An Inside Look at the Skin Care Marilyn Monroe Said ‘Soothed Her Soul’

An Inside Look at the Skin Care Marilyn Monroe Said ‘Soothed Her Soul’ featured image
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Even 60-plus years after her death, the world is still fully enthralled by Marilyn Monroe. While the forever icon may be known for a myriad of things, Erno Laszlo has an archive of her skin-care secrets to share—down to the scar cream created specifically for her.

According to the brand, New York–based Dr. Erno Laszlo, a Hungarian-American dermatologist famous for both for his expertise and custom skin prescriptions, specifically created Phormula 3-8 for Monroe to heal a scar on her stomach.

He also kept her well-stocked with Active Phelityl Cream, an all-purpose moisturizer, for her signature on-screen glow.  

Courtesy of Erno Laszlo

Other Hollywood hard-hitters also relied on Dr. Laszlo (Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Onassis and Greta Garbo included), but Monroe’s feedback is famously solid: “Erno Laszlo not only heals my skin, but he soothes my soul,” the star said.

Aesthetics and inner workings aside, Dr. Laszlo was also known for taking meticulous notes and saving his telephone-consult transcriptions. As the brand shared with us, his 1959 recommendation for Mrs. Marilyn Monroe Miller included detailed information on how to wash the face, apply under-eye products and finish off with skin care. It also listed specific dietary instructions, including the “do not eat” recommendation of staying away from any kind of nuts, chocolate, olives, oysters and clams.

Courtesy of Erno Laszlo

“Marilyn’s routine included products that featured Erno Laszlo’s proprietary Phelityl Complex, an advanced way to hydrate skin and balance skincare pH by replenishing the fatty acids,” shares Patricia Schuffenhauer, Chief Product Officer at Erno Laszlo. “As her skin was on the drier side and needed that extra skin barrier support, Marilyn’s personalized routine likely resonates with consumers who struggle with similar skin types.”

Though skin barrier support is nothing new, Schuffenhauer stresses it is as crucial as ever before. “Recent industry trends and new product launches have led to a major resurgence among consumers, showcasing the importance of protecting the skin from external aggressors like UV radiation and extreme weather, while also providing the added benefit of a glowy and hydrated finish. As the legacy skin-care brand that has been trusted by Hollywood legends like Marilyn Monroe, Erno Laszlo continues to showcase consumers the importance of science-backed products coupled with ritual-performing skin care.” 

While not everything Monroe relied on is still available today, the majority of it is still a Laszlo SKU, with some slight modifications:

1 / 5

Phelityl Cleansing Oil ($67) is the same formulation as the Active Phelityl Oil.

BUY NOW – $67

2 / 5

Phelityl Cleansing Bar ($44) is the same formulation as the Phelityl Soap.

BUY NOW – $44

3 / 5

Shake-It Tinted Skin Treatment ($56), now has a wider range of shade options and improved formula with glycerin.

BUY NOW – $56

4 / 5

Phelityl Night Cream ($146) is the same formulation as the Phelityl Cream Monroe used.

BUY NOW – $146

5 / 5

Phormula 3-9 Eye Repair ($198) is similar to the Phelitone Under Eyes that Monroe used.

BUY NOW – $198

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