The vintage classics that can hold back the years


The vintage classics that can hold back the years


Nowadays, when it comes to cutting edge skincare, there’s no end of expensive serums and creams   to choose from.  But there’s much to be said for the simple old-fashioned classics which have been around for decades and which still remain as effective and popular as they were when they first gained popularity.

Dawn French, 58, confessed recently that although she could have the pick of the super pricey skin creams, she prefers to stick to the basics used by her mother and grandmother – a good old pot of Nivea and a muslin cloth.

‘I can’t bring myself to buy expensive creams as I have my mother in my ear saying, “It’s exactly the same as Nivea”.

The Vicar of Dibley star also added  ‘One thing I do is clean my face with a muslin cloth. My grandmother always did that. It is the best way to get any rubbish off your face.”

Like family heirlooms, these timeless classics and vintage tips, which have played their part in beautifying generations of women, are still going strong and have still got it! You know you can trust a product which has been a bestseller for decades.

Here’s our round up of the best retro beauty buys passed down from mums and grandmums – including ours- that have stood the test of time and deserve a place on your dressing table.






Anne French Deep Cleansing Milk, £3.99

With a brand heritages that goes back to the 1950’s, this iconic cleanser is part of British skincare history. It deep cleanses the complexion and is great for removing stubborn make-up and excess oil. Gentle on the skin and suitable for most skin types it also contains a light moisturiser, so leaves the complexion looking soft, plump and radiant.


Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Concentrated Hand Cream, £2.77

A true beauty classic first launched in 1972 and still remains best selling hand cream.  Containing nearly 40per cent glycerin, just a small dab provides immediate and lasting relief for very dry hands, helping to restore and protect the skin barrier even in the harshest conditions. Now available in two variations, scented and unscented – each tube contains over 200 applications so a great budget buy


Nivea Crème £1.39  (from most chemists) 

Launched 1911 we all remember the old fashioned blue tin with the tin foil that peeled back to reveal a thick cream with a unique scent. . Today, you can buy Nivea in any shape or form anywhere in the world.  Dubbed the mother of all modern creams, this ultimate multi tasking moisturiser containing Eucerit, Pathenol and Glycerine is loved by men and women can be used as aftershave balm, shaving lotion, and lip cream and dry skin


Pond’s Cold Cream, £3.99, (from Superdrug, Tesco and chemists nationwide)

One of the most famous face creams in the world, Pond’s cold cream cleanser was launched in 1918 by Theron T Pond, a New York based pharmacist, although not many folk realise that it was actually invented 1846, as a a medicine for small cuts and grazes. An original multi-tasking product, this lanolin free and gentle cleanser can be used for deep cleansing, as well as an enriching moisturising mask for the face and hands, Kylie swear by it as do those who work in stage and screen as it removes heavy make up without drying the skin, leaving the complexion hydrated and revitalised.



First launched 1870 and specially formulated for oily skin, this iconic cream still remains as popular as ever. It’s antiseptic, antibacterial, astringent action helps heal and conceal spots, tightens pores and calms irritation and other imperfections.


Cyclax Moistura Super Rich Moisturising Lotion, £5.95  (

This specialist skincare range was launched1896 and founded by Mrs Frances Hemming who specialised in beauty products for the aristocracy and attained a Royal Warrant from Queen Elizabeth in 1961. The Super Rich Moisturising Lotion is a light non-greasy, quick absorbing formulation enriched with natural Beeswax so suitable for all skin types and richly restores the skin’s natural moisture levels.


Vitapointe Leave-In Conditioner, £2.00 (

Buried on the packed hair shelves, this little tube of magic launched in the 50’s is often overlooked but the lightweight leave in conditioner is a brilliant intensive frizz treatment that smoothes and softens hair without adding weight, leaving hair soft, shiny and more manageable It’s also great for smoothing stray hairs when wearing an updo. Keep a tube in your handbag to help combat static or weather beaten hairdo’s.


