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Laura Jane Atelier

I tried Marilyn Monroe’s skincare routine for a week

I tried Marilyn Monroe's skincare routine for a week

Hello lovelies,

Today I will be trying Marilyn Monroes 1959 skincare routine created by Erno Lazlo. 

Marilyn Monroe went to great lengths to ensure her skin was perfect. She enlisted Erno Lazlo, who catered to old Hollywood royalty with his groundbreaking skincare techniques. There is a written copy of Marilyn Monroe’s prescription that consists of a complicated series of solutions and potions that were created specifically for her. Most of the products from her skincare routine are still available today, including the moisturizing bar of soap, which was supposed to be rinsed with thirty splashes of water instructed by Erno Lazlo. 

Here is a brief history of Erno Lazlo:

Celebrating Bold Personalities & Bright Skin Since 1927

The legacy of Erno Laszlo may be rooted in the groundbreaking skincare discoveries of Dr. Laszlo, but behind his life changing products it has always been about the patient. From Dr. Laszlo’s first breakthrough, finding a cure for a Princess’ acne, to his work with the most famous faces in Hollywood, to our modern beauty rituals adored by fans all over the world, Erno Laszlo has always celebrated bold personalities, empowering us all to show our true glow.

Erno Laszlo was a master of medicine who pioneered many innovative products and introduced specific formulations to treat various skin conditions. A man of firsts, the doctor established the concept of a “ritual” skincare routine with prescriptions for his clients and introduced cleansing oils and bars as the double cleanse we know today. 

He opened his first institute in Budapest in 1927, complete with a lab for creating personalized formulations and developing bespoke treatments, like the custom Phormula 3-1 made to heal the acute acne of Princess Stephanie of Hungary. 

Laszlo moved to New York and opened the first institute there in 1939 at 677 Fifth Avenue. Early clients included Katharine Hepburn and Greta Garbo. The doctor became a trusted skincare expert for many of the world’s most famous faces.

The Erno Laszlo brand lives on in the doctor’s legacy, as his groundbreaking dermatological discoveries and personalized care continue to inform everything we do.

Marilyn Monroe’s skin care regime:

“Erno Laszlo not only heals my skin, but he soothes my soul”


Dr. Laszlo specifically created Phormula 3-8 for Marilyn Monroe to heal a scar on her stomach and kept her well stocked with Active Phelityl Cream, an all purpose moisturizer, for her signature on-screen glow. 

Morning Routine:

Marilyn’s morning routine began with a face cleansing using Erno Lazlo Active Phelityl Soap and warm water. After cleansing, she was instructed to apply Erno Laszlo Normalizer Shake-It. This product was a tinted mattifying toner that was relaunched in honor of the brand’s partnership with the makeup museum. Marilyn was told to shake the bottle and saturate a piece of cotton “to the dripping point” and applying it all over her face, except the delicate eye area, then blotting off immediately. For the eyes, Marilyn was to use the Erno Laszlo pHelitone Eye Cream, which has been discontinued, followed by the discontinued Duo-Phase Face Powder over her entire face and neck.

Evening Routine:

Before retiring to bed in the evening, Marilyn was instructed to apply Erno Laszlo’s Active Phelityl Oil to the skin, rinsing it off, then drying with a towel. Next, the rich Erno Laszlo Active Phelityl Cream was to be applied to the entire face and washed off with a piece of cotton saturated, this time with well-shaken Erno Laszlo Controlling Lotion toner. The skin was to be again dried with a clean towel, with the Controlling Lotion reapplied only to the nose and chin areas and left to dry thoroughly overnight.

Limited Edition Shake-It Tinted Treatment

A shake-to-mix, tinted toner treatment available in an exclusive universal shade, Neutral, that works across skin tones. Helps to even skin tone, control excess oil and visibly reduce pores for a sheer, matte finish.

As a nod to Erno Laszlo’s heritage, this beloved icon is back for a limited time. This makeup-skincare hybrid features 80% treatment and 20% pigment, evening the complexion and priming skin for a no-makeup makeup look. In the treatment, water-binding Glycerin helps skin retain moisture while Citric Acid lends astringent and antioxidant properties. Calcium Carbonate absorbs surface oils, and non-drying Cosmetic Grade Alcohol tightens pores.

Light Controlling Toner

This clarifying facial toner sweeps away surface oils while lightly exfoliating and binding moisture to the skin for a fresh-faced complexion. A well-established astringent, Cosmetic Grade Alcohol envelopes shiny oils and whisks them away. Proven moisture magnet Glycerin helps condition the skin, replenishing hydration that the alcohol would otherwise remove. Skin is left with matte-finish moisture—refreshed, perfectly conditioned, and prepared for the rest of your ritual.

The formula for our mattifying toner / clarifying toner features hero ingredients that are well-established and proven to work wonders: Cosmetic Grade Alcohol and Glycerin for skin. Cosmetic Grade Alcohol acts as an astringent, enveloping oil on the skin and whisking it away for a shine-free complexion. Glycerin, a natural moisture magnet, attracts and holds moisture to replenish any hydration removed by the cleansing alcohol. 

Phelityl Cleansing Bar

This nourishing treatment bar gently cleanses without drying. Ingredients packed with Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) help maintain moisture, bringing skin back into beautiful balance. Safflower Seed Oil, rich in EFAs, infuses skin with essential moisture. Macadamia Esters serve to hydrate, boost radiance, and leave skin with a silky-smooth feel. 

The formula for our Phelityl Cleansing Bar infuses the skin with Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs). Safflower Seed Oil is rich in EFAs, primarily linoleic acid which is essential for moisture regulation in the skin. Moisturizing Macadamia Esters bring a high palmitoleic acid content, similar to that found in the lipids of human skin. These esters are a botanical alternative for silicones and serve to hydrate, boost radiance, and leave skin with a silky-smooth feel.

Phormula 3-9 Repair Serum

Delivers intensive care to skin’s surface while working deeply to renew the complexion. Nourishing plant extracts include Kombucha, which blocks the build-up of damaging proteins to smooth roughness, clarify, and illuminate skin. 

Phelityl Pre-Cleansing Oil

One of Dr. Laszlo’s earliest innovations, the Phelityl Complex remains an advanced way to hydrate skin and balance pH by replenishing the fatty acids essential to its health. This nourishing oil cleanses and conditions without stripping or drying skin.

Phelityl Night Cream

One of Dr. Laszlo’s earliest innovations, the Phelityl Complex remains an advanced way to hydrate skin and balance pH by replenishing the fatty acids essential to its health. This pH balance moisturizer is enriched with moisturizing emollients, helping to nourish and replenish the skin.

Active Phelityl Intensive Cream

One of Dr. Laszlo’s earliest innovations, the Phelityl Complex remains an advanced way to deliver hydration and balance pH by replenishing the fatty acids essential to skin’s health. Skin-mimicking Safflower Seed Oil allows skin to easily absorb moisture. Lanolin helps to form a shield for the skin against environmental stressors like cold weather and wind.

Phormula 3-9 Repair Cream

Our exclusive active compounds of plant stem cells, essential vitamins, and super-powered hydrators re-energize skin from the inside out. Our Multi-Vitamin Blend puts nutrients to work with Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) and Vitamin B5 (Panthenol) which both work to improve skin hydration/moisture retention and reinforce the epidermal barrier. Kukui Nut Oil rich in fatty acids penetrates skin to soften and smooth signs of aging. 


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