Exploring Skincare Ingredients Used in the 1970s

Exploring Skincare Ingredients Used in the 1970s


The 1970s was a decade of cultural transformation and experimentation. Skincare, too, experienced significant changes during this time, with the introduction of new ingredients and formulations. This article delves into the skincare ingredients that were widely used in the 1970s.

Natural Oils

During the 1970s, natural oils gained popularity in skincare routines. Oils such as jojoba, olive, and coconut were used for their moisturizing and nourishing properties. They were often included in creams, lotions, and cleansers, offering hydration and protection to the skin.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

The discovery of alpha-hydroxy acids revolutionized skincare treatments in the 1970s. AHAs, derived from fruits and milk, gained recognition for their exfoliating properties. Products containing AHAs helped remove dead skin cells, improve skin texture, and promote a more youthful appearance.

Zinc Oxide

Zinc oxide became a popular ingredient in sunscreens during the 1970s due to its ability to provide effective protection against harmful UV rays. This white mineral created a physical barrier on the skin, reflecting and absorbing UV radiation. It became an essential component in many skincare products to shield the skin from sun damage.


Collagen, a protein naturally found in the skin, gained attention as an anti-aging ingredient in the 1970s. Skincare products with added collagen claimed to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, promoting a more youthful complexion. Though the efficacy of collagen topically applied was debated, its inclusion in skincare formulations became widespread during this era due to its perceived benefits.


Q: Are these ingredients still used in modern skincare?

A: Yes, many of these ingredients are still widely used today. Natural oils, AHAs, zinc oxide, and collagen, though perhaps formulated differently, continue to be popular in modern skincare formulations.

Q: Were there any risks associated with using these ingredients?

A: While generally safe, it’s important to note that some individuals may experience allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients. It is advisable to perform a patch test and consult with a dermatologist before using new skincare products.

Q: Did the 1970s skincare ingredients differ significantly from previous decades?

A: Yes, the 1970s witnessed a shift towards more natural and innovative ingredients. The growing interest in natural skincare led to the introduction of oils and the utilization of AHAs as exfoliants. These changes set the stage for continued advancements in skincare throughout the following decades.