The opening scene. Joan Crawford gets up and starts her beauty routine. She turns on the water to a scorching hot temperature. She then washes with soap, then a bristle brush all over up to her forearms. Next, she splashes her face with the steaming hot water then submerges her face in cold icy water.

Sounds like a lot, well it is. Even though this was a bit of an extreme reenactment from the 1981 movie Mommie Dearest played by Faye Dunaway, Crawford was known for her beauty routine. This woman wasn’t messing around with her routine.

Joan born in 1904 was and is one of the most recognizable screen queens of the ’20s and 30s. Nominated three times for an Oscar and starring opposite leading men like Clark Gable. She was a boss, she even had a feud with Betty Davis. But besides the fact, Joan Crawford is one of the most fascinating actresses from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

So, let’s take a look at some of Old Hollywood beauty secrets from Joans Crawfords beauty regime.

Joan Crawford beauty routine


So what was Joan Crawford’s beauty routine like? Well, let’s start with her morning routine.
Crawford had a real morning skincare routine. She would plunge her face in ice water every morning full of rose water. Joan believed it helped relieve bags from her under eyes and would only use filtered water to do so. It has been reported that she did this 25 times every time.


Joan Crawford was also known to use lemons on her elbows to help them to look smooth and stave away any pigmentation. Joan would also carry around rosewater and glycerin with her to keep her hands moist. For her body, she trusted Erno Laszlo like many other starlets of that time. Crawford would slather her body with Erno Laszlo Phormula 3-9 moisturizing balm which is very rich and moisturizing especially for those who have dry skin.


Her favorite perfume was Estee Lauder Youth Dew from 1952. It has a rich spice and jasmine scent and a little goes a long way. Joan’s other favorite perfume was Jungle Gardenia from 1932. It is full of jasmine and lily, it’s very floral and not overpowering.


Joan also took great care of her tresses. She would use mayonnaise on her hair to make it smoother and shiny. It’s probably because of the protein from the eggs. I tried it once, and that’s probably good enough for me. I know others who have tried it and have seen great results from it.


One characteristic we always remember Joan Crawford was of her eyebrows. This woman knew how to catch attention and I think her eyebrows did most of the work for her. She kept them very thin and arched to the heavens. I actually prefer thin eyebrows myself.

It’s so interesting that many of these beauty “secrets” are ones that we still use today. Like ice facials and the use of rosewater and glycerin. We take a lot of these tips and tricks for granted, but we have to thank women like Joan Crawford for going to great lengths to experiment, scrub, and lather with their routines.

Joan Crawford beauty routine

Are you willing to try any of her routines? Let me know in the comments below. To get that glow like Joan Crawford click here.

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