Noxzema (/nɒkˈsiːmə/nok-SEE-mə) is a skin cleanser marketed by Unilever. Alberto-Culver bought the rights to the brand in 2008 from Procter & Gamble and operated the line of skin-care products until Alberto-Culver was acquired by Unilever in 2010. Before Alberto-Culver's purchase, Procter & Gamble acquired the brand in 1989 as part of the acquisition of the Noxell Corporation, the Maryland-based company headed at that time by the grandson of the brand's original inventor. In October 2014, Noxzema brand in Greece changed its ownership from Procter & Gamble to a domestic company, Sarantis for €8.7 million.
Since 1914, it has been sold in a small cobalt blue jar. Noxzema contains camphor, menthol, phenol and eucalyptus, among other ingredients. Originally developed as a sunburn remedy, it is popular among women as a facial cleanser and make-up remover. It can also be used for cleaning chapped, sunburned, or otherwise irritated skin. Since the introduction of Noxzema, the brand name has appeared on shaving cream, razors, and skin-cleansing cloths.
Noxzema was invented by Francis J. Townsend, a doctor who lived in Ocean City, Maryland. The formula was called "Townsend R22" and referred to commonly as "no-eczema". Townsend prescribed it as a remedy to early resort vacationers burned by the sun. In order to help people outside of the resort town Townsend later gave the formula to Dr. George Bunting who for many years denied the transaction (graduate of Washington College in Maryland). Bunting introduced "Dr. Bunting's Sunburn Remedy" as the first real alternative to the greasy, tallow-based medicating creams common during the period. For the first three years, Bunting and Elizabeth Buck did all the mixing, heating, and pouring of the product themselves. The inspiration for the name Noxzema supposedly came from a satisfied customer who exclaimed, "You knocked my eczema." Demand for the product grew as the years progressed. An early slogan was “the miracle cream of Baltimore”. During 1920 the first Noxzema Chemical Company factory was opened in a tiny house in Baltimore. The product achieved national popularity by the 1940s through the use of radio and print advertising.