The idea of beauty, as well as the fight against all that stands to diminish it (aging, free radicals, the sun, etc.), is certainly not a recent conception. Distinct and fascinating beauty rituals can be found in numerous cultures dating back to the ancient world. If I was to venture a guess at the exact moment the concept of beauty was pulled from the ether, it would most likely be the first time a neanderthal caught his/her reflection in a puddle and noticed the bags under their cro-magnon eyes. But a lot can be learned from ancient civilisations’ beauty practices which can still be applied to modern day cosmetics.
Possible the most notoriously beauty-obsessed culture of the ancient world was the ancient Egyptians. A culture so obsessed with appearance and legacy, their leaders required shrines large enough to see for miles around to be constructed as their final resting places. In a culture that celebrated that level of decadence, you can rely on the fact that they had some pretty breakthrough beauty practices for the time. Below are a few of the most noteworthy beauty rituals of ancient Egypt that we still see reflected in cosmetics today.
The ancient Egyptian cultural elite were obsessed with appearance, a fact reflected plainly in their artwork. They were represented as flawless and youthful, even when that was most likely far from true. It was essentially the ancient equivalent of airbrushing your Facebook photos. But despite the efforts to preserve their youthful legacy, they also put quite a lot of effort into fighting signs of aging using an assortment of beauty oils. Castor sesame, moringa, and coconut oils were some of the most popular types used, which is incredible considering we are still using those ingredients in our products to this day!
The soothing, calming effects of aloe vera have been a mainstay of popular cosmetics for about as long as the idea has existed. Since it was such an effective anti-inflammatory as well as a pungent perfume ingredient, the ancient Egyptians figured it might be a miracle ingredient that worked on every aspect of health. They used it as a moisturizer, shampoo, perfume, and even a digestive aide.
When the ancient Egyptians referred the use of body sugars, it was not necessarily what we think of today. They used a very coarse sugar that, when rubbed vigorously in the same spot for a while, would act as an efficient hair removal system. We know and love body sugars as amazing exfoliants but the Egyptians took that to another, presumably painful, level.
Beauty butter is used today as an incredible moisturizer and relaxing spa treatment, but in ancient Egypt, coconut oil, shea butter, or cocoa butter was used for its viscosity to massage into the hair and act as a primitive hair gel. This would give ancient egyptian’s slick hair styles and a nice glossy sheen that was a sign of status.
For years Lira Clinical has been collecting the most effective and best kept secrets in the beauty world, extracting the truth from them, and applying modern day cosmetic science to them in order to create all of their incredible product lines available today!