From our contributor: Cristal Harkins
Eco-aesthetician and graduate of Hoss Lee Academy of Esthetics. Created NATURDERMA from which beauty and wellness take flight. It provides an oasis that is about eco and client, where personal is professional and clients are considered with special care. Cristal has worked from home and worked with several skin care modalities. Since a little girl, Cristal has been exposed to holistic, earth and animal friendly products, always being in that modality, she has studied products and ingredients in detail. She worked and learned from a holistic skin care creator Dr Noel Aguilar founder of DNA skin care, among the many studies and self experiences with Eco friendly skin care and Skin behavior. Cristal truly walks the talk with herself and clients and in every aspect of her life. Cristal customizes her combination of products to each individual, creating the ideal harmony for each client. She offers a genuine care, personalized touch in every session. Cristal executes in a soothing and relaxing setting. She Graduated IPSB Institute of Psycho-Structural Balancing A school of Holistic Body therapy.
The History of Skincare
The Royalty of Ancient Egypt, 3000 BC-1070 BC
Secrets of the Egyptian Queens
The Ancient Egyptians were known for their knowledge of beauty and their appreciation of luxury. Even today, the remains of their beautiful palaces, temples and monuments attract archeologists and tourists alike. The Egyptians are legendary for their precision and technique, using methods that today’s technology still cannot explain. The need for perfection was something that was very important to them.The Egyptians’ knowledge of beauty was the first culture to develop and record their skin care methods and techniques.
Many Egyptian queens were renowned for mastering the finer points of skin care and beauty. Even today, Cleopatra is considered to have been one of the most beautiful women who ever lived. She was an avid student of beauty techniques and authored one of the first books of beauty secrets. Her secrets included bathing in milk and rubbing her skin with aloe vera. Queen Nefertiti and her two daughters were also known for their beauty and were buried with a number of cosmetic implements, such as tubes of the kohl they used to line their eyes. Queen Thutu was another pioneer of make up and skin care techniques. She used pumice stones to exfoliate her skin, and had a special bronze dish used to mix herbs and plant compounds into beauty ointments and eye shadows.
The Egyptian Desert Effect
Skin care techniques were not only important for queens, but were an important part of Egyptian court life. The hot, dry desert air took its toll on the skin, and many cosmetics were developed to keep the body’s largest organ soft and supple. In fact, combating the climate was one of the main concerns of many Egyptian beauty regimens. Most noble men and women wore their hair short or shaved their heads to allow for better aeration and easier scalp care. They covered their bare heads with elaborate wigs made of human hair, plant fibers and sheep’s wool. Plant oils were used as moisturizers and were liberally applied to the whole body. While these were necessary to combat the effects of the dry air, they were also scented with fine perfumes which helped keep the wearer smelling fresh all day. In fact, the Egyptians were expert at mixing perfumes and many of the perfume pots found in tombs still contain traces of their original scents, thousands of years after they were buried.
While their sense of cleanliness and hygiene may have originated in response to the climate, the Egyptians soon developed elaborate skin care systems based on a deep knowledge of plants, oils and organic compounds. Noble men and women were expected to bathe daily, and many applied scented oils to their bath water. Exfoliating scrubs were made from sand and aloe vera. Numerous formulas for body oils were developed to help treat specific skin ailments. Some formulas, such as those made to fade stretch marks, were intended mainly for women. Others, such as those made to prevent balding and promote hair growth, were intended mainly for men.
The Egyptian nobility also developed a number of cosmetics intended for special occasions. Many perfumes and incenses were used in religious ceremonies, particularly during the last rights before burial. Other cosmetics were used for more festive occasions. Women and men would attend parties, their eyes lined with thick kohl and their heads adorned with their most elaborately decorated wigs. They would often attach cones of perfumed wax to the tops of their wigs. These cones would slowly melt, releasing the scent of jasmine and frankincense into the air.
The Beginning of the Book of How to Make the Old Young
The Egyptians valued youthful vibrance and beauty and developed many concoctions intended to smooth away wrinkles and regrow lost hair. Some of these were even compiled into a book titled The Beginning of the Book of How to Make the Old Young. Fenugreek, a grass-like plant with a number of medicinal and ceremonial applications, was the main ingredient in many anti-aging lotions. Concentrated fenugreek oil was considered to be a potent skin care treatment that would erase wrinkles and other blemishes, leaving the skin eternally youthful. Even in death, good skin care and a youthful appearance were important to the Egyptians. Many tombs contain the perfume pots, the make up containers and the remnants of body oils necessary for maintaining a beautiful, youthful appearance in the afterlife.
Practical Beauty: Skin Care Regimens of the Nile
Oils and lotions were another important part of everyday Egyptian life. They were used to moisturize the skin and protect it from the effects of the sun. While this type of skin care was important for all Egyptians, it may have been even more important for the workers who spent the day outside in the dry desert air. In fact, many workers were paid with tubes of body oil that were used by themselves and their families. Although most did not have access to the specialized formulas made to treat stretch marks or hair loss, it was important that every Egyptian keep their skin soft, well scented, and protected from the sun.
The Egyptians also put an importance on make up that that was different for gender and social class. Eye make up in particular had a number of purposes that went beyond simple aesthetics. The thick eyeliner seen in most Egyptian paintings was usually made of kohl, galena or stibnite. While there is no doubt that lined eyes were considered attractive, it was also believed that eye liner protected the wearer from the Evil Eye. Galena and stibnite were often prescribed by doctors for their medicinal properties, and galena was known to deter pesky flies and other insects. It also performed a similar function to the grease paint used by today’s football players to keep the sun out of their eyes. This function was particularly important for those who spent the day working outside.
While Egyptians may not have invented the idea of holistic beauty, they developed it and perfected it to an extent that we still have yet to reach. The practical, the medicinal, the spiritual and the aesthetic were seen as inseparable and were important for every Egyptian, regardless of social class. Even today, many Egyptian ingredients such as aloe, sodium bicarbonate, myrrh and frankincense are used in the finest natural skin care products.
There were two other main ingredients that the Egyptians used on hair,skin,and nails. Pigments were made from berries, tree bark, minerals, insects, nuts, herbs and leaves. Many of which are still used today. Kohl, a white silver metallic substance related to arsenic and tin was used by the ancient Egyptians as eye makeup. It was often used as eye liner to make eyes look bigger and brighter. The soot from lamps was used on the brows and lashes to darken them, also as a form of eye shadow. Red oxide of iron was used in preparation of face paint. Henna, a dye that comes from the powdered leaves and shoots of the mignonette tree. It was valued for the reddish tint it gave. Cleopatra was fond of using clay from the Nile River, mixed with herbs and essentials oils for facial treatments. Although some of the ingredients use in ancient cosmetic would be considered extremely dangerous these days.
Although many different cultures made skin care and facials for what they are today, my favorite is the ancient Egyptians, they had so much style and grace and really used all resources. They made a big impact on what ingredients we use and ways we do skincare, facials and makeup. Although the Egyptians made a big impact on what beauty and skincare products are today, there are other cultures from around the world that contributed to this as well.
The early Hebrews were known for their beautiful, healthy skin and hair. They bought cosmetics from Judah to Egypt and made herbal preparations for skin, hair, teeth and nails. Products such as frankincense, myrrh, cinnamon, and rosemary were used to anointing and healing the skin. At that time, these crushed trees and essential oils had antibacterial properties that helped prevent diseases but they had no knowledge of its abilities.
The word cosmetics actually comes from the Greek word kosmetikos meaning one is skilled in cosmetics. the Greeks used lots of perfumes, and cosmetics in their religious ceremonies, grooming and medicinal purposes. They built elaborate baths and developed excellent methods of dressing the hair and caring for the skin and nails. Greek women applied white lead to their faces, kohl on their eyes, and vermilion on their cheeks which is a brilliant red pigment made by grinding up cinnabar, a mineral that is a chief source of mercury into a fine powder. It was mixed with ointments or dusted on skin the same way we use and apply cosmetics these days. Around 200 C.E. Galen, a Greek physician, mixed rose water, beeswax, and olive oil together to create what was popular in those days known as cold cream. At times the olive oil was replaced with almond oil but was found that it spoiled easily. In 1907, mineral was then used because it was a more stable formula.Mineral oil is a natural oil from the earth and is comes from petroleum. Unlike other oils mineral oil is colorless, odorless, requires no preservatives is hypoallergenic and has a long shelf life.This product paved the way for Pond’s cold cream which is still a favorite these days.
The ancient Romans adopted the customs of Egyptians and Greeks. They were most famous for their baths, which were beautiful public buildings with separate areas for men and women. Steam therapy, body scrubs and massage were all available at the bath houses. Most times after bathing they would apply rich oils and other concoctions to keep skin looking healthy and attractive. Fragrances made from flowers, saffron, almonds and other ingredients were part of grooming and bathing rituals. The Roman women used infinite amounts of fragrances and cosmetics. Facials made of milk and bread and at times fine wine were very popular. Other facials made of corn, flour, and milk and even flour mixed with butter as well. A mixture of chalk and white lead were used as facial cosmetics. Cheeks and lips were reddened with the coloring of vegetable dyes and colored makeup was also applied to the eyelids and eyebrows. The Romans also developed methods of bleaching and dyeing the hair.
Asians have a long history of health practices. Traditional Chinese Medicine can be traced all the way back to 2900 B.C. Early practitioners were experts in herbal cures and practices of acupuncture. In ancient China, grooming practices and clothing indicated the wearer’s status in society. Nails were also an important part of ones image. In Japan the makeup of the Geisha is still and intricate and highly stylized art. Asians are known for their beautiful costumes, arts and crafts. High standards of cleanliness and adherence to good health habits.
Traditional African medicine features diverse healing systems to be about 4,000 years old,since ancient times. Africans have created remedies and grooming aids from materials found in their natural environment. They also have fashioned intricate and artistic hairstyles, and often used their face and body with colorful pigments and designs. Some of the ingredients in the cosmetic mixes we use today have been used for centuries in Africa for healing and beauty purposes.
The Middle Ages
The Middle Ages was the period of time in European history classical antiquity and the Renaissance, beginning with the downfall of Rome 473 C.E and lasting till 1450. During this time, religion played an important part in peoples lives, healing with herbs was a big use in the churches. Tapestries, sculptures, and other such artifacts from this period showed towering headdresses, intricate hairstyles, and the use of cosmetics on skin and hair. Women wore colored makeup on their lips and cheeks but never on their eyes. Bathing was not a ritual, but fragrant oils were used by those that could afford them.
The Renaissance was the period during which the Western civilization made the transition from medieval to modern history. Painting and written records tell so much about the grooming practices of the time. One of the most unusual practices was shaving the eyebrows and the hairline to show more of the the forehead. A bare brow was given women the look of greater intelligence. During the Renaissance time, men and women took great pride in their physical appearance and wore elaborate, elegant clothing. Fragrances and cosmetics were used, although highly preparations form lips and cheeks and eyes were frowned upon. The hair was carefully dressed and ornaments and headdresses. During the reign of Elizabeth the first, facial mask were popular. Formulas for lotion and packs included ingredients such as powdered eggshells, alum, borax, ground almonds and poppy seeds. Milk, wine, butter, fruits and vegetables were also used in mask and cosmetics and fragrances lavishly used. Although cheeks and lips were colored with makeup, but eye makeup was not in fashion. More elaborate hairstyles and wigs were very popular.
The Age of Extravagance
This era was between 1755 to 1793 which was called the age of extravagance it was the Marie Antoinette times she was the queen of France between that time. Women of status bathed in strawberries and milk and used a number of extravagant cosmetics such as scented face powder from pulverized starch. Lips and cheeks were often brightly colored in pinks and oranges. Small silk patches were often used to decorate face and conceal blemishes. Eyebrows were shaped and glossy substances was used applied to the eyelids, but eyes were not intensely colored. Men and women who could afford it wore enormous powdered wigs and elaborate clothing.
The Victorian Age
The Victorian age marks the time of the reign go Queen Victoria of England 1837-1901. Fashions in dress, hairstyling, and makeup were highly influenced by social mores of this time. The Victorian age was one of the most austere and restrictive periods in history. Makeup and showy cloth was discouraged except in theaters. In the United States people copied European fashions, but wore very little facial makeup. For men and women cleanliness and and personal care were of importance. To preserve the health and beauty of skin, women used beauty mask made from honey, milk, eggs, oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, and other natural ingredients. It was once discovered that women in this time used to pinch cheeks and bit their lips to induce natural color rather then use cosmetics such as lipstick and rouge.
The Twentieth Century
By the 1920’s, industrialization had brought a whole new prosperity to the United States. Influenced by the stars of silent films. Fashion trademarks from this period were brightly colored cupid’s bow mouth and eyeshadow applied beneath the lower lids. A wide variety of creams, oils, and lotions were manufactured fro skin, hair and body care. By the 1930’s Americans were strongly influenced by the media such as newspapers, magazines, radio and motion pictures provided important sources of information on fashions in the United States as well as other countries. Most admired women stars had platinum blonde hair, brightly colored lips and cheeks and pencil thin highly arched eyebrows. Sleek hair and a trimmed neat mustache was popular for men.
In the World War II times, most involved the civilized world, and most young men were in uniform. A clean shaven, closely cropped hair and neatly pressed uniforms were required for service as they still are today. To this day styles seen on the big screen were copied by millions of women all over the world. Even in the war times when there was a shortage of supplies. Sales of cosmetics and grooming supplies continued to grow. Postwar prosperity led to more interest in fashion, hairstyling, and makeup. European designers exerted a strong influence on clothing and hairstyles. A wider selection of cosmetic goods became more available to Americans. Colored foundations, or makeup bases, cleansers, creams, lotions, moisturizers and an array of lip, cheek and eye colors flooded the market. Movie stars continued to influence the makeup and hairstyles. Full eyebrows and lips became very popular. Heavier eyeliner and false eyelashes were used to emphasize the eyes. During the late 1960’s the facial conturing with cosmetics became popular, and the thin eyebrow came back into fashion.
The 1970’s and 1980’s brought exciting changes as manufactures introduced an even wider variety of new products for care of skin and hair. The trend was to look ones best rather then to copy any popular hair or makeup style. There was new interest on the part of men and women in skin care. Many more salons became full service, not only offering hair care and styling, but a full complement of grooming and beauty services. The last two decades of the twentieth century there was awareness and the importance of physical fitness and nutrition. This also extended to skin care as well. Baby boomers demanded products and services that produced visible results. Manufactures and practitioners responded by creating products based on botanicals,antioxidants and vitamins. Spas around the United States offering services thats integrated the principles of both beauty and wellness. Then moving into the 1990’s products and cosmetics with more therapeutic properties was born. Where as before the past skin care philosophy had largely focused on treating the surface and covering flaws with makeup, scientific and technological advances now made it possible to formulate topical products with beneficial effects on the skin. At the end of the decade consumers could choose from an expanding anti-aging treatments including internal supplements that promoted skin care from the inside out and high-tech procedures like microdermabrasion. Preventing the effects of age, stress, and the environmental was the focus of the skin care industry as it entered the twenty first century.
As you have read how all these cultures and times have changed and made what skin care is today. Pretty impressive and very interesting facts. As an esthetician I truly love how the times have changed for skin care. My passion for skin care is influenced by the history of skin and how and what its evolved to be today. Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoy writing. Thank you!
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Kamitian folklore recalls the existence of a miraculous skin cream secretly used by the great sages, mystics, magicians and healers of ancient kamit (ancient egypt), used as an anti-aging skin rejuvenation to maintain radiant, healthy, smooth and glowing skin.
Eminence Organics Rosehip Whip Moisturizer (2oz) fights problematic skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, and sensitive skin with potent hydrators and nutritive vitamins that bring balance to your complexion.
In this highly praised volume, Richard Corson chronicles the pursuit of beauty from Ancient Egypt to the present day. Concentrating mainly on makeup traditions of the Western world, with some examples from other countries included for comparison, Corson describes the cosmetics with which men and women have decorated their faces, how they have applied them, and what they looked like as a result. This edition has an additional 16 new pages by fashion historian James Sherwood to bring makeup trends up to the present day. It is an essential reference for students, makeup artists, costume designers, actors, illustrators, beauty consultants, social historians, and all those interested in the use and application of cosmetics.
The definition of a beautiful face has never been constant. See how political and social climates have molded accepted beauty rituals and the evolution of cosmetics from ancient times through today. This colorful reference book chronicles historic trends for the eyes, lips, and face, and offers in-depth aesthetic reviews of each decade from the 1920s to today. Follow the rich history of facial trends through fascinating and bizarre vintage ads; detailed makeup application guides; and profiles of famous makeup innovators, connoisseurs, and iconic faces. Over 430 images, timelines, and detailed vintage color palettes show the changing definitions of beauty and document makeup innovations (the first mascara, lipstick, eye shadow, etc.) that have evolved throughout the history of cosmetics. This is an ideal reference for the professional makeup artist, cosmetologist, educator, student, and general makeup enthusiasts.