Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The History of Beauty Products

Annually billions of dollars are spent worldwide on beauty and cosmetic products. I am sure many of us often ask how we got to the point of making use of such products and when did it become standard to have to wake in the morning, bath or shower using soaps and gels, shampoos and conditioners and then before leaving home applying makeup and spraying on perfume and deodorant. Beauty and cosmetic products we know today came about due to thousands of years of mistakes as well as trial and error. Four thousand years ago the Egyptians believed that hygiene was an important aspect of the spirit and personal wellbeing.

The Egyptians were always neat as they were a society that valued their appearance and were also a very creative and inventive culture and they had the specific reasons behind the cosmetics and beauty products that were more than just making their appearance more beautiful. For example the Egyptians original eye shadow was made from a copper derivative. These dark shades were used around their eyes to ward off the evil eye and at the same time was an effective bug repellent and disinfectant. They also made use of kohl which was a combination of burnt almonds, copper, ash and ochre to adorn the eyes. They also applied a mixture of red clay and water to their cheeks and painted their nails with a yellow and orange henna chemical. It was well-known that the Egyptians bathed in milk and flower essence such as Neroli and others. Many of the ingredients used for their beauty regime proved to be fatal. Greek women also began following the Egyptians cosmetic and beauty rituals and started applying a pale hue that was direct based to their faces which once again proved fatal. Long after the Egyptian empire diminished the Romans began making use of sheep's heated body fat and blood to paint their nails. A dark tanned skin was associated with being peasants and pale white complexions the wealthy upper class. Men and women used a powder concoction of carbonate, lead oxide and hydroxide which was applied to their skin and faces.

Once again people suffered from lead poisoning. At the turn of the 19th century a chemist developed a zinc oxide combination that was extremely effective and produced creams and rouges. This combination is still used by beauty and cosmetic manufacturers today. Due to the benefactor of these fatal mistakes, there is an unlimited range of beauty and cosmetic products which has become a very competitive billion dollar industry.