Facial tissue has been used for centuries in Japan, in the form of washi or Japanese tissue, as described in this 17th-century European account of the voyage of Hasekura Tsunenaga:
"The English blow their noses in soft silky papers the size of a hand, which they never use twice, so that they throw them on the ground after usage, and they were delighted to see our people around them precipitate themselves to pick them up."
In 1924, facial tissues as they are known today were first introduced by Kimberly-Clark as Kleenex. It was invented as a means to remove cold cream. Early advertisements linked Kleenex to Hollywood makeup departments and sometimes included endorsements from movie stars (Helen Hayes and Jean Harlow) who used Kleenex to remove their theatrical makeup with cold cream. It was the customers that started to use Kleenex as a disposable handkerchief, and a reader review in 1926 by a newspaper in Peoria, Illinois found that 60% of the users used it for blowing their nose. The other 40% used it for various reasons, including napkins and toilet paper
Facial tissue and paper handkerchiefs are made from the lowest basis weights tissue paper (14 18 g/m2). The surface is often made smoother by light embossing. These paper types consist usually of 2–3 plies. Because of high quality requirements the base tissue is normally made entirely from virgin eucalyptus pulp, but might contain added selected recycled fiber. The tissue paper might be treated with softeners, lotions or added perfume to get the right properties or "feeling". The finished facial tissues or handkerchiefs are folded and put in pocket-size packages or a pop-up box dispenser.