Makeup may appear to be a modern phenomenon but contrary to popular belief, cosmetics were also considered essential in ancient days. You may have heard Cleopatra’s – the great Egyptian Queen’s name in discussions related to makeup!
Ancient Egyptians were highly self-conscious about their appearance. In fact, they were so meticulous that they insisted on being well-dressed even after death. The different items discovered during explorations have unveiled these nuances of ancient Egyptian beauty practices.
In this blog post, we will discuss ancient Egypt’s beauty secrets and their importance in the respective era.
Why was makeup important in ancient Egypt?
It is no secret that ancient Egyptians were beauty-obsessed individuals. You will never see a picture of that time without the person laden with heavy makeup. Both men and women cared about how they looked and engaged in various rituals and practices to boost it.
One of the most interesting facts about ancient Egyptian makeup is how Egyptians at that time used makeup for more than just accentuating their beauty. Irrespective of gender, everyone used to use several cosmetics on their face and massage them all over it to safeguard it from the harsh weather and the heat.
Lastly, they also felt hygiene was vital to the body and that taking care of one’s physique was a symbol of dignity.
Beauty Secrets of Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egyptians had particular routines and products that helped them maintain their beauty and protect their skin!
Men and women used kohl to enhance their inherent attractiveness. Even now women feel using kohl or eyeliners results in big, beautiful eyes just like how you might have seen in Ancient Egyptian historical art. Aside from beauty, the broad kohl line over the eyes shielded the eyes from the desert sun’s harsh glare and had antibacterial effects.
Lipsticks were created by combining vegetable oil with ochre and, in some instances, squashed beetles. The result was a beautiful color that made them feel pretty and protected their lips from getting parched and dry.
However, ancient Egyptian beauty secrets like these caused more harm than benefit. It is said that these products were highly poisonous and posed risks of diseases and even death.
Exfoliation and Hydration
Ancient Egyptians did not put on makeup directly on their face. Instead, they would first exfoliate using Dead Sea salts. This would eliminate contaminants and provide a smoother base for any product application.
To further hydrate their skin, they took long milk baths and used coffee scrubs. Coffee scrub for the skin relieves inflammation, enhances blood flow, eliminates dead skin cells, reduces puffiness, enhances skin tone and texture, and gives the skin a youthful glow.
They also applied body oils made from almonds, castor oil and even flowers to protect and shield themselves from the harsh climate.
Beauty for Ancient Egyptians wasn’t only about makeup. Because they prioritized hygiene and self-care, they considered hair unclean and uncivilized. Women waxed using a sugar, lemon, and water combination to eliminate hair and maintain smooth skin. This hack has been reinvented as ‘sugaring’ in modern times and is considered quite popular.
Honey and milk are considered essential components for any home made mask today. This stems from ancient Egyptian beauty secrets. Milk has lactic acid that hydrates and exfoliates the skin. Egyptians combined milk and honey to make face masks that kept their skin healthy and shiny.
Egyptians used avocado slices to reduce puffiness beneath their eyes. This nutrient-dense fruit can help with more than just swollen eyes.
It also aids in:
- the removal of dark circles and eye bags
- the reduction of wrinkles, and
- the reduction of fine lines.
Nails and Eyebrows
Egyptians used henna, a coloring agent, to color their nails yellowish-orange. This is more common in asian culture today but is astonishing where the idea originated from. In addition to leaving a dye behind, it promotes growth and is a natural conditioner. Because it provides a cooling effect after application, it was often utilized as a cooling agent in hot weather.
Ancient Egyptians preferred black and prominent brows which is now back in fashion. Previously they filled their eyebrows with burned almonds using the charred nuts as vitamin E-filled eyebrow liners.
Egyptians’ eating choices also reflected their fascination with beauty. They devoured dates in massive quantities as they have antioxidants, protein, and fiber. They are a fantastic energy source and provide various health advantages.
Ancient Egyptians exhibited their expertise and interest in maintaining their body. They understood and practiced the concept of healthy body care, leaving behind many beauty hacks still used today.