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A Timeless Obsession with Beauty: How Skin Care Products Evolved Over the Years

Cleopatra was known to announce her arrival with the scent of essential oils wafting in the air. She’s also famous for bathing in milk with rose petals, and using other natural ingredients like almond oils and honey to maintain her infamous beauty. This may be considered as ultra-luxurious beauty rituals during the ancient years, but all women from back then had some sort of regimen to maintain their beauty. The only difference between the rituals back then and what women do today is the ingredients used.

Today, you can purchase beauty products from dozens of brands with hundreds of variants, depending on the skin type that you have. During the ancient times, women had to rely on ingredients which can be found in nature. Here, we will take a look at how a skin care ritual in general has evolved over the years.

Year Highlights in the History of Skin Care

From bathing in milk during the ancient times to buying bottled skin care products today, here are the highlights in the history of skin care:

  • Ancient Egyptians

It was in 1400 B.C. that ancient Egyptians were known to have used herbs and essential oils for skin care. To decorate the skin, henna and pumice stone was used along with scented creams. Body oils were used to protect the skin from the harsh rays of the sun – and everyone from queens to the laborers benefited from the use of such body oils.

  • Ancient Greeks

In Greece, athletes were known to prepare for competitions by applying sand and oil onto the skin. Not only does it help protect the superficial layer of the skin from burns, but the oil also makes the skin look sleek and beautiful. Another use of body oils during the time of the Ancient Greeks was to heal the marks on the bellies of women after giving birth. This was known to minimize the appearance of the marks, which are now called post-pregnancy stretch marks.

  • Ancient Romans

If you think that people from the ancient times did not suffer from acne, think again. During the time of the Ancient Romans, hot mineral and sulphur-infused baths were used to battle acne. Olive oil extract, strawberry leaves and even lead-based facial products were used to battle acne. Unfortunately, lead-infused powders, facial peels and foundations also became popular back then. Queen Elizabeth I even suffered from facial disfigurement as a result of using lead-based beauty products.

  • Early 1900s

From the 1900s onwards, beauty product manufacturers like L’Oreal, Max Factor, Elizabeth Arden and Maybelline poured money into researching which ingredients really worked for skin care. Today, whether you are battling acne or are looking for an anti-ageing solution, there is a cosmetic product that will surely work for you. The business of beauty has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. Although the products are mostly geared for women, there are also skin care and beauty products which are specifically designed for men. What’s good about the modern products is that you can experiment with different brands until you find one that best suits your skin care needs.

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