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Beauty Solutions From The Past
Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius)
Stepping Back in Time ~
Beauty solutions are not a new phenomenon as history proves.
Some ideas from the past are truly bizarre and indeed were often the cause of life threatening conditions.
Is there nothing women won’t do in the name of beauty?
Making homemade beauty products today easily