Categories: Beauty Recipes

Galen’s Cold Cream Beauty Recipe

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I personally love ancient beauty secrets and recipes and in The Beauty Tonic we have various articles regarding , etc. Now we will present you the first cream in the history of cosmetology, which was produced by  (129 AD – 199 AD),an ancient Greek physician, philosopher and surgeon and probably the second most important medical researcher of antiquity, influencing the development of disciplines such as pharmacology, pathology, anatomy and neurology.

This cream was produced by Galen in 150 AD and is considered to be the first recipe for a cosmetology cream that was discovered. The name cold cream is due to the fact that it leaves a cooling sensation as water evaporates from the skin. Galen’s cold cream is a simple but versatile and nutritious and cream that can be used as a face cream, body cream or makeup remover.

A trial of this ancient Greek beauty recipe will answer to your question about how such a simple cosmetic managed to survive for about 1800 years.

Galen’s Recipe For Cold Cream


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil: olive oil or balsam
  • 2 tablespoons grated beeswax
  • 1/4 cup infusion of chamomile or lavender or calendula
  • 2 capsules of vitamin E.
  • 15 drops of bergamot essential oil (moisturizes the skin and combats wrinkles).


In double boiler put two sterilized jars in hot water containing a little pure alcohol.

  1. In the first one we put in the candle, wait for it to melt, then add the vegetable oil and stir to mix them.
  2. In the second one put the infusion of chamomile, lavender or calendula.
  3. We pull the jars from the double boiler and we control the temperature of the two jars, they should be around 37-47 Celsius degrees. Be careful, they should have almost the same temperature to proceed.
  4. Using a mixer we mix the materials of the first jar, adding slowly the materials from the second jar till they start to become a viscus cream. (like we are making mayonnaise).
  5. Allow the cream to cool, then add vitamin E and essential oils. Mix again.
  6. Place the cream in a sterilized jar, write the date of preparation and Galen’s cold cream is now ready for use.


  • You substitute part of the olive oil with other lighter oils such as sunflower oil (organic only!), Almond, or whatever you prefer.
  • If you have a thermometer, it would be ideal to reach the same temperature in both phases.
  • To maximize the benefits of the recipe you can put the entire aqueous part of the recipe in rosewater.
  • After cooling down and making sure the cold cream is correct, you can add essential oils of your choice, aloe gel, or any other active ingredients you have.
  • In many similar recipes in various blogs you will find the same recipe by adding borax. Yes, beeswax may not permanently homogenize your cream but may well add lecithin or simply stir if you observe phase separation. Borax is a natural mineral very good to clean our bathroom but NOT to put it on our face.

This cream is suitable as a night cream because it contains bergamot and balsam oil, ingredients that can cause photo-sensitivity. Without these two ingredients it can be well used as a day cream for all skin types. If you want to use it as a day cream just don’t use these 2 ingredients.

Personally, I come from Greece and I love history so I am happy of my research and discovery of an ancient Greek recipe that has an age of 1800 years. I hope you enjoyed Galen’s cold cream recipe, I have tried it myself and I really like this cream. If you try it, I am waiting for your feedback in the comment section, feel free to share your experience.

Estelle :I have studied aesthetic and cosmetology and I am a beautician with a great passion for health and beauty. As human beings we have to take care of our inner and our outer beauty to be completely beautiful !