finding a replacement brand which my skin will tolerate, but to no avail...

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  14. Who knows, perhaps some enterprising soul will recreate the formula himself? After all, if Galen could ....

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  15. Good news! I found Ponds Cold Cream! I bought a 3 pack from Amazon.com.....the original Ponds!! Fragrance, texture....the real thing!Here's a link to the product: http://www.amazon.com/Ponds-Deep-Cleanser-Cream-9-5-Ounce/dp/B001ECQ4RG/ref=pd_sim_dbs_bt_3
    I ordered it, received it and immediately opened it to inhale! The 3-Pack contained 3 9.5 oz jars. I think I have a 3 year supply now! (Also - yes, the new formula irritated my skin too. I threw the entire jar in the garbage.)

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  16. Now that is good news -- but how could you be sure what Amazon was selling was truly Original? Did they say as much? Perhaps our little crusade has been spreading ... thank you for the update.

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  17. I am so glad that I am not the only one who hates the new formula. I have really dry skin and whatever the new ingredients are inflame it. The old formulation was a like a miracle when I found it back in my early twenties. My skin always had red patches from other cleansers, since switching to Ponds, not a red patch (or burning sensation) in site for 20 years. After three days of the new formula, I was back to red flaming burning patches. I was so disappointed. I drove all over town when I realized they change their ingredients and stocked up on the old formula. I just finished the last tub and am now desperately seeking a new way to clean my face with out ruining my skin. I was the third generation of women in my family to use it and am so disappointed to use it. At almost forty, I frequently get mistaken for someone in their 20s. I have to show id at the liquor store and have always credited Ponds with that. Now, I feel completely let down by their company.

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  18. I swear by Ponds old type etc, new stuff is horrible, doesn't absorb. Some people say the old stuff was too greasy, well that's the secret it really hydrates the skin, especially overnight.

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  19. Hi all, I just discovered CVS cold cream. It has 7 ingredients: mineral oil, water, beeswax, ceresin, sodium borate, fragrance and carbomer. Is this the old Ponds recipe? It feels and smells like it to me but I'm more and more confused about all the recipes that are now on the shelves. The jar I bought has a disclaimer that says: "This product is not manufactured or distributed by Unilever, distributor of Pond's Cold Cream." Wondering why that was necessary?!

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  20. Wow!! I thought I had purchased a bad jar, one that may have been sitting in a hot store way too long. The consistency is off, it's not as thick. I thought maybe I'll continue to use the jar that I have, and then purchase my next jar from a different store. You are absolutely correct and I thought I was just crazy... the smell... the thickness... ALL WRONG!

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  21. ATTENTION LADIES!! I just purchased a jar of cold cream that is comparable to ponds original... same exact ingredients as the original ponds... website is wonderlabs.com, right here in the states from Tennessee... only $4.39 for an 8oz. jar, but shipping and handling is $5.99, so I'm anxiously awaiting my jar as I type. Hope this helps with some of you guy's woes. Have a blessed day

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  22. I'm so pleased to find this forum.

    If someone can tell me where to find the REAL Ponds .... in Malaysia ... please let me know!

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  23. I knew I wasn't crazy!!! It didn't smell the same and my eyes are burning! I've used Ponds for over 20 years and never had a single problem--I even dipped my finger in and tasted both the old and new jar (gross I know, but I wanted to see if it was really different or my nose was deceiving me) they are different!!! The new one is simply harsher.

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  24. CVS and the wonderlabs.com do have cold cream that mimics the EXACT seven ingredients of the old Ponds. I would recommend to everyone here- buy them and give them a try. Especially if the CVS brand had to put a disclaimer on the tub, that means it must be REALLY close to the exact formula!!

    I am going to call Ponds as well, just in the hope that their are women out there also calling and maybe they will being to listen? :( Both of my grandmothers used this product and it makes me sad that I have to go searching for another brand.

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  25. I just read the ingredients listed on my Ponds Cold Cream (the cool classic). There are only 7 ingredients. It has always been 7 and the scent is the same as it always was. Rose scent.

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    1. i agree. my mom AND my grandma have been using pond's for years and years and don't notice anything different at all but all these people who swear it's a different formula are the typical little bandwagon jumpers that sadly, i see far too often, especially on the internet. if nancy had said that the formula was better instead of worse, every single person on here would be saying "yeah, your right-i knew i wasn't crazy, it IS better!" LOL they are pathetic little followers and bandwagon jumpers that wanna fit in and have no minds of theiir own, so they agree with anything and everything that someone else says. absolutely PATHETIC. they don't notice a damn thing different about PCC and they KNOW it!

