Classic Actress Beauty Tip #14: Clear Katharine Hepburn complexion

This is the fourteenth installment of our monthly classic actress beauty tips that I have read about and tested.

Recently, Glamour magazine listed several classic actress beauty secrets. One that peaked my interest was how Katharine Hepburn had such clear skin.

It’s no secret that I am not the biggest fan of Katharine Hepburn, but I will admit that she had wonderfully clear skin.

Katharine Hepburn and her clear skin

Similar to Lana Turner using Four Mule Team Boraxo soap as an exfoliate, Hepburn had her own concoction.

Hepburn mixed lemon juice and sugar and scrubbed her face with it every night to keep her complexion clear, according to Glamour.

Recipes for the facial said to squeeze half a lemon and add water and a tablespoon of sugar to the mixture.

I’ll admit, I didn’t measure any of it and used way too much lemon juice. Regardless, it still made an invigorating scrub.

1. First I washed off my make-up with soap and cold cream. I’ve read several times, that to really get your skin clean, you must always wash your make-up off and then cleanse again.

2. I made the exfoliant mixture and got in the shower so it would possibly make less of a mess around my sink.

3. Scrubbed the lemon and sugar mixture on my face.

4. Rinsed it very well with cool water.

My face surprisingly didn’t feel sticky afterwards like I thought it would, but felt clean and smooth.

To review: It may be a good idea to measure the ingredients unlike I did. This seems to be a pretty good method, but be wary of sticky bathroom counters afterwards. Also, be careful of rubbing the sugar too hard. I rubbed too hard and my cheeks were a little red afterwards.

Stay tuned for August’s tip!

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6 thoughts on “Classic Actress Beauty Tip #14: Clear Katharine Hepburn complexion

  1. Careful with this ladies…I am a big Katharine Hepburn fan. Her complexion may have once been beautiful, but the more likely story is airbrushing. (Yes, they airbrushed back in the day.) Its somewhat well written about that Hepburn actually had terrrrrrrible skin. It worsened with age, which was one of the reasons she rareu attended awards ceremonies or big parties. Was this caused by her sugar/lemon scrub? Just bad genetics? Who knows…but just realize that appearances can be deceiving.


    • Thanks for dropping by, Megan.
      Don’t worry- the purpose of these beauty tips are just to show some of the crazy things classic Hollywood stars did for beauty- such as washing their hair with champagne, shaving their eyebrows or drinking eggs for breakfast.
      I’ve heard alot about how the acid in the citrus juice is terrible for your skin. It rubbed my skin too raw so the time I wrote about it was the only time I’ve practiced it šŸ™‚


  2. According to the book ‘Full Service’ by Scotty Bowers, Hepburn had a horrible complexion, especially close up. Lighting and makeup hid her defects, and photos were certainly airbrushed.


    • Interesting, but I guess not surprising! It’s a rough mixture on your face and contemporary fashion bloggers are aghast when you mention it.


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