Noxema and Cover Girl were the most famous products made by Noxell. Since 1914, Noxema has been sold in a small blue jar. Noxzema contains camphor, menthol, 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.
The brand's name is pronounced "nock-ZEE-mə".
Noxzema was originally invented by Dr. Francis J. Townsend, a doctor who lived in Ocean City, Maryland. The formula was called "Townsend R22" and commonly referred to 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 did all the mixing, heating, and pouring of the product himself.
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”. In 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.
In the 1950s, Noxzema diversified into other personal care products such as shaving cream, suntan lotion and cold cream. In the late 1950s it originated the CoverGirl line of cosmetics, notable for using Noxzema's medicated ingredients. The company changed its name to Noxell Corporation in 1966. Its commercials for Noxzema Shave Cream by the William Esty Advertising Agency created a sensation when model Gunilla Knutson asked men to "take it off, take it all off." Its headquarters were eventually housed in the Baltimore suburb of Hunt Valley, Maryland; the facility is still in use to this day as the cosmetics division of Procter & Gamble. This plant produces products for the CoverGirl, Max Factor and Olay brands, but Noxzema branded products are no longer produced there.
Until the ($1.4 billion) merger with Procter & Gamble, Noxell remained in the hands of the Bunting family; Bunting's son, G. Lloyd Bunting, Sr., assumed the leadership of the company, followed in 1973 by George L. Bunting, Jr., Dr. Bunting's grandson. The Bunting family remains prominent in philanthropic interests in the Baltimore area.