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Posted in Reviews/Giveaways, Travel | 2 comments

The little blue pot that brings back memories and softer skin too

Vintage Astral ad from 1950s
courtesy of

I have a terrible memory. I don’t remember very much about my early childhood at all really, other than how guilty I felt after stealing a white plastic horse from nursery school. (I had to take it back the next day and cried my eyes out.)  Even the things I think I do remember could easily have been ‘planted’ through conversations with my parents and sisters. The one thing that transports me right back to toddlerhood though is my nose.

My childhood was the smell of… Old Spice aftershave…black boot polish…bread baking in the oven…shaved wood in my Father’s workshop…pancakes with lemon and sugar on pancake day and absolutely NO other…boiled egg and toasted soldiers for tea…freshly applied god-awful tangerine paint in the bathroom…wet washing in the dancing spin dryer…Playdoh…Elnet hairspray…hot chocolate made in a saucepan with cocoa powder…

…and my Mother’s face creams. Nivea is the one that immediately springs to mind but last week a package popped through the door that transported me back in time and reminded me that there was another cream my Mother used – her sky-blue pot of Astral.

Luckily she was staying with us last week for a few days so I was able to show her the frankly huge pot of Astral I’d been sent to see what it stirred up of her memories too. At first glance of the little blue pot she gasped and laughed. ‘Astral!’ she said. ‘Wow that brings back memories.’ You see? I’m not the only one. Back in the late 1960s the face creams she used were Nivea, Pond’s and Astral.

What amazes me is that in all the time since then Astral hasn’t felt the need to change. It doesn’t make any exotic claims or contain ‘miracle’ ingredients – just lanolin and glycerine which lock moisture into your skin and make it smoother-looking. Simple but effective. It’s not tested on animals either.

Astral has a light, fresh floral scent and it’s very versatile as it can be used as an all over body moisturiser, night cream and make-up remover. Yeah, I wasn’t convinced about that last one either – but after trying it out I can confirm that it removes make-up quite nicely, leaving my skin soft and silky and not at all dry.

So what’s it actually like to use it? Well I’ve been using Astral every day since it arrived and I must say I really like it. My skin is quite dry so I slather it on at night and it feels soft and comforting. Fresh out of the shower it’s been making short work of my nasty scaly legs and heels and it’s great as a hand cream too, softening my cuticles so I’m less tempted to nibble them *blush*. Basically it’s an all rounder that just works. My only concern would be that while the rich creaminess is perfect for Autumn and Winter it might be a bit too much for Summer skin – thankfully they’ve thought of that and brought out a lighter version.

Interestingly, Astral is apparently used by celebrities too…

Image coutesy of

Joanna Lumley says: “I’m thrilled to try all sorts of face firmers and wrinkle-reduction creams, but the one I always come back to is plain, simple Astral cream. I’ve used it for over 35 years and it just works for me. I also use lashings of Astral moisturiser to take off make-up. I travel everywhere with a little pot of Astral in my bag.” 

Amanda Holden says: “I get sent all sorts of high-end lotions like Creme de la Mer but the best tip I’ve had is Astral cream. I still love the smell of Astral.” 

Kate Beckinsale says: she “makes sure her skin stays smooth and lovely by slapping on lots of Astral Moisturiser.” 

Patsy Kensit says: “I use Astral moisturiser because my mum did.” 

Who knew Patsy Kensit and I had something in common?

You can buy Astral all over the place and it’s very reasonable compared to most other cult face creams. At Superdrug for example you can pick up the 50ml handbag pot for £1.52, the 200ml every day size for £4.28 or the enormous 500ml pot (which I think will last me forever and a day) for £8.16. (For my US readers Astral is available through although you’ll pay a lot more for it unfortunately.)

Perhaps Astral is one of the best kept secrets in the beauty industry?

Disclaimer: I was sent a pot of Astral cream to review. I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.


  1. When I asked himself he remembered his mum using it and found it amusing that it’s still on the market. But there’s something to be said for those tried/true ‘simple’ products with simple ingredients. And I’m one of those ‘don’t know if the memory is mine or what was told to me’ folks, but the memory of smells live on as my own.

  2. Isn’t it funny how smells can transport you right back to a moment in time? My mum was a Nivea mum, but your review is so positive about Astral that I might just give it a go. I’ve always found Nivea very greasy.


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