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    2. This isn't necessarily a case of hysteric fanatics, the formula really HAS changed. The new ingredient list:

      Mineral Oil, Water, Ceresin, Beeswax, Triethanolamine, Behenic Acid, Fragrance, Ceteth 20, Cetyl Alcohol, Carbomer, DMDM Hydantoin, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Methylparaben


      A study found "An increase in the use of DMDM hydantoin in cosmetic products will also inevitably increase the risk of cosmetic dermatitis in consumers allergic to formaldehyde."


      "Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate is used as a preservative in cosmetic formulations; it is acutely toxic by inhalation and should not be used in products that can be aerosolized or inhaled."

      The list goes on. I don't know about you, but I'm not feeling too excited about slathering all that on my face!

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    3. How ridiculous and childish. The formula IS different, and it's causing rashes and other awful skin breakouts for numerous women. Please do a little research before you bash women for not wanting harsh chemicals added to their cleansers by global corporate UNILEVER -- which could care less if it poisons you.

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    4. These people insisting that all is well are paid shills that write for the corporations, they can be found on all the blogs and comment sections these days. These paid writers also insist anyone challenging Monsanto is also simply a fear mongerer, lol

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  26. http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/wordsearch.php?query=Ponds+Cold+Cream

    They must have switched it back the old way.

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  27. You are absolutely right Pond's has increased its ingredients which was a very stupid marketing idea. Well, I looked around and found Walgreen's makes the cold cream with the original ingredients just like 'old' Ponds, but their packaging isn't very attractive. The Walgreen's version even smells better than the current Pond's Cold Cream. Pond's Institute derived their fame and glory from the 'original Pond's' ingredients why on earth would they change a masterpiece?

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  28. I have not yet tried the Walgreen's brand, but I thought I had come close with CVS' version. Unfortunately, the texture is still tacky rather than creamy and the scent is more like lemons than roses. Thanks to all who come to this forum -- if only some authority -- Vogue, Bazaar? -- would make the issue of it that we all have!

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  29. I'm glad I found this post. I too was upset that Unilever changed the Pond's formula, especially since it was in the same packaging. I have used Pond's since I was a teenager to remove my eye makeup. It is the only product that does a complete job on waterproof mascara. When they changed the formula I noticed it stung my eyes. I spoke with and complained to Unilever back in October of 2009 and they asked me to send in the "bad" cold cream. They said they had changed the formula to take care of international/world-wide beauty needs. I told them that my grandmother had used Pond's Cold cream from the 1920s until her death in 2005. She had great skin! My eyes have very few lines/wrinkles and I'm 42. I too have been using the Walgreen's formula. I bought many jars in case they too changed the formula. It still isn't the same but works as a replacement.

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  30. I have called POND's too...they swear it is the same, I had used this product for over 30 years and loved it! Now my eyes burn even when I am not removing any makeup just washing in the morning. I was happy using CVS brand as it seemed like the old PONDS but a recent purchase tells me that CVS has sold out of the old PONDS and is now burning my eyes!

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  31. It's sad -- I too still miss the classic Pond's, especially the smooth feel and the wonderful soft scent. What can have been so difficult or expensive in the making of it that Unilever changed the formula? You may have seen that one of the commenters above was told they changed the formula in response to "international beauty needs." What a shame.

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  32. i found an online store where you can find the original Pond's formulation

    http://international.drugstore.com/ponds-the-cool-classic/qxp71119?fromsrch=ponds

    i always loved vintage things and started getting into the glamorous beauty routines
    my skin has never looked and felt better

    i too am a health conscious person so i just couldn't settle for those weird chemicals
    plus its just not vintage! :)
    i hope this post helped!

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  33. I will check out the online vintage store. However, the new, ruined Pond's still sells itself as "the cool classic," so where is an online store getting a supply of proper old stuff? I think I may invest in mineral oil, beeswax, and oil of rose, and try making my own Galen's wax. Thanks for the input.

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    1. Oh honey, don't do that. There are so many things that are involved in making a skin cream. You might end up with a skin disaster. I am reading all of the replies that women have left, and I suggest that you do the same, before doing something drastic! I'm with you, if this stuff doesn't pan out, I will be more than willing to follow you!

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  34. Found this comment online from a organic cold cream site:

    "I was really looking forward to trying this cream as I know cold creams are great for cleansing sensitive skin and my grandma used to use ponds cold cream and always had smooth clear skin. But through the years I think they have changed the ingredients because I noticed it started blocking my pores and just felt strange. But petite maries cold cream is lovely! Great result and natural ingredients!"

    I knew there was something off about the scent, when I moved back to the US I reached for a jar remembering seeing it in my childhood and loving it but I thought maybe it was just me when I noticed something was off. Awesome article!

