From the ancient Egyptians to modern times, people have always been concerned about skin care and cosmetics. As a human race, it seems we’ve all been searching for the fountain of youth — for centuries! This brief history of skin care is fascinating as it reveals the lengths people have gone to for youthful and beautiful appearances.
6,000 years ago, Egyptians were applying makeup for beauty — but they were also using it to repel insects and protect their skin from the sun. They also used makeup in rituals that honored their gods and goddesses.
Concerned about their skin, they used creams, oils, and baths of milk to soften the skin.
Their makeup was made from stone or metals that had been ground up to create a radiant look. They also used animal fat or soot for a darker, more dramatic look around the eyes. Kohl was used as an eyeliner, and was a mixture of lead, almonds, soot, copper, and animal fat. Unfortunately, the ingredients the Egyptians used were not always safe, and may have led to eye infections.
How’s your supply of crocodile dung? In ancient Rome, some women used the substance to improve their complexion. We’re grateful for modern, but natural, products that soften skin and smooth fine lines, but still steer clear of any sort of animal dung!
The ancient Romans also used scrubs made of seeds, orris root, and honey to improve their skin’s texture, and face masks made of eggs and starch were used to tighten the skin.
Pale skin was the sought-after look of those who could afford it because it provided a contrast to the lower-class people who were tanned from working under the sun on farms. Women would use white powder on their face to attempt to look more pale. They would even use white lead paint, which contained arsenic! Sadly, some women died from its use. Women would even undergo “bleeding” to get the pale look that was so in fashion.
Traveling salesmen roamed about, peddling “cures” for freckles and other miracle face creams. During the 16th and 17th centuries, women used toners made from rhubarb, spices, and wine. They also used egg whites as a foundation so they could showcase a shiny, taut look.
— Health (@Health_phoneba) August 18, 2017
The 19th Century
Following the decadent era of the French Restoration, when overly-made-up faces were the norm, the 19th century took a simpler approach to makeup and women kept their faces clear of makeup for a while. But just like in the Medieval times and ancient Egyptian times, dangerous trends eventually caught on in the 19th century.
Pale skin was back in, and some women would ingest Arsenic Complexion Wafers to achieve the look. While this “method” did bring about pale skin, it also caused anemia and damage to internal organs.
But by the end of the 19th century, beauty shops began to pop up. Lead and copper were no longer used, and zinc oxide became a more common ingredient in cosmetics.
The 20th Century
By the 20th century, mass production made skin care products and cosmetics available to all women. Ointments, salon procedures, creams, and more were on the market and improving all the time. The 1970s brought natural ingredients, and in the 1990s, vitamins A, C, and E began to be incorporated into skin care products for their healing properties.
And now, in the 21st century, we’re seeing antioxidants, sunscreens, and more. Consumers are turning away from animal-derived or -tested ingredients, and are looking for natural ingredients that can heal and restore youthful looks.
While some of the habits in the history of skin care seem a bit crazy to us now, we aren’t immune from dangerous cosmetic practices. In fact, cosmetics do not need to be entirely approved by the FDA. Because of this, natural ingredients are often safer than chemical compositions, and products that also utilize vitamins and more are better for your skin — giving you real results.
At Kaiderma, our products are natural, never tested on animals, and use soothing ingredients that restore youthful appearances and keep your skin looking beautiful and fresh. See how our toner, serum, scrub, and more can give you the fresh, youthful clean you want.