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See the History of Clear Skin

Noxzema comes to The Baltimore Museum of Industry

From COVERGIRL cosmetics to Noxzema, Maryland has a legacy of good skin. For those two boons to ­beauty, we owe thanks to turn-of-the-20th-century Baltimore pharmacist George Bunting. Bunting invented Noxzema to relieve sunburn. Perhaps he was beseeched by clients who failed to factor in the sun’s strength as they sought relief from summer heat on rivers, Bay or oceans.
    Who hasn’t used Noxzema? The skin care line with the bracing aroma has become a staple of adolescent medicine cabinets and beauty regimens around the world.
    Bunting must have revered a smooth, beautiful skin in men and women, for he branched out from Noxzema to create both shaving creams and the ­COVERGIRL brand of cosmetics.
    Now you can see the history of George Bunting’s Noxzema line at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, in a collection of documents, photos, jars and packaging donated by Unilever, which took title to the Noxema brand in 1989. You’ll be able to track Noxzema’s transition from a campy sunburn cream with ads featuring tan-lined beauties to a deep cleansing cream that features close-up images of fresh-faced teens.
    The Noxzema collection also adds depth and dimension to the museum’s holdings on Baltimore pharmacists and their role in creating custom medications for patients. “The BMI has long celebrated the role of neighborhood pharmacies in general and Noxzema in particular,” says executive director Roland Woodward of a museum whose mission is to “depict people who are often over-looked: the workers, small business owners, and others who built our history.” Local history exhibits run from old trucks to an oyster cannery to a print shop with a working linotype machine.
    To see the new Noxzema collection or learn about the history of industry in our state, visit the Baltimore Museum of Industry, 1415 Key Hwy., Baltimore: 410-727-4808; www.thebmi.org.