Lifebuoy Soap – Advert, 1940

Lifebuoy was introduced in England by Lever Brothers in 1895, and marketed as a soap that could be used in every part of the house, from the bathroom to the kitchen.  It was originally, and for much of its history, a carbolic soap, containing phenol (carbolic acid, a compound extracted from coal tar), but in later versions the phenol was removed

Lifebuoy’s popularity reached its peak between 1932 and 1948.  After World War Two, when more materials were available and rationing was over, other more appealing soaps began to take hold of the market. Its popularity steadily waned.

This is an example of the style of advert found in local newspapers during World War Two for the product.


Advert for Lifebouy SoapMeet Donald…

Aged 13 years. Sent to Granny when war started.  Then home for a while. Now back with Granny. Still missing lessons.

But he’s never missed a day of health training

Granny doesn’t hold a teacher’s diploma. But she carries ono the job of health teaching with Dom,  She’s the first to say what a simple job it is. The Lifebuoy habit is learned so easily.  And remembered so well.

That’s why, whoever they are, children wash regularly with Lifebuoy, because the habit comes so naturally.  And, though even playtime has meant more health risks, Lifebuoy has dealt with dirt and the germs it carries.


Lifebuoy protection is as sure as it is simple. So Mothers, and guardians, go on teaching the Lifebuoy habit, and using Lifebuoy themselves for house cleaning too.  The clean Lifebuoy smell gives confidence, for it tells of health work well done!

Lifebuoy – The health friend

Source: Bromley & District Times, 9th August 1940 (page 2) and Wikipedia

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  1. […] Lifebuoy Toilet Soap was very much of a popular product being used during the Second World World.   It reached it peak during this period, before its popularity dwindled when rationing ended and more appealing products came to the market.We previously featured an advert for Lifebuoy from 1940, which featured a young boy and his granny: Lifebuoy Soap – Advert 1940 […]

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