We finally know Marilyn Monroe’s detailed skincare routine

Jamé Jackson
In The Know

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Marilyn Monroe has been revered as a beauty icon for decades. The actress was the epitome of old Hollywood glamor and, even today, many of us are still trying to recreate her signature bombshell look. Don’t get me wrong: The IG beauty trend is a solid look, but nothing beats vintage-inspired glam.

In the 16-year span of her acting career, she made 29 films and looked great in every single one. And despite being viewed as a sex symbol to the masses, Monroe used her platform for social good: She brought body-conscious designs to the forefront of fashion in a visible way and continued the conversation around body diversity and representation in Hollywood.

For instance, in 1955, Monroe promised the Mocambo club owner that she would sit at the front of the house every night and bring other celebrities with her if they let Ella Fitzgerald, someone whom the club owner had previously dismissed, perform. Of course, they complied.

Though Marilyn Monroe passed away in 1962, we may be one step closer to emulating the Hollywood icon thanks to a recent item now on display at the Makeup Museum‘s “Pink Jungle: 1950s Makeup in America” exhibition: Marilyn Monroe’s exact skincare routine.

Though it was slated to open this month in Manhattan, the Makeup Museum held off on the exhibit’s opening due to the ongoing health crisis. To keep fans excited for its eventual return, the museum has been sharing via Instagram the treasure trove of beauty artifacts that lie behind its curtains.

Now, back to Marilyn. On display — and in partnership with Erno Laszlo — is Marilyn Monroe’s original skincare prescription from 1959. Not only was I impressed that a document had been preserved for so long — coming from someone who spills coffee on everything — but I was also excited to learn that many of Marilyn’s go-to products are still available today.

The document, prescribed to Monroe on March 17, 1959, by Hungarian dermatologist Dr. Erno Laszlo, details the precise instructions for Monroe to follow for both her morning and evening skincare regime.

In the video, Patricia Schuffenhauer, Erno Laszlo’s chief historian and branding officer, explains that Dr. Laszlo prescribed more hydrating products to combat Monroe’s skin, which was on the drier side. At the bottom of the document, the doctor also advised that she stay away from any kind of nuts, chocolate, olives, oysters and clams. *Writes everything down*

Marilyn Monroe’s Morning Routine:

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe

Credit: Getty Images

Monroe was instructed to wash her face and neck in warm water with the Erno Laszlo Active Phelityl Soap. After rinsing off in the same water, she then applied the Erno Laszlo Normaliser Shake-It Toner to her entire face, (except around the eyes) with “a large piece of cotton saturated to the dripping point.” I’m happy to learn I am not the only one who loves being heavy-handed with her products.

After blotting the excess off with a tissue, she then applied the Erno Laszlo pHelitone Eye Cream under her eyes “in tiny dots,” and then dabbed the Erno Laszlo Duo-Phase Face Powder on her entire face and neck.

Although both of the previously mentioned products have since been discontinued, the brand does sell an emollient eye cream that “hydrates, repairs and refreshes the delicate skin around the eyes.”

Shop: Erno Laszlo Active Phelityl Soap, $38

Credit: Erno Laszlo

Shop: Erno Laszlo Normaliser Shake-It toner, $49

Credit: Erno Laszlo

Shop: Erno Laszlo Ocuphel Emollient Eye Cream, $118

Credit: Dermstore

Her evening routine was the same as her morning routine. However, there was a slight change for formal occasions: Instead of applying the eye cream solely under her eyes, Monroe was instructed to apply the cream all over her face, including on her neck. Afterward, she would blot the cream and then apply the Duo-Phase Powder.

Marilyn Monroe’s Nighttime Routine:

Credit: Getty Images

Before retiring for bed (which just sounds fancy), her routine consisted of applying the Erno Laszlo Active Phelityl Oil to her “entire face, lips and neck with a large piece of cotton saturated to the dripping point” to oil cleanse.

(FYI, if you didn’t know, oil cleansing is amazing and I highly recommend it. 10/10.)

After rinsing, she applied the Erno Laszlo Active Phelityl Cream. After that, the cream was washed off with a piece of cotton saturated with the brand’s Controlling Lotion toner. After drying her face and neck, Monroe was instructed to reapply the controlling lotion to her nose and chin and allow for it to dry overnight.

Shop: Erno Laszlo Active Phelityl Cream, $80

Credit: Amazon

Shop: Erno Laszlo Active Phelityl Oil, $58

Credit: Dermstore

Shop: Erno Laszlo Light Controlling Lotion, $68

Credit: Dermstore

If you liked this post, check out J.Lo’s affordable eye cream she uses instead of Botox.

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