Ancient beauty secrets time forgot
Ancient women around the world knew surprisingly much about beauty. In fact, a lot of modern cosmetic products are based on just this ancient knowledge, but we have somehow forgotten this fact. Because in ancient times there were no cosmetic laboratories, ladies relied on what nature provided. Herbs, milk, even pearls, were all part of ancient beauty regimens. Here are some of the ancient beauty secrets of the women from ancient Egypt to India that time may have forgotten but we’re here to bring them out into the light.
1. Ancient beauty secrets: Hydration
Ladies in ancient Egypt were meticulous about their appearance, and that included maintaining soft, smooth skin. They used as moisturisers olive and sesame oils, the oil of bitter almonds and cardamom. In Greece, rose water was used to hydrate dry skin and keep it smooth. But it’s in ancient China that the rich ladies used the most fascinating hydration treatment: pearls. They ingested powdered pearls (and the oyster shells, also powdered) to keep their skin flawless, and they also mixed them with other things to apply as masks. It may sound strange but modern research has discovered that pearl powder does indeed have moisturising properties and that it contains antioxidants in sufficient amounts to be able to accelerate the healing of wounds. In India, brides were treated to a special whole-body mask before the wedding, including turmeric, sandalwood, gram flour, rose water and milk that was said to soften the skin and enhance its tone.
2. Ancient beauty secrets: Acne
Acne, rashes, and pimples are no modern pest, they were well known and hated in ancient times too. That turmeric mask we mentioned above, for Indian brides, also made sure any skin irritations disappeared, because turmeric is a very potent antibacterial agent. In Egypt, people treated skin problems like eczema and psoriasis by adding salt from the Dead Sea to their bath water. Frankincense, whose smell many associate with churches, was used in the ancient world to quickly heal pimples and wounds. It has significant antibacterial properties, so it was a sort of ancient antibiotic. Honey was also widely used in the ancient world as treatment for skin irritations. Like frankincense, it has the valuable ability to kill off all sorts of microorganisms that cause acne and other problems.
3. Ancient beauty secrets: Wrinkles
Poor ancient women, you might think, they didn’t have the vast choice of anti-wrinkle creams, cleansers, lotions and whatnot. But your sympathy would be in vain. Actually, ancient ladies had a veritable arsenal against aging, including some perhaps extravagant means, like eating special mushrooms, but the thing is that they worked. So here are some ancient beauty secrets for anti-aging…In China, for instance, women ate ganoderma or lingzhi, a tree fungus that modern research has proven has a real rejuvenating effect on the whole body, including the skin. It has been found to fight free radicals – the main cause of aging – and also to boost the cardiovascular and nervous system, all factors in the aging of the skin. In Egypt and India, aloe vera was a must in preserving a youthful look. In Greece, roses were revered as a major treatment of age-related skin troubles, since it had the power to rejuvenate dry, saggy skin.
4. Ancient beauty secrets: Brightening
A bright, even skin tone was a mark of beauty in ancient times, as much as it is today, so let’s look at some ancient beauty secrets for face brightening. Women then used a host of treatments for spots and dulling. In Greece, vinegar and lemon juice were common bleachers. In India, rose water erased spots and brightened the skin tone, not to mention its cooling and refreshing effect. Chinese ladies had another secret weapon against spots: soybeans. Science has found that proteins in soy really have the ability to cause skin depigmentation, which is essentially whitening. In Egypt, women used avocado to heal puffy eyes and made a facial scrub from honey and bicarbonate of soda to keep their skin tone even and bright. And in Africa, sub-Saharan Africa more precisely, people used the boiled fruit of a local tree, kigelia, to do away with dark spots.
5. Ancient beauty secrets: Shiny hair
Basically, almost all things that were used in ancient times for beautiful, young skin, could be used to keep the hair strong and shiny. Egyptian women, for example, used oils to nourish their hair and to style it. Coconut oil, cocoa butter and shea butter were common hair care products. In Greece, on the other hand, ladies used to put lemon juice in their hair and stood in the sun to lighten their hair colour. Then there is henna, of course, in India, the Middle East and Egypt. Coconut oil was also a common hair treatment in India too, by the way. It makes the hair stronger and promotes hair growth. In China, you wouldn’t be surprised, rice and more specifically rice water, had various beauty applications. One of these was for beautiful hair. In fact the practice of washing your hair with the water left after boiling rice spread across southeastern China. To this day there is an ethnic group in China, where women boast with pure black, healthy hair even beyond the age of 80. Makes you think, right? Boil some rice with more than the usual amount of water and see for yourself.
Do you know some other ancient beauty secrets that time forgot?