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  35. I have extremely dry skin, do you think I could benefit from cold cream? I'm 21.

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  36. Thanks to everyone here - I knew this new formulation is so different. Here in the UK I have been taking my makeup off with 'proper' Ponds cold cream for 35 years beautifully. It has never upset my skin/eyes and I have often been complimented on my smooth skin. Now, not only is the texture different, the jar is horrible, the pink plastic lid makes me want to cry and I get blocked pores. Ponds - wake up and listen to your customers. Why do you want to turn business away? No soft scent and nothing to replace it with here. Unilever needs to know that womens' beauty regimes are not to be messed with.

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  37. Thanks to everyone here - I knew there was something wrong. I have been using Ponds Cold Cream to take my makeup off for 35 years without any trouble at all. It has worked perfectly, even on waterproof mascara. This imposter, masquerading as Ponds Cold Cream has no soft scent, feels horrible and as for the pink plastic lid, I think I want to cry. Why are the suits at Unilever determined to push customers away? If it's not broke, don't fix it. I will be scouring all of the UK to build a stockpile of proper Cold Cream before it's lost forever.

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  38. I loved this post. I too would like Unilever to make the old product. The new one contains a formaldehyde producing chemical! Ando ther nasty stuff. Walgreens makes a basic cold cream, but they are phasing that out too! There is a brand called "GoodSense" cold cream that can be bought online, mostly in bulk quantities, alas, but with the basic, minimal, nonchemical ingredients.

    Drugstore.com has some of the Walgreens hypoallergenic cold cream available. If you want a basic cream, you could stock up on this, because again, even this is being phased out in favor of chemical laden formulas.

    I will call Ponds tomorrow and complain. If we all did this, maybe they will go back to the original formula.
    1-800-909-94923
    8:30-6 PM EST

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  39. For US ladies, I have located a original Pond's formula. It's Rite Aid Deep Cleansing Cold Cream. I found it on the shelf. I truly hope that they don't discontinue this, as did Walgreens with their own generic cold cream. This has the minimal, original Ponds ingredients and none of the toxic additions.

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  40. CVS, Kerr Drug, and Fred's all have a generic cold cream with the old formula. I haven't checked Dollar General. Make sure to smell them before you buy them though. The generic at Kerr smells so bad! Fred's is the closest thing I've found so far to the original. Cheap too!

    I called Pond's back when it first changed, I got no response. I e-mailed and wrote, no response. I don't think they care.

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  41. Has anyone found a replacement for the original stuff?

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  42. I have only been to CVS but their generic cold cream now also has a bunch of extra ingredients in it.

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  43. I'm so glad I found this conversation regarding Ponds. I too have such fond memories of my mother and grandmother using their big jar of Ponds Cold Cream every night waking up to soft, smooth skin. I bought a jar just last week at Meijer's and the ingredients printed on the back of the jar is so small i can't read them clearly but it looks like maybe 8 ingredients including mineral oil, beeswax, water, fragrance and about 4 more ingredients i can't make out. I found the jar to read( Pond's Cold Cream the cool classic) and the jar is white and green. Then next to that jar was obviously a newer Pond's reading( Pond's Cleansing Cream) so maybe that latter one is the one that has the new and added ingredients. I just hope they don't discontinure or change the good old classic that everyone loves.

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  44. Just a heads up to anyone who comes across this post in their quest to find the old fashioned cold cream. It would seem that Good Sense Cold Cream is also gone. I suspect the supplier was the same that made the ones for the drug store chains. Just different labels. :(

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  45. I used to use Rite Aid and Walgreen's generic versions which used to contain the original 7 ingredients, but have now both switched to match Pond's new formula with more chemicals :(

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  46. Thank you to everyone who stops by to comment after reading what I thought was this humble and even dorky post. As to my cold cream supply, I am getting to the bottom of my old jar of "Best Choice," which has The Seven Ingredients only. I'm thinking the next step may be to start making my own cold cream. Online sources tell me it's made of beeswax, mineral oil, distilled water, borax, and fragrance. Be forewarned: essential oil of roses is incredibly expensive.

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  47. I have used Pond's original cold cream for 62 years and now I hate to take off my makeup because of the burning eyes and red skin it leaves. I use to use it as a night cream after cleansing because it felt so good. My mother and grandmother used it all their lives and always had beautiful skin, few wrinkles and soft glowing skin. I was brought up to only use Pond's on my face for cleansing and never use any soap and water. I have brought up my 3 daughters and 5 granddaughters by always giving them Pond's. Now we have to find something else. I hate to think at 76 I have to start over with something else but I cannot stand the Ponds I can buy now. The thick, creamy, delightful fragrance are all gone. All my working years, people would compliment me on my clear skin and no wrinkles. Now what? I'm glad I read this information today so I know that I am not crazy. Please keep calling Pond's and I will have my family do the same. Thanks for the info.

