Sunday 21 October 2012

Precode Sunday Beauty Tip 2#: Lux Toilet Soap

Over the years of looking through 1930's magazines and researching in general, one product seemed to stand out more than others: Lux Toilet Soap. It seemed to be everywhere, on every second page in Photoplay and Motion Picture magazines, featured on the Lux Radio Show and on billboards. Lux appeared to be the first product to be solely celebrity endorsed with the quote, '9 out of 10 screen stars use Lux'. In 1929, Lux employed 26 of the most popular Hollywood stars to promote the brand, including such actresses as Barbara Stanwyck, Kay Francis and Janet Gaynor. Below are some of the famous advertisements that I found in a number of Precode Photoplay magazines:

Barbara Stanwyck

Kay Francis

Miriam Hopkins

Young Bette Davis

Claudette Colbert

Ann Sothern

Billie Burke
All the stars


  1. I listen to Lux Radio Theater episodes now and then, and the Lux ads are fascinating. First, of course, the female stars of the radio shows are usually called upon to give some sort of Lux testimonial at the end of the broadcast. All are thoroughly scripted. In addition, mid-show ads feature little vignettes by actresses portraying ordinary women, or even starlet-wannabes. Everyone is very concerned about maintaining "daintiness". Many ads are also fairly blatant in their assessment that a woman who doesn't use Lux to care for her face will never find or keep a man, or even have friends for very long.

  2. I agree. Nowadays, these advertisements seem blatant and over-the-top. Lux Radio is one of my favourite radio shows and I always marvel at the little skits and interviews they had in the breaks from the performance. They were so one directonal, I wonder if they were affective?

  3. This cracks me up - "I'm 39!" So funny! Did these stars actually sign contracts with Lux or did the company simply use their faces to sell the product? I'm just curious. And could you tell me where you found these images? They're just too neat!

  4. Hey Margaret, I'm not sure about contracts I will have to research that further. I got them all from digital copies of Photoplay magazines. All the issues from the early 1900's to the 1960's are avaliable for free download on archive.org. Its soo interesting flicking through and seeing the ads and stories on the stars.