Marilyn Monroe’s Skin Was ‘On the Drier Side’ and Honestly, Same

Marilyn Monroe’s Skin Was ‘On the Drier Side’ and Honestly, Same
Photo: Shutterstock.

If only I could make a bottle of conditioner last as long as our collective fascination with Marilyn Monroe. She’s in that elite class of celebs from Hollywood’s Golden Age who continues to make headlines almost 60 years since her untimely death. To be fair, she was the ultimate sex symbol: to say men wanted her and women wanted to be like her would be an understatement. So I guess seeing her skincare routine turned into a museum artifact isn’t exactly surprising.

Such was the case earlier this week when the Makeup Museum—a place I thought only existed in my dreams—unveiled the upcoming “Pink Jungle: 1950s Makeup in America” exhibit. It includes a standout item: a detailed skincare prescription from iconic dermatologist Erno Laszlo to Monroe, who was “on the drier side” according to Patricia Schuffenhauer, Erno Laszlo’s chief historian and branding officer.

“He personalized every prescription for all of his clients, and Marilyn Monroe was on the drier side,” she revealed in a video from the museum. “So you can see as we walk through the prescription that all of the products were to help hydrate her skin.”

As for the regimen, it’s thorough, all the way down to dietary restrictions which included laying off the nuts, olives, chocolate, and some shellfish. I could never gather the willpower to deny myself Oreos and salad olives, so kudos to her.

On the paper addressed to “Marilyn Monroe Miller” on March 17, 1959 (when she was married to playwright Arthur Miller) is a morning and night routine with intricate instruction for each, as well as separate notes for “formal occasions.” Much to my surprise, two of Monroe’s Laszlo staples are still made today, in case you want to take a walk in Monroe’s proverbial shoes, er, heels (probably).



Erno Laszlo Limited Edition Shake It Tinted Treatment

Erno Laszlo.

The limited-edition Shake-It Treatment Monroe applied every morning is the same clean formula from its original debut in the 1930s: a tinted toner “that evens skin tone, controls surface oils, and helps lock in moisture for a natural-looking matte finish.” Or as the brand likes to call it, the “first of its kind no-makeup, makeup original formula.”


Erno Laszlo Phelityl Cleansing Bar

Erno Laszlo.

The throwback Phelityl Cleansing Bar is a gentle face wash infused with safflower seed oil, palm/palm kernel oils, and the “moisture magnet” glycerin to keep the skin balanced and mimic the natural oils found in the skin already. The packaging for both has also been updated to feature 0% plastic because sustainability is needed more than ever.

Between Laszlo’s prescription and previous claims of her obsession with Vaseline and hot baths, Monroe probably had the discipline of an army recruit. I could never keep this all up.

Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.

beauty newsletter banner