12 Iconic American Beauty Products

Britt Aboutaleb
Managing Editor

Photo: Henry Leutwyler

Of the thousands of products released by America’s leading cosmetic and skincare brands, there are 12 that stand out as truly iconic. Loved as much for the way they’re packaged and the way they smell as the way they work, we’re almost 100% sure everyone has a soft spot for at least one of the below. (If we’re wrong, tell us what we missed in the comments!) 

Johnson & Johnson Baby Oil
It might have been rubbed on your skin as a baby, or helped you score a tan in high school, or be your current go-to moisturizer, because even with the word ‘baby’ on the label, this mineral oil’s soft smell, gentle touch, and non-greasy finish have made it appropriate for all ages for over 100 years.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer
Clinique may have updated its best-selling formula last year, but it still smells, feels, and looks the same as it did when you were 13.

Noxzema Cleaning Cream
Noxzema’s been sold in a blue jar since 1914, when it earned its name after users started calling it ‘no-eczema’. One hundred years later, the jar might be plastic instead of glass, but it cleans your skin just as well. 

Revlon Lipstick
Revlon’s iconic ads for shades like Cherries in the Snow and Fire and Ice promised that even if a man never understood you, Revlon would. Maybe that’s why they’re still bestsellers today. 

Old Spice Deodorant
Did you know Old Spice was originally formulated for women? That was in 1937, when the founders developed the brand’s colonial theme. Now the smell is best described as, “manly.”

CK One
No, CK One hasn’t been around for as long as some of the others, but it’s still as all-American as Marky Mark.

Bonne Bell Chapstick in Dr. Pepper
What’s more American than turning a soda flavor into a Chapstick so that you really can taste it all day long. 

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara
Maybelline sells 20 million pink and green tubes of its beloved mascara every year.

Love’s Baby Soft
In the ‘70s, ads for Love’s Baby Soft perfume said, “Because innocence is sexier than you think.” In this case, innocence means a powdery sweet scent packaged in a frosted pink bottle.

Coppertone Sunscreen
Nothing says summer quite like the smell of Coppertone—and the visual of a little girl in pigtails having her bottoms pulled down by a puppy. 

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream
Elizabeth Arden first put her name on a product in 1930: Eight Hour Cream. She used it on everything from scraped knees to her horses. Now makeup artists use it to moisturize lips, highlight cheekbones, and even give eyelids a glossy finish.

Ivory Soap
The first bar of Ivory soap was sold in 1879, after chemist James Gamble (as in, Proctor and Gamble) whipped air into the formula so that it would float in water. After WWII, families used the soap powder as fake snow on Christmas trees. The bars might sink now, but there’s still a good chance one lives in your shower.