Are You Guilty of These Vintage Skincare Routines?

Updated on  
Are You Guilty of These Vintage Skincare Routines?

Multi-step skincare routines haven’t always been a woman’s go-to morning ritual. In fact, we’ve only seen the emergence of system-based methods in the past 50 years or so. With all of the new technology and modern science that has gone into today’s regimens, at-home remedies have nearly become things of the past. Were you guilty of any of these personal care crimes?

Using Baby Oil and Iodine to Tan

While laying out in the sun covered in a combination of iodine and baby oil was a quick and simple way to get a golden brown glow, we now know that the bronzed look often came at a steep price - namely painful and long-lasting damage to the skin due to the sun’s harsh UVA and UVB rays. Nowadays, most of us opt for a high SPF sunscreen - or just staying out of the sun altogether.

Using Rubbing Alcohol to Treat Acne

Sounds painful? It was. Using rubbing alcohol in place of a traditional astringent or toner may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but it actually ends up stripping your face of its natural oils and moisture, often resulting in damaged skin and even more oil production. You’re better off with a strict regimen of a gentle cleanser and an alcohol-free toner to restore your skin’s ideal PH balance.

Straightening Hair with a Clothes Iron

Yes. Women used to lay their heads down and actually iron their hair just like pressing a shirt. While this method actually works, it can result in severe damage to not only your hair but yourself. (Have you ever tried to iron something without looking directly at it? Not so safe.) The best course of action? Use a tool specifically designed to style hair, and always use some sort of heat protectant to keep your locks happy and healthy.

Using Lysol for Feminine Hygiene

Yep. Lysol. Not joking. In the 1960s, Lysol launched several print campaigns featuring forlorn women who found their marriages were turning south due to poor feminine hygiene. The answer? Lysol. “A concentrated germ killer.” Don’t do this. He’s not worth it.

Toothpaste on Your Zits

We’ve all heard this one. The truth is, this used to be a solution that generated some pretty decent results… on the surface. The fact is, the chemicals in toothpaste which originally assisted in drying out the skin are now long gone. Your safest bet? Use an acne-specific cleanser or a serum containing vitamin C (like this one) to tone down redness without damaging your skin.

Vaseline for Silky Eyelashes

Petrol on your eyes? Not a great idea. While Vaseline may give the idea of glossier lashes due to the oil sitting on top, this vintage beauty hack (should be) a thing of the past. The product itself is made up of large molecules that couldn’t even penetrate your lashes if they wanted to, meaning you’ll have a mess to clean up come evening time. 

Using Mayonnaise as an Eye Mask

There are some really great ingredients in mayo but as the years have progressed, so have additives and chemicals in our food. In its purest form, mayonnaise contains oil and eggs (both moisturizing) and vinegar (which expedites dead skin cell turnover). Nowadays, you’ll find preservatives and multisyllabic nonsense all over those jars. If you really want to keep those crow’s feet at bay, it’s best to find a vitamin-rich eye cream that is paraben free (like this one) and leave the mayo for the deviled eggs.


While we're glad that these skincare routines are a thing of the past, we are also thankful that they paved the way for the skincare products we know and love today. We swapped our petroleum jelly for truly anti-aging eye cream and rubbing alcohol for soothing toner — and our skin is thanking us for it.

Guilty of some of these vintage skincare fads? You're not alone! Share this with your friends to see who else used these old routines! 

Written By: Bill DAlessandro

Edited By: Bill DAlessandro