Dublin chemist Thomas Smith (top).

He came up with the formula for the nappy rash cream at his pharmacy at 1 Old Cabra Road.

Via Glasnevin Heritage:

He called it Smith’s Baby Cream and had the following detail printed on the label – ‘Smith’s Special Skin Ointment for the treatment of ulcers, pimples and all skin eruptions‘.

His son, Brendan, came up with the idea of sending the cream out to new mothers. He would trawl the local papers for the births announcements and send out sample cream to all of the mothers on the lists.

Smith wasn’t just a whiz at direct marketing it seems, he was also unusually pro-active about dealing with customer feedback. If someone wrote to complain about Sudocrem, he would visit the family personally to find out what the problem was.Such dedication paid off in the ’60s and ’70s when lucrative new markets opened up for his creation.

The recipe for Sudocrem hasn’t changed much from the one Thomas Smith first whipped up in 1931. Nowadays it’s a team of gowned workers who mix together the main ingredients – zinc oxide, benzyl alcohol, benzyl benzoate, benzyl cinnamate, and lanolin with various waxes – to produce the thick soothing paste.

From something that started in the back room of a chemist’s shop on the Old Cabra Road, Sudocrem now ships to 44 territories all over the globe from the factory which is now situated in Baldoyle…

In fairness.

Pic montage via Glasnevin heritage

17 thoughts on “Sudo Science

  1. Paulus

    As constant as Calpol when ours were babies:
    A great product from someone who’s unlikely to have been subjected to a Morkeshing degree!

  2. Art Vandelay

    Metanium is where its at these days. I like any good standing Irish man used this on my new born and it burnt the hell out of him and made his skin way worse.

  3. Kolmo

    The name Sudocrem is derived from how the local Dublin mothers pronounced “soothing cream”, apparently.


  4. H

    We have an extra large pot of it that some people will be shocked and/or disgusted to hear was gifted to us when our now 27 year old son was still in nappies. It worked wonders back then and it still does the overnight magic on pesky spots – great stuff altogether :-)

  5. Truth in the News

    The should dispatch a complimentary sample to Leo to soothe the. pain
    he has to endure having to put up with the Shinners

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