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  48. Welcome to 2013. Lots of things that used to be favorites have either changed or been discontinued. Vinolia Otto's famous "cold cream" soap that in it's day was supposed to be the finest soap money could buy, and only provided to first class passengers aboard the RMS Titanic is now owned by Lever Brothers, and mass produced. I recently bought three bars, and wondered to myself "what is so great about this soap? It has no fragrance, it is not very creamy at all, but the Titanic packaging is very nice. I did not make it past the third bar, and did a take off on this soap and made my own home made batch the way I knew it should have been, or once was. Also Pond's cold cream is LOADED with CHEMICALS and preservatives. So of course now I make my own and excellent if I might say, cold cream and scent it with pure lemon oil. It has about four ingredients in it and it far exceeds all qualities of Pond's cold cream. The bottom line: if you want good soap that will not dry your skin out, or want cold cream that smells good and is good to put on your skin, better venture into making your own. You will never go back to buying store brands ever again once you master you own brand of kitchen apothecary. People ask me for my soap and cold cream all the time and offer to pay me for it, however I usually make the private reserves for myself and my husband to enjoy and might give it as a Christmas gift if I feel the reciepient of the gift is worthy to enjoy it. I spent lots of time researching ingredients, and know that Ponds has been manufacturing cold cream for 150 years, however that is the KEY word, "manufacturing." What about making it in a way that the public enjoys? Stop cutting corners to mass produce, and go back to the old world ways of making fine cosmetics, creams, and soaps. The world has become a trashy swimming pool of preservatives, and instant throw away packaging, pollution, and we do not know where we are going to put all the trash we throw away. Global warming, killing animals until their species become endangered. The average female child in high school wears a size 12 shoe, and is taller than a professional basket ball player. When I was in high school I wore a size 8 medium shoe and was 5'6" tall, the average female child in high school now is over 6 feet tall. Could that be because the name brand cereal makers of our day are now preserving our children's cereal with pesticides? Wake up people, let's save poor old tired Mother Earth before she explodes in our faces and laughs while she is doing it. Good luck with your search for cold cream, ladies. You will never find any that is really fit to use on your face.

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  49. I also make my own cold cream now, and have had good luck with sweet almond oil, distilled water, borax, and beeswax. I don't have the fragrance thing down yet but am thinking my next batch will include 5 or 6 whole cloves, rather than just two. Thanks for stopping by.

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  50. Hi Nancy and everyone, I am living in the UK and have used Ponds for most of my life and my skin is great. When the original Ponds was discontinued here I was able to buy some in Japan, but now they too only have these awful new ones that feel tacky on your skin. I wrote to Ponds and got this reply
    "We have stopped producing a specific UK formulation and now use one formulation across Europe for this product. This European formulation includes three new anti bacterial preservatives"
    I am 65 and my skin is really clear (no wrinkles) so I am desperate to find a substitute. Ponds sent me a voucher towards the purchase of their Hydro Nourishing Cream, but it is just awful. Like so many of you who have written on this site, it's good to know there are like minded people out there. Why on earth don't Unilever or whoever is in charge take note? I wrote to ask why they couldn't continue the original formula to sell along side the new ones and am waiting for a reply.

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  51. Thank you too, Nancy. I just made a wonderful batch of cold cream. I love to add sweet almond oil, apricot oil, a tiny bit of borax, white beeswax pastilles, lemon oil, and it is perfect and far better than Pond's because no chemical additives. Take care !

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  52. I am 67, have used the original Ponds most of my life. It is definitely gone now, I have found nothing that replaces it. If everyone would just stop buying Unilever's version, they would go back to the old formula. I personally cannot use the new version at all. As a matter of fact, we should stop buying anything unilever makes until they bring back the classic Ponds. I believe in fighting for my rights and I think I have a right to the old Classic Pond's. What right do they have to take it away and lie to us about their new version? How about it ladies? Let's stop buying unilever products.

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  53. I just came across Albolene on the Drugstore.com website. Has anybody used it in place of Pond's?

    http://www.drugstore.com/albolene-cleansing-concentrate-albolene-moisturizing-cleanser-unscented/qxp55428?catid=182288#pr-header-55428

    Its ingredients seem to be the same as the old Pond's, though it doesn't have fragrance. Could you mix fragrant oil into the cold cream? And, Nancy, where did you get your recipe for cold cream?

