Cosmetic history: make up every now and then
Posted On April 13, 2021
With the introduction of so many new and amazing products to the cosmetic world, you might think that these makeups and other beauty products were discovered just now. But then, the history of cosmetics goes back to ancient times, from the ancient Egyptian era to be exact.
That said, we can say that this cosmetic history is really very rich. For starters, both men and women had already used makeup thousands of years before, and this can be proven by archaeologists’ discovery of numerous jars of makeup items within Egyptian tombs dating to around 3000 BC. C.
We all know that in the past, Egyptians worked hard and were exposed to the heat of the sun in the desert for long periods. And so, to combat the scorching heat, they formulated a product very similar to the lotions we have today, specifically, lotions that soothe dry skin and at the same time help prevent wrinkles.
Egyptian women also began to use kohl to line their eyes. Kohl is a chemical element that contains antimony or lead sulfide. This eyeliner was used by both men and women as an eye shadow. The most used color for this was green.
Although we are aware that lead has some toxic properties, sadly, people in the early days had no idea that their makeup or cosmetics were slowly poisoning them. Also, in the Babylonian relics, experts had unearthed white lead that was probably applied as a base to make the face appear lighter or whiter. The Greeks were also found to use white lead for the sole purpose of enhancing their skin tone.
This trend of looking paler had intensified until the middle of the 19th century. During this time, most women and some men wanted to have a pale face. They thought that this look was a mark of aristocracy, particularly for people who didn’t have to bake in the sun while cultivating the fields and eventually got a darker complexion in the process.
And as proof that people went totally crazy over this lighter skin tone, women even went to such lengths to bleed just to make their faces appear pale. But of course the habit of using paint and white powder was still there to accompany the bleeding practice.
In the early 1600s, the modern look didn’t just encompass pale skin tone, as red lips, rosy cheeks, and brighter eyes already existed. A blush or makeup of red or brown tones was also commonly applied to the cheeks and lips. However, to achieve big eyes, women once again turned to another toxic element which was arsenic. They also rinsed their eyes with certain acidic juices such as lemon and orange. In exaggerated cases, the women even used hallucinogenic nightshade that came from the deadly nightshade plant. This is usually dropped into the eyes to enlarge the pupils and achieve peaceful, dreamy looking eyes.
Finally, after thousands of years, people have become wiser and more concerned about the things that are put into their body and this is how they were able to discover that they are actually poisoning themselves little by little and that the culprit is the toxic . ingredients in makeup or cosmetics. As a result, in this century, medical experts have finally started trying to regulate cosmetic ingredients to make users safer and prevent toxic lead, mercury, aluminum, carbon, etc., from running into it. of their bodies with the skin or mouth as the entry point. However, in the US, the cosmetic industry continues to fight regulation of ingredients used in the manufacture of personal care products.
In conclusion, this is not the end of the history of cosmetics as it is certain that more new products will come and we all know that anything goes in the 21st century. Take wrinkle fillers, non-surgical cosmetic procedures, and creating facial enhancers like Botox as examples. All these cosmetics, to beautify a person, are gaining followers, but they are still full of toxins.
With this, we can say that all the products that are to arrive in the future will be aimed at making us look as if 15 years had been subtracted from our original age, but at what cost! Interesting indeed, right?