‘3 Hour Baths, Vaseline Rub Downs:’ Skin Care Prescription Reveals Marilyn Monroe’s Complex Beauty Routine

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Marilyn Monroe’s beauty routine was a long-kept Hollywood secret. While it was well-known that she loved a few products–Vaseline being one–the intricacies of her beauty routine were largely unknown, until now.

Reportedly, Monroe took three-hour-long hot baths after slathering her entire body with Vaseline. And, while we can’t recommend that (it sounds like a slippery nightmare), Monroe’s “skincare prescription” has also been shared, and it has some promising advice.

Monroe’s personalized skincare prescription was set to be displayed in an exhibit of the Makeup Museum in New York City. However, the exhibit was postponed due to the pandemic. The Makeup Museum, nevertheless, posted the physical artifact on their Instagram for all to see.

This skincare prescription contains all the secrets of Marilyn Monroe’s beauty routine that have been lost over the years.

Erno Laszlo Skincare

The detailed skincare routine, dated March 17, 1959, was prescribed by Erno Laszlo. Laszlo, the founder of the famous skincare brand by the same name, personalized Monroe’s daily and nightly skincare routine. He was a dermatologist and skincare expert who had also worked with other famous Hollywood royalty. In his time, he worked with Greta Garbo, former First lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Audrey Hepburn, to name a few.

Monroe’s Skin Care Prescription

Monroe’s skincare prescription was individualized for her dry skin. Many of the products she used were focused on moisturizing and hydrating her skin. Several of the products are even available for purchase today!

In the morning, per the prescription, Monroe was advised to wash her face in warm water with Erno Laszlo’s Phelityl Cleansing Soap. Then, she was to use Erno Laszlo’s Shake-It Tinted Treatment, a tinted toner. Under her eyes, she used Erno Laszlo pHelitone Eye Cream, which has since been discontinued. However, currently, Erno Laszlo offers several eye treatments, including Ocuphel Emollient Eye Cream and Firmarine Eye Serum. Next, she used Duo-Phase Face Powder over her entire face and neck, which has also been discontinued.

In the evening, Monroe’s prescription was broken down into “before dressing,” “formal occasions,” and “before retiring.” Her before dressing routine was the same as her previously mentioned morning routine. For formal occasions, however, after using the Shake-It Tinted Treatment, Laszlo advised using pHelitone “on top of it on [the] entire face, also under eyes, on neck, and décolleté. Blot off with tissues. [Then] apply Duo-Phase Face Powder.”

Monroe’s before retiring routine was structured similarly to her morning routine, however, different products were used. First, she was to use an oil treatment. Erno Laszlo Active Phelityl Oil was to be applied to the entire face, then washed off–following the “Morning” instructions. Next, Monroe was to apply Erno Laszlo Active Phelityl Intensive Cream to her entire face. Again, she was to wash it off, then apply Erno Laszlo Controlling Lotion. Finally, she would dry her face and neck with a towel, only to reapply the Controlling Lotion on her nose and chin, to dry overnight.

All of this sounds exhausting! But as Monroe herself once said, “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous that absolutely boring.”

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