Makeup and cosmetic products are far from being a recent invention. For centuries, men as well as women have been looking for ways to enhance their appearance using cosmetics. The Ancient Egyptians were innovative thinkers that made a massive contribution to mankind with inventions that are still in use to this day such as the doorlock and written language. But we can also thank them for another thing which many of us also use on a daily basis – makeup.
We now know that some of the techniques they employed were highly inadvisable such as painting their faces with a deadly mixture of lead carbonate and water. They did however pioneer techniques we can learn from and use today. Here are some of them.
Beeswax – The Ancient Egyptians realized that beeswax had moisturizing properties and regularly used it to moisturise their skin from the effects of the hot Egyptian sun. You can buy ready made moisturisers containing beeswax or alternatively you can make your own in combination with other ingredients such as olive oil.
Egg white facials – Ancient Egyptian women used egg white facials to pamper their skin. To make your own, simply whisk one egg white with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, apply and leave for 10-15 minutes before rinsing away with tepid water.
Perfume – Perfumed oils containing frankincense and myrhh were popular in Ancient Egypt. DKNY Delicious Night is an example of a modern perfume containing these ingredients.
Kohl – Outline your eyes with a thick line of kohl eyeliner to recreate the look of beautiful Ancient Egyptian women such as Cleopatra. For a really authentic look, team with colored eyeshadow.
Milk and honey – The Egyptian queen Cleopatra famously bathed in milk to maintain her beautiful skin. To try this for yourself mix fresh milk, honey and almond oil into your bathwater.
Sea salt scrub – For a truly authentic Ancient Egyptian style bath, use ground sea salt as a body scrub to exfoliate your skin after a milk bath.
Rosewater – The Ancient Egyptians created all manner of cosmetic and beauty products using natural ingredients. One such product was rosewater which they used to nourish their skin. There are a number of rosewater beauty products available to buy from facial toners to bath oils. Or if you enjoy getting creative, make your own rosewater by boiling rose petals (make sure they are free of chemicals) in spring water.
Apple cider vinegar – This was used as an invigorating face wash. To try it for yourself, add a 3: 1 ratio of apple cider vinegar to warm water.
This is just a few of the amazing, natural beauty techniques that the Ancient Egyptians pioneered. The trend for cosmetics derived from naturally based ingredients is far from a recent phenomenon. The Ancient Egyptians were way ahead of their time.