Women all over the world have been trying to be beautiful since the beginning of time, even without the benefits of technology. However, these sometimes clever inventions and solutions weren’t always safe. Even though it is interesting to look back, we can be thankful that we have regulations and safe products and solutions to enjoy now.
In ancient Greece, pale skin was considered “in.” Powder makeup was made from chalk and white lead, and lead was also used to clear blemishes. This is before lead was known to be dangerous. Skin was also softened using fruits, oils, and honey.
Ancient Egyptians moisturized their skin with milk baths and olive oil, and exfoliated with crushed pumice stones. Pumice stones are still used in many approaches to skin care today.
In ancient China, nails were painted with things like beeswax and egg whites.
In the Middle Ages, aloe and ginger were popular in skin care. Moisturizer was made with myrrh and frankincense. Blemishes were treated with astringent called alum.
Zinc oxide was used to lighten the skin during the Industrial Revolution, when pale skin was still considered the pinnacle of beauty. Selling and buying cosmetic products was a frowned upon practice, and honey, egg, and oatmeal were popular ingredients in natural skin care.
Hair removal became popular in the early 1900s, as well as makeup and the use of cold creams. Starting in the 1900s, many important figures in beauty such as Eugene Schueller, Max Factor, and Elizabeth Arden invented new methods and products of makeup and skin care.
In modern times, companies emphasize the use of natural and hypoallergenic products. We now have many treatments to improve the look of skin, like laser resurfacing and chemical peels. We can expect beauty trends to continue to change with the seasons.