Ancient Egyptian Beauty Secrets
Cleanliness is next to godliness…
Mastering the art of beauty and splendour, the ancient Egyptian women took pride in their attractiveness and devoted much time in maintaining their appearance. In pursuit of external godliness, they celebrated the discovery of any novel beauty treatment and would eagerly add it to their intense regimen. Making use of a variety of natural oils, soaps, creams, and organic substances such as salt from the Dead Sea, they utilized the materials around them to create effective recipes for beauty. Although 5000 years ago, the original purpose of makeup for the Egyptians was to protect their skin from sunlight, they readily embraced it`s beautifying effects.
Cleopatra recognized the benefits of adding Dead Sea salt (1-2 cups) into her bath, which is now known to combat stress and aging. Containing 35% of minerals per litre of water, the Dead Sea also served as a powerful skin rejuvenator, combating skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis. The naturally found clays and minerals directly absorb into the skin directly receiving it`s beneficial properties. It is no wonder that Egyptians pioneered the spa industry, as their ancient beauty routines and lavish bathing were paramount back then and still widely revered today.
Additionally, Egyptians cleansed their skin with milk and honey, followed by an application of almond oil, fragranced with Frankincense and Myrrh. In fact, the principal ingredients to most of their perfumes were lavender, lily, myrrh, thyme, marjoram, chamomile, peppermint, rosemary, cedar, rose, aloe, olive oil, sesame and almond oil. These perfumes were also an additive to a hot bath as well as flowers like jasmine, gardenia, hibiscus, magnolia, and rose.
Hair and nails were dyed using henna (a flowering plant), both in purpose to connect them to Mother Earth as well as liven up their dazzling hairstyles and nails to compliment their fashionable garments. Hair was cleansed with coconut milk or warm extra virgin olive oil to strengthen and condition. Amazingly, even then hair extensions were used to volumize hair, applied using beeswax and resin, these beauty extras allowed women to transform their locks into modes of artistic expression. Body hair however, was considered unsightly and its removal was of major importance to Egyptian women.
An application of fresh ripe avocado to the face was not uncommon, left on for 20 minutes while avocado slices could be used to reduce eye puffiness. Another treasured substance was Aloe Vera used both for smoothening skin and healing minor cuts and burns. For one’s complexion, Balanos oil, Behen oil, and Almond oil were used to prevent dry skin and aging. Last, makeup was a daily requirement for men and women alike; eyes outlined, eyebrows painted, and lashes darkened. Feline/almond eyes were desired and its shape was imitated using green or black colour (kohl).
Clothing was mostly transparent linens, kept immaculately clean. Gold jewellery was an added adornment, the more the better.
Ancient Beauty Recipes:
One Teaspoon Sweet Almond Oil
Two Drops of Essential oil of Frankincense
– Massage on clean face nightly.
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 c yogurt
– Make it into a paste and apply it as a mask, leave on for 15 minutes. Wipe off with wet towel.
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp cream
– Apply to face and wash off after 3-5 min.
– Mix as a paste, apply to face and wash off after 3-5 min.
Hair Tonics (to encourage growth) included one or more of the following:
Fir oil, rosemary oil, (sweet) almond oil, castor oil and fennugreek.
– Fenugreek was also added to facial tonics.