Actress Beauty Tip No. 41: Joan Blondell cottage cheese facial

This is the 41st installment of the classic actress beauty tips that I have read about and tested.

joan Blondell cottage cheese

Art from “Facing it with Joan Blondell” published in the Dec. 1932, issue of The New Movie Magazine. Screen shot by Comet Over Hollywood

When it comes to skin care, I’m always intrigued to try something new — especially when it was something that a classic film star did.

Actress Joan Blondell outlines her skin care regiment and provides a guide of how to have a clear complexion in the article “Facing it with Joan Blondell” published in the Dec. 1932, issue of The New Movie Magazine.

In addition to washing her face with “good-old soap and water,” using a cleansing cream and moisturizing, twice a week Blondell said she did a beauty facial pack with a surprising substance.

“My favorite beauty pack will give you a laugh — and a gorgeous complexion. It is a bit of plain garden variety of cottage cheese — and milk,” Blondell is quoted in the article.

Here are Blondell’s instructions for her cottage cheese facial pack:

“Smear over the entire face and neck—and yes, the hands too, as much cottage cheese as you can make stay on in a paste. Read or rest quietly until it is completely dry. Heat some milk to the boiling point. Soak a soft cloth in the milk and apply it on the face and neck. Gradually wash the cheese off with the milk. When the milk has been absorbed by the skin, pat the face dry. Then apply a turtle oil cream or just plain almond oil and pat it briskly.”

Blondell advises to do the pack treatment before bed.

Prior to this, I only knew of facial masks and wasn’t familiar with the term “pack.” Masks and packs are similar, but masks are non-setting mask and packs are setting masks and take longer time to dry. Facial packs consist of a PH fact and can be homemade.

Testing the facial pack

Since early July, I have performed the same cottage cheese facial pack two-to-three times a week:

  • I purchased regular, full-fat cottage cheese. I wanted the full effect on my skin.
  • With the lumps, it was difficult to get the cheese to stay on my skin. I ended up using a hand blender on the entire container to create a smooth, non-lumpy mixture.
  • After I washed my face each night, I would use a mask applicator to spread cottage cheese on my face. I generally did this two to three-times a week (Sunday and Wednesday, OR Sunday, Wednesday and Friday).
  • I only used the cottage cheese on my face, rather than neck and hands, as detailed above.
  • I would sit and watch TV with the cottage cheese on my face until it dried. This would take 30 to 40 minutes.
  • I tried the milk rinse once or twice. Not only was this not cost effective, but I felt like it left my skin slightly sticky. So for the rest of the time, I rinse with water and it provided a satisfactory effect.
  • After rinsing the cottage cheese off with water, I used my usual evening face moisturizer.
  • I feel it’s important to note: I always rinse the cottage cheese off in the kitchen sink as not to clog drains.
  • I washed any towels and wash clothes used during the rinse shortly after, as they will begin to smell like cheese/milk.

Did it work?

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Me trying the cottage cheese facial pack

This may sound surprising, but I have come to really love this beauty ritual. My skin always felt smooth and soft after rinsing the cottage cheese off. I do also feel that my skin looked brighter and had a glow to it.

I also loved when you first apply the cottage cheese, because it’s cold from the refrigerator on your skin. As someone who loves to use cold for beauty and recovery, I felt this was refreshing.

While I’ve still had minimal breakouts, I haven’t noticed as many blemishes during my testing time of July 11 to Aug. 29.

I may continue performing this ritual during the week, or at least until I run out of cottage cheese.

Blondell leaves the readers with a summary of steps that everyone needs to do for their skin, some include:

  • A healthy body, gained by common sense foods and a light diet of simple proportions.
  • Soap and water, a good cleansing cream, oily and light enough to sink well into pores, and plenty of soft tissues for its removal.
  • A thoroughly reliable tissue or turtle oil cream. This is one thing that is not sensible to economize on. A good tissue cream is essential.
  • A good, not too drying, astringent, which will keep the pores closed and the skin fine-textured and makes an excellent powder base.

Of note: While I’m assuming Blondell really did this, you can’t always believe what you read in fan magazines. But because it’s fun, why not?

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