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  54. The ingredients were changed. The Ponds company informed me they have added a preservative to extend shelf life. It's all a mater of bottom line. I am allergic to parabens (look it up), it's a cheap preservative . The FDA has been investigating paraben for years but done nothing yet. Parabens are found in the lumps in breast cancers. I do not use anything with parabens. Many products state on the label "PARABEN FREE" . Be careful ladies!

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  55. Pond's dry skin cream in the jat with the light blue cap had seemed to change as well. I'm an sooo incredibly disappointed!!! I am 27 years old and have been using this cream for almost 15 years. It is the only thing that has worked for my skin and I truly love this product. Today I opened a new jar, and my skin was irritated, red and dry all day. I called Pond's and they had no answers for me. They said that the formula changed last year but they can't tell me what changed, but that they would have someone call me. I am very upset about this. I'm happy that I'm not alone and that I found this article.

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  56. With many thanks to all those who have commented here, let me say that I now make my own cold cream and I like it except that I have not yet figured out how to give it any scent. The basic recipe is one you can find at several beauty and skin care websites. It calls for one half-cup oil (olive or sweet almond oil), a quarter cup water, a quarter teaspoon borax and about two Tablespoons grated beeswax. You dissolve the borax in the water, heat the beeswax and oil in the microwave, and then slowly beat in the tepid water to the hot oil using an immersion ("stick") blender. I have tried steeping fresh lavender in the water, or heating whole cloves in the oil to give it some scent -- though it's a pain to strain that out == but it doesn't seem to do anything.

    I don't think the Pond's company will ever listen to the complaints of a handful of women. Perhaps the best we can do is deny them sales and make our own.

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    1. I know this post is old and I'm just coming upon it, but I JUST started using cold cream and heard of the rave reviews about the old ponds cream formula. I made my own by getting the recipe on the internet too, except I use coconut oil. As far as fragrance, have you tried any essential oil? Instead of steeping the lavender yourself maybe getting it in the bottle. I haven't tried it, but just a thought.

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  57. This is a reply to these older comments about Pond's Original Cold Cream Cleanser. I still have half a jar of the original. I had know idea they changed the formula, since I hadn't bought a new jar in a few years. After reading all the complaints about the new formula, I bought a jar of it. YES, the ingredients have changed! They added several new chemicals. The old scent was lovely. Now it barely smells like the old scent and smells like chemicals. The consistency is a little less thicker than the original. I'm so glad I still have half a jar left of the original and will keep it just so that I can open it up and smell the original fragrance. I love it. So sad the new formulation is not as good as the old one.

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    1. Dear anonymous, I hope you still have your original jar of Ponds. I had heard there were only 5 ingredients in the original. The authors above state 7. Would you list what they were according to your jar, please? Thank you!!

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  58. I do miss that beautiful scent! It hasn't been a part of my nighttime ritual for years now. Now I make my own cold cream, heavy on the oil-of-clove which is nice and inexpensive but not like roses.

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  59. Hi Nancy, I know this is an old blog entry but it's one of the best in support of Pond's original cold cream before they went and changed it and now it seems are deleting it all together. I'm in Australia and can't even buy the newer (chemical laden) formulation in stores anymore. The only place to find that stuff is eBay from the USA and then I have to pay a heap in Shipping :( So it looks like I'll be making my own cold cream... I saw your recipe in the above entries. How long does your homemade cold cream last? Does it need to be refrigerated? Have you refined the recipe any more? I'm about to embark on making my own cold cream as well in desperation. There's not even an equivalent Ponds Cold Cream product sold in any Aussie stores :( So your recipe is " It calls for one half-cup oil (olive or sweet almond oil), a quarter cup water, a quarter teaspoon borax and about two Tablespoons grated beeswax.". Have you made any adjustments to that recipe over time? Thanks for the excellent blog and best wishes to you, Natasha.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Natasha. I do make my own cold cream now, using the above recipe. You melt the 2 Tbsp grated beeswax in a cup along with the half cup oil, in a microwave (takes about a minute). Then in a separate cup you heat the quarter cup water and the dissolved quarter teaspoon borax. Then, you use an immersion or "stick" blender to begin whipping the oil mixture, while you gradually add the warmed water to it. When it is thick, put it in the fridge to cool and set. I have found that about twenty drops of essential oil of clove gives it a strong clove smell, or the same amount of essential oil of orange gives it a soft orange scent. Essential oil of roses is so pricey I have never tried it.

      I keep the cream in a plastic container in the fridge and it lasts as long as I need it -- as long as two months, without getting weird. It only "weeps" a little water. Its consistency is grainy rather than creamy, but I actually look forward to using it every night even though it doesn't smell as nice as the old Pond's. .