Astral Original All Over Face and Body Moisturiser Cream, £7.99,

A true classic, this multi tasting cream was first created in 1953, and   its formula has never been changed. Adored by make up artists and celebrities – Patsy Kensit and Joanna Lumley are big fans – the rich moisturising formula hydrates the complexion, leaving a glossy sheen and also soothes babies’ skin, razor rashes and works just as well on winter dry, cracked hands.



Avon Skin So Soft Dry Oil Spray, £2.50 (

Avon’s Skin So Soft range has been a favourite for over 50 years and this Dry Oil Spray is a star performer.  Apply after a shower whilst the skin is still damp and it will lock in moisture with leaving skin greasy or marking clothes. Containing Citronella, which has a light lemony small, it also serves, as an insect repellent so is great for holidays. Rumour has it that the Royal Marines have used this to fight off those pesky midges and Mel Gibson is said to rave about it.


Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant, £25,

Developed in 1930 by Elizabeth Arden to soften the legs of her Thoroughbreds, this moisturizer is even more effective on humans, too. Famed for its ability to soothe dry and chapped skin and also great for lips, nails, chapped hands

It was also a skin saver for Sir Edmund Hillary when he climbed Everest in 1958. It’s the perfect handbag companion as it can also be used as a lip-gloss, to add a gleam to your cheeks, to tame brows, soften cuticles and relieve sunburn


Vaseline Original Pure Petroleum Jelly, £2.19 (most chemists)

Vaseline Petroleum Jelly is the ultimate moisturiser for your elbows, knees, legs, and anywhere else that could use a little extra hydrating boost especially during winter. We often tell our patients to use it as overnight hand cream – simply slather on thickly and then put on some cotton gloves and you’ll wake up with baby soft skin It’s also the cheapest and most effective way to soften calluses and loved by some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Frieda Pinto uses it on her eyelids to give a dewy look and Tyra Banks raved about it so much she gave everyone in the audience of her TV show a jar.









Some of the best beauty fixes take their cues from old-fashioned home remedies and there’s science to back it up


*Dark Under-Eye Circles

Wash and peel a potato then cut two thin slices and place under the eye and leave for ten to fifteen minutes This will help decrease water retention and as they contain an enzyme, catalase,  will also help lighten dark under-eye circles.


*Dull hair

Rinsing your hair with vinegar will restore shine. Soak your hair for a few minutes, then rinse with cold water – use raw apple cider vinegar, available from most supermarkets or health food shops, which contains naturally occurring bacteria and nutrients that boost hair health.


*Dry Skin

Sophia Loren says she owes her natural beauty to “the odd bath in virgin olive oil,” an ancient Rome custom. . Just add bath add a few capfuls into hot water for a nourishing skin soak. Olive oil is also a great hair strengthener – part your hair and apply directly to the scalp. Wrap hair in a hot towel, leave for an hour and then shampoo and rinse thoroughly


*Thin Lips

For an instant lip plumper mix a little cinnamon in with your favourite lip gloss to turn it into an instant lip plumper – and to enrich natural colour just add a dot of beetroot juice.



*Body Buffer

Cut a fresh orange in half and squeeze the juice into a bowl – add a quarter of a cup of granulated sugar and the same amount of olive oil and mix into a rich scrub. Use the other half of orange to rub over knees, elbows or other dry spots and then apply scrub.  The fruit acid loosens dead skin cells Rinse with warm water.


* Booster for dull complexions

Smooth one to two tablespoons of chilled, full fat sour cream in a thin layer over cleansed face and neck avoiding the eye and lip area. Leave for up to ten minutes then rinse with a muslin cloth or face flannel. The lactic acid in sour cream, an alpha hydroxyl acid, helps speed cell turnover while the natural fats restore skin’s moisture.


*Puffy Eyes

A natural anti inflammatory, chamomile tea helps reduce redness and puffy eyes as well as inflamed complexions. Soak a clean flannel in cool tea and apply to the areas as a compress. Leave for ten minutes before rinsing.


(For more retro beauty tips and products see created by Lesley Khan in memory of her mother Rosina, who first began innovating her own beauty products in the 1950’s/ Using the finest ingredients this new luxurious range of skin care products and perfumery combines vintage skincare secrets with the latest anti ageing technology )

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