Erno Laszlo: Double Cleanse for the 21st Century

The name Erno Laszlo isn’t one with which everyone is familiar. Your grandmom or mom have probably heard of it, or even aspired to use his luxurious skin-coddling products as they watched the likes of Audrey Hepburn extol his virtues. Audrey Hepburn?

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Oh ya, girl. She was one of the famous women who swore their beautiful skin was credited to Erno Laszlo and his products. If you’re a frequent peruser of Sephora.com or Nordstrom stores, you may have seen a few new Erno Laszlo products pop up on the shelves. Perhaps you didn’t know what to do with these bar soaps and bottled oils. Allow me to break it down for you!

All of the following information comes from Erno Laszlo’s website.

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Nordstrom.com

Dr. Erno Laszlo was a Hungarian dermatologist who studied under Max Joseph, the “father” of dermatology. He’s reported to have helped heal Hungary’s Princess Stephanie’s acne, and the beginnings of his catering to the elite were made. Laszlo first brought his products to market in 1927 New York City with the opening of his Erno Laszlo Institute.

Dr. Erno Laszlo was a Hungarian dermatologist who studied under Max Joseph, the “father” of dermatology. He’s reported to have helped heal Hungary’s Princess Stephanie’s acne, and the beginnings of his catering to the elite were made. Lazslo first brought his products to the US market in 1939 on 5th Avenue in New York City with the opening of his Erno Laszlo Institute (which is still open today!).

What you might not realize, is that Dr. Lazslo is said to be credited with inventing the “double cleanse”. While most women of his time would remove their makeup with cold cream and be done with it, Laszlo’s experience treating acne and other skin conditions taught him that there should be TWO steps.

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Thus, Dr. Laszlo created his famous two-step system that began with an oil and ended with a cleansing bar soap. While his original step included one type of oil and one type of very famous, black, bar soap, the Erno Laszlo line has since expanded.

In the fall of 2016, Erno Laszlo introduced an additional four pairings of oils and bar soaps that cater to different skincare concerns.

 

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Sephora.com

Instead of one oil and one cleansing bar to suit everyone’s needs, Erno Laszlo is realizing that Millennials want customization. We realize that one size does not fit all, especially when it comes to our skincare needs.

Firmarine Cleansing Oil & Face Bar

 

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Sephora.com

Sensitive Cleansing Oil & Face Bar

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Sephora.com

Hydratherapy Cleansing Oil & Phelytil Cleansing Bar

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Detoxifying Cleansing Oil & Detoxifying Cleansing Bar

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Sephora.com

Phelytil Cleansing Oil &Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar

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Sephora.com

These are the OGs. The super famous black bar of soap and oil that celebs like Marliyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Greta Garbo used.

I think it’s pretty cool to learn one of the suspected origins of double cleansing, but I’m not so sure I’m sold on the bar-soap-for-my-face concept. The first ingredient in almost all of the bar soaps is sodium palmate. According to Paula’s Choice (a great website for descriptions on any skincare or makeup ingredient, by the way!), sodium palmate has a very alkaline pH, used as a detergent, and can be very drying. Think of it like a sulfate.

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This is typically the problem with bar soaps, and, sadly, this famous black soap isn’t exempt. The only bars that DON’T have sodium palmate are the Detoxifying Cleansing Bar.

The oils are typically less problematic, as they’re just the first step and will be further washed off; but the bar soap is the real issue.

Not to mention, these babies are PRICEY. A full-size oil will run you about $58 for a 3.4oz bottle. WHAT? And the cleansing bars cost a whopping $38. While both prices are a bit insane, at least the bar soap would last you a while. Again, however, that bar soap has a strong likelihood of being rather harsh on your skin. So that $38 price tag looks even less appealing.

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Overall, cool history, but I think the ingredients list needs a bit more work before I’ll drop that much money on a cleansing routine!

3 thoughts on “Erno Laszlo: Double Cleanse for the 21st Century

  1. A well-traveled friend gave me a couple of Erno Lazlo samples many years ago and told me that the secret to the whole system was to splash your face 50 times after using the oil and the soap. Perhaps that would mitigate some of the harshness? Who knows. Thank you for a great primer on this line, though — and especially for recommending the Paula’s Choice website. I always learn something valuable from your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. While I have heard of the name Erno Laszlo, it’s not one that I have firsthand knowledge. Yes, it does seem like an “old” brand.
    That’s so cool that he invented the concept of double cleansing! And here I was, thinking it was an Asian concept. Good to know! I think the products are probably dated now… they could do with reformulation / revamp!

    Liked by 1 person

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