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    2. Try rosewater in place of the water. You can find rosewater online and in middle eastern stores, sold for cooking.

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  60. I'm a "late comer" to this posting; sorry! But, I feel as frustrated as many other women, here. My grandmother used this religiously and had PRISTINE skin, WELL into her 90's. Does anyone have an ORIGINAL jar of Pond's they can post the ingredients on, if they're listed? I know I can make my own, but, I'd like to see the "magic seven" ingredients listed. I'm also scratching my head at the suggestion of mineral oil being an "original" ingredient . . . . decades ago, I'm more inclined to think an olive oil, lanolin or some other sort of animal fat might have been used; mineral oil is a more recent usage in beauty products.

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    1. Hi, I have the original ponds from 1940 that does not list the ingredients, it also has product inside it was a full jar it say ponds extract co & Assoc. COs. I also have the original from 1970-80,there is also product inside and it list the ingredients: This is what the 7- ingredients as Contents: Mineral oil, Water, Beeswax, Ceresin, Sodium Borate, Fragrance, Carbomer-934 (this ponds melts like butter into your skin and is my favorite. The one from the forties, and early fifties smells like petroleum and a bit rancid. Anyhow my family has used ponds for years and I am over 50 years old but people think I am in my early thirties. I also have Noxzema from the fifties. I would be happy to take a photo of the jar so you ladies can see the ingredients for yourself, but I am unable to upload from the comments section. I can tell you that I have tried the new version of the ponds with the original 7 ingredients, and it is still not the same as the ponds from the 1977 but it is close. I have also tried the ponds from Mexico and it is not the same as the original ponds. If Nancy wants she can post an email address for me to email it to her and she is more than welcome to use the photos for her blog.

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  61. Or, if possible, can anyone post natural *already made* cold creams out there?

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  62. I think you can find some natural cold creams on Etsy shops, but glancing at them I see they are pretty expensive, too. Just go to Etsy and type in "cold cream."

    Thanks again to everyone who has commented here over five (!!) years.

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  63. So glad to have found this like-minded community. I too thought I was going crazy. I'd like to add my wail of dismay and join the protest.

    I'm a redhead with sensitive dry skin, now in my 50s. Like many of you I was brought up with Pond's. It was my grandmother's and mother's brand of choice. Over the years I've flirted with other more expensive products, only to return to (what was) my old standby and reliable friend.

    On a trip to Mexico I forgot about the too large jar of Pond's in my carry-on and had to discard it at airport security. Not too worried at the time, I expected to be able to replace it. You know the rest.

    Thanks for sharing the recipes and techniques - I may try making my own.

    'Big Pharma' is too cruel. I mourn.

    Best wishes, Helen
    Vancouver, Canada

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  64. I never cease to be amazed that women still find this post and still relate to it. Thank you all for wailing along with me. My answer, by the way, has been to simply add enough essential oils (clove, orange) to a scentless base oil (sweet almond, or grapeseed) to make it smell good, and cleanse each night with a bit of that, wiped off with a nice warm damp cotton washcloth. Nothing can replace Pond's, but this ritual is pretty good.

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  65. Still relating to this post. I had an old jar of Pond's knock off from the Military Exchange that my uncle got me. I knew that Pond's had changed the formula which is why he picked it up for me. It has only 5 or 7 ingredients. I've been using it religiously for 2 weeks now and my skin looks awesome. Now I'm panicking because I can't replace it. I will try making my own using Nancy's recipe and I do have a tiny bottle of Rose Absolute that I will put to good use. This is an awesome post and I suspect there are a ton of women all over the world lamenting over the loss of Pond's true original formula.

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  66. I grew up using Ponds Vanishing Cream. I miss the lovely matte velvety feeling it left on my face, and also the smell.There is nothing to replace it. However, I have discovered the fragrance is Rose Geranium, and since buying some of the essential oil yesterday, I have been unable to stop smelling it. It is such a lovely rosy floral smell, but not sickly or cloying, just fresh and with a sort of fizz. As you say, Nancy, it is it extraordinary the links your memory makes with smell, and this one brings back nothing but niceness.

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  67. I discovered a cold cream at a local "bazaar" aka one of those everything stores you find in big cities for $1.29, 8oz. The brand is Amoray Care. The ingredients as listed: Water, Mineral Oil, Beeswax, Ceresin, Sodium Borate, Fragrance, Carbomer.

    I am only familiar with the current chemical-laiden version of Ponds which I would describe as oily. This Amoray cream I would describe as velvety--it really does melt rather than sit on top of skin like the current Ponds. Is this how you would describe the "true" original cold cream? Have I found the holy grail?! It has been great on my skin especially because I use tretinoin and I live in a cold, dry climate.

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    1. The old Ponds cold cream really can feel the melting. I've used it since child.... T.T missing the old formula.

      It's now oily, I need to wash away the oily layer with other soup after apply the cold cream. It's so troublesome. And its eye burning now...

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  68. Yes, that does sound like the holy grail. Those seven ingredients are the original Pond's ingredients and if the feel is velvety or creamy rather than oily, then perhaps we are on to something. Thanks for the information and for visiting this (amazingly still relevant) five year old post.

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  69. The pond's cold cream has discontinued for some time from M'sia, and even S'pore. I current one I just finished is their new formula cold cream. I was curious why it burns my eyes and less scent in comparing my childhood. Now I realize it seems to be the problem of new formula. So disappointed.

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  70. I used cold cream on my trombone slide in the early 1970s. Decided to try it again and the standard for trombone slides was Pond's...without additives. Disappointed to see it is apparently no longer available. Even though I never used it for anything but my trombone slide I'm really disappointed to see another company make changes that affect its loyal customers for the worse.

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    1. Wow ... now that's a different take on the Saga. Thanks for the input.

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  71. Wonderful! People are still commenting. I have found a few of what I think are originals on Amazon. It just says, "Cold Cream. The Cool Classic." It's the same colors as the deep cleanser/makeup remover. Then there is a cold cream in a simple white box that just says, "Deep Cleanser." Can anyone tell me which looks to be the original? They do not list the ingredients. I purchased the new formulation and my face is still itching into today and it was red and blotchy right after using. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ponds-U-SC-1224-Cream-Classic-Unisex/dp/B007WA4FE8/ref=sr_1_12?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1427463891&sr=1-12&keywords=ponds+cold+cream http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ponds-Cold-Cream-Deep-Cleanser/dp/B004LTZWRC/ref=sr_1_18?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1427463891&sr=1-18&keywords=ponds+cold+cream

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  72. I found this blog post for much the same reason as others. I purchased Ponds and used it Friday and Saturday night. Woke up Saturday and my face was a bit itchy but thought it was from my dogs fur (she's 5 lbs and likes to cuddle). I did not use it Sunday as I didn't wear makeup that day. I woke up today (Monday) and my skin was inflamed! Red, blotchy, dry and feels sunburned. It's getting better now that it's evening and I have been moisturizing all day and using a cool cloth. The Ponds is the absolute only change I made and I can't believe the reaction as I have never known myself to have sensitive skin. Sadly I bought the 2 pack (buy 1 get 1) and I don't even want to give it away so no one risks this reaction. I highly doubt Walmart will accept a return due to the open package and jar. This stuff is awful.

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  73. Are there any companies with products in stores that match the classic cold cream formula? I know nowadays there are many cute old-fashioned type brands that sell old-timey skin products. Any suggestions?

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  74. The only company I can think of that might help is The Vermont Country Store, but they are only mail order i believe. May be worth a try?

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  75. I believe ponds sold original to LA MER , LA MER has ponds original sent and soft cream, if you go to Bloomingdales, Nieman Marcus, Saks fifth ave or Nordstom you can find it and see and smell for yourself that you have discovered Ponds which sells and a high price starting at $85 to a ridiculous $2000.00 Ponds made a killing when they sold the original formula to LA MER.

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  76. Now at last that makes sense from a business standpoint. And all concerned would have reason to keep mum about a $7 jar of cold cream marketed for $85 and up wouldn't they? I will check out La Mer. Thanks for the info.

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  77. Thank you for your response!! I am glad someone will finally know what I have been looking into and you too will agree. Thank you again!

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  78. Hi Nancy! Every once in a while I'll google Ponds original formula hoping to find my beloved favorite is back. I loved reading your post and all of the comments. When it was discontinued several years ago, I went on the hunt locally for an alternative. A "Family Dollar" store generic cold cream had the original 7 ingredients-but the fragrance is not quite right. It seems to behave the way I expect ponds to behave, although it's not that creamy/velvety feel. I'm still using it as I've yet to find a replacement. (I haven't checked recently, as the jar is large and lasts a long time! I'm hoping they still have the original formula though, as I haven't seen it in Walgreens or CVS in years.)

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  79. Lots of people on Etsy.com make original, old-fashioned cold creams. These are mostly ladies like you and I making it from home from scratch. If you don't have time to make your own, try Etsy and support your local craftswomen.

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  80. I too am really miffed I can't find my original Ponds Cold cream. Yes it was around for a long time. And that was because it was an excellent product. My mother used it to remove her stage makeup so very effective as a makeup remover. We both used it as a moisturiser. Beautiful. I used it as a base for makeup. Very good. Wish I could find some now. By the way my mother died at the age of 91 and her skin was beautiful. Soft, smooth and hardly a line or wrinkle. I demand my original Ponds Col CreM minus chemicals!!!

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  81. Fred Allen, I am probably overly sentimental about the original Ponds cold cream because my grandmother, who I love so much, used it and it taught me about it. Any other concoctions, a homemade or The new version, just aren't the same-they don't smell the same they don't feel the same, and thus, they aren't her ��

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  82. Fred Allen, my grandmother introduced me to pods cold cream when I was a young girl. I appreciate the suggestion that we could try one of the variations that people are attempting to make, but none of them feel or smell the same and I love to the original and another version just isn't the same. It's too bad Unilever felt compelled to change something that wasn't broken. I imagine the reason they did it was to make more profits because isn't that why all big business changes a product? I don't suppose there's anything that will ever change it back so I'd rather use something completely different then a broken variation of it.

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  83. Can't help agreeing, I'd rather have something different than a broken approximation of the old Pond's. Also, cost was a factor: Pond's used to be around $6 or $7, whereas I recall even Etsy products (I looked, once) start at over $30. High end Lancomes and LaMers and such are ridiculously higher. Thanks again to everyone who still stops by to comment.

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  84. I found a cold cream by Mehron that has some of the correct ingredients. I might try it just to try since the price point is so low. Posting here as an FYI for my fellow Pond's mourners.

    http://www.mehron.com/Enriched_Cold_Cream_Treatment_p/100.htm

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  85. Thanks! I never thought I would do so but i now cleanse at night with plain olive oil.

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  86. Ladies, just wanted to pass this along! I have never tried the old formula, but wasn't at all impressed by the new formula. And so began my search for a good, old-fashioned cold cream! Recently while visiting my hometown, I went to an old drugstore and stumbled across a cold cream you DuBarry! It has some of the ingredients from the old formula, but what struck me the most is it has that whipped, light, airy consistency everyone was referring to the old Pond's having. It's a little pricier than most cold creams, but I love it! Have been using it everyday for a month! Hope this helps!

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  87. Ladies, just wanted to pass this along! I have never tried the old formula, but wasn't at all impressed by the new formula. And so began my search for a good, old-fashioned cold cream! Recently while visiting my hometown, I went to an old drugstore and stumbled across a cold cream you DuBarry! It has some of the ingredients from the old formula, but what struck me the most is it has that whipped, light, airy consistency everyone was referring to the old Pond's having. It's a little pricier than most cold creams, but I love it! Have been using it everyday for a month! Hope this helps!

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  88. Has anyone here tried Jergen's all-purpose face cream? I've yet to pick one up, but I've read that it still remains a classic cold cream.

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  89. been reading all these about ponds .. I just read about jergens and it has very few ingredients
    Mineral Oil|Water|Beeswax|Magnesium Aluminum Silicate|Sodium Borate|Fragrance|Isopropyl Myristate|FD&C Red #4

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  90. I have never tried the original cold cream. It sounds wonderful. Currently using a Japanese version called Pond's Age Beauty cream cleansing. I hope some of you might be able to try it and like it too.

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  91. What is in the list of ingredients in the Japanese version?

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  92. just adding another 'me too' to the voices of complaint and sorrow

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  93. dmdm hydantoin is terrible . I am severly allergic to this formaldehyde releaser . It has just been added to noxema :(

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  94. Interesting reading..just to add another "side use" along with trombone slides LOL. I am a gemstone cutter and we used ponds cold cream as a carrier or lubricant addition to mix diamond powders together when polishing the facets on a gemstone. I am thinking of making a new batch and was hoping to get the original Ponds...apparently not.

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  95. i just found your blog for same reason. my 82 yr old gram uses it and looks 65 70 at most. Ingredients have totally changed from the original on her dresser. i took a picture of it to compare ingredients. What sell outs!!

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  96. Totally changed formula. i took a picture of my grans to compare ingredients as i was going to buy her more for xmas will not now afraid new ingredients will harm her skin as she is sensitive. She use ponds and Dove and has the most beautuful skin. Most people guess her at 68 or so and shes 82. I am in Canada. Anyone know of a brand here with old ingredients. What sell outs!!

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  97. My current nightly ritual has become simple as can be. A few drops of lemon juice in the palm of my hand, mixed with a few drops of olive oil. I cleanse my face with this, and then remove the excess with a warm washcloth. Refreshing.

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