I’m one of those “pink people”: I have a redhead’s complexion, meaning pale with a tendency to freckle or burn in the sunlight. When I was growing up, we’d spend a lot of time at Hartigan Park (formerly Albion Beach) swimming in Lake Michigan, and since we were typical kids we’d run around with no shirts on all afternoon with the sun beating down on us. More often than not, I would go home with a pretty nasty sunburn, because this was in the days before sunblock and SPF factors, when we used baby oil to help us tan.
Mild sunburns were fairly easy to deal with, but mine were rarely mild. When the burn was so bad that I couldn’t sleep, my mother would come in with the blue jar of Noxzema. She’d smear it all over my back, and it would bring some comfort.
Now, if you go to their website and read the FAQ’s, you see this:
Can Noxzema be used to cool sun burned skin?
Over the years Noxzema Original Deep Cleansing Cream has been used for many reasons but we have not tested it for this use. We recommend it to be used as a cleanser that needs to be rinsed off after massaging onto the face.
Kind of a bummer, since when it was first developed by Dr. Francis J. Townsend of Ocean City, Maryland, he did so specifically to treat sunburned people. It had things like camphor, menthol, phenol, and eucalyptus, all of which are good for soothing sunburned skin. The name itself is derived from the phrase “no eczema,” as it was sold as a treatment for that skin condition as well.
Initially the product was sold by the Noxzema Chemical Company, which became Noxell in 1966. Ownership has changed a few times since then, and it’s now manufactured by Unilever, who sees it as a facial scrub, nothing more. It might be good for sunburn or eczema, but they demur at the suggestion that it is.
Noxell also made shaving cream until a few years ago, or at least the company allowed the manufacturer to use the name. It was the subject of a number of popular commercials which ran from 1967 to 1973. They were popular, of course, because of the spokesmodel, the quite lovely former Miss Sweden 1961, Gunilla Knutsson.
The first time my aunt saw this commercial, she said there wasn’t a blade in the razor, or the guy would slice his face to shreds. They should have put a disclaimer on it that said “DO NOT ATTEMPT,” except back in the ’60’s we knew better.
The commercials also made David Rose’s “The Stripper,” which had been a #1 hit for him and his orchestra in 1962, popular again.
Even when the posts aren’t about music, I always manage to work some in…