With the increasing popularity of makeup in the current scenario, the makeup sector has become a lot more profitable and complicated. Today, new cosmetics lines are being created through the mixed efforts of some cosmetologists, and dermatologists. Makeup has been in use for a longer period now. Some researchers have discovered that the love for makeup goes way back around 6,000 years to Ancient Egyptians. During the ancient Egyptian era, both men and women liked wearing makeup. During that time, a soft rock known as red ochre was used as a pigment. With this blog post, we are sharing some history of cosmetics and the evolution of makeup throughout the years.
Ingredients Used in/as Makeup/Skincare Products
The history of cosmetics goes way back than you might think. Makeup and skincare products have been used for years to create a very personal statement since the Ancient Egyptian era. There was the use of Scented oils and creams that were used to clean up and get softer and smoother skin. It was also used to mask body odor. During that time, Women also used lead ore and copper minerals were also used as make-up. These were applied to the faces for color correction and to define the face.
During those years, Kohl was made from oxidized copper, burnt almonds, copper ores, lead, and ash. It was widely used to give definition to the eyes and create the iconic almond shape as seen in the sculptures.
Ancient Greek women also used to put white lead on their faces and crushed mulberries were also used as rouge. Just like the present situation, there was a trend to accentuate the brows, but rather than coloring them, people would add on fake eyebrows that were made from oxen hair. During that time, The Romans used to treat the spots on their skin and pimples with the use of barley flour and butter. They also used to color their nails with blood (Yes, you read that right!).
Some treatments like Mud baths were highly popular and some Roman men also used to dye their hair blonde. In China, people used to follow the practice of painting their fingernails, with gum Arabic and gelatine along with beeswax. Colors like Silver, Gold, Black, and Red were used to show social status.
There was also a lot of use of Castor oil in makeup thousands of years ago. Castor oil is still in use widely in some makeup and skincare products. In India, Kohl and henna have been used for beauty for thousands of years. Previously, kohl used to be made from a combination of ashes, lead, burnt almonds, etc.
Skincare/Makeup Techniques Followed Back in Time
There were a lot of beauty trends that were followed by people. However, The riskiest beauty trends during the ancient time were the use of white lead and mercury. The use of such material not only ruined the skin but also caused other problems like hair loss, and stomach problems, and they could even lead to death.
Around the 1800s, there was a use of belladonna to give the eyes a bigger appearance and it would also make them look more luminous, even after being aware that it was poisonous to use. A lot of cosmetics were created by local pharmacists who were known as apothecaries in England. They were made using common ingredients available which included mercury and nitric acid. During that time, Hair dyes were made from coal tar. There were also other techniques used during the ancient era and a few of them are mentioned below:
For freckle removal
The juice out of the chickweed was added to three times its quantity of water, then it was put on the skin for five to ten minutes during morning and evening.
A wash for the complexion
A teaspoon of flour of sulfur along with a glassful of lime water was well shaken and mixed with half a glass of glycerine and a glass of rose water was rubbed on the skin every night before hitting the sack.
To keep hair from turning gray
Butternuts were soaked with a quarter of water and then it was mixed with an ounce of copperas. This was then applied to the hair with a soft brush every two or three days.
Current Scenario with Makeup
During ancient times, Queen Cleopatra used lipstick which got its color from crushed carmine beetles. Also, there was a use of a mixture of a type of clay and water to add some color to their lips. However, something that was very common during those times was the use of kohl by both men and women. They applied kohl in their eyes which was made with a mixture of different metals, ash, along some burnt almonds. The kohl was believed to prevent the effect of evil eyes and precarious spirits and to decrease the effect of scorching heat caused by the desert sun.
Up until the end of the 19th century, makeup wasn’t as bold and colorful as before. There was a trend of pale skin. It was believed that lower-class women were the ones who used to wear a lot of makeup. They were distinguished by colorful eyes, cheeks, and lips. Then other women used ceruse (which was a mixture of lead and vinegar) and it was widely used for painting necks and faces.
During the 20th century, there was the use of products that are recognized today such as lipsticks, mascaras, and nail paints. However, Makeup was not that common among women during the early 1900s and it was introduced around 1910 in the US, Paris & Europe with a very big impact on theater and some ballet performers.
In the 1920s, a lot of African Americans also used skin bleaching to lighten their skin tone and opted to straighten their hair to look even whiter. As of now in the 21st century, there are a lot of multi-billion dollar cosmetic companies that have come up. These companies have to follow particular government regulations to create a safe and harmless product. As a result, consumers are not susceptible to any type of serious injuries or health risks. However, they may have a certain rash or some irritation at max.
Moreover, modern makeup is highly used by men rather than just women for enhancing their facial features. Some appearance-conscious men commonly use concealer to hide their imperfections. There are a lot of brands that are bringing up men’s skincare and makeup products like facial cream, lotion, and moisturizer.
We have a lot to learn from the history of cosmetics and makeup. However, the brands that we use now are very conscious of what they put in their products and we can say that a lot has changed ever since with the evolution of makeup.
Stay tuned to the blog for more such content on makeup and beauty!