Though cave drawings from thousands of years before show beauty rituals already existed, many modern beauty practices are linked directly to the ancient Egyptians. Cleopatra, the last Pharaoh of Egypt, was by far the most influential for popularizing beauty rituals. Here are a few things we can credit the Egyptians for giving us and how these are still relevant today:
- Cleaopatra bathed in donkey milk daily (from 700 donkeys) to prevent wrinkles and to soften and brighten skin due to its high concentration of Vitamin C and Protein (higher than cows milk). Milk contains lactic acid, which is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA).
- Creams and oils were used as skin moisturizers and protection from the Mediterranean heat and dry air.
- Physical exfoliators such as sea salt, natron, powdered alabaster or coffee mixed with honey and coconut oil were used for the skin.
- Honey was used for it’s antibacterial and anti-aging properties and was applied on wounds and the skin.
- Aloe Vera was known as a treatment for burns and to improve hair and skin.
- Face masks were created using Fenugreek seeds (herb similar to clover native to the Mediterranean, South Europe and Western Asia).
- Crocodile dung mixed with donkey milk (yes, you read that correctly) was used as a body wash. No wonder this did not stand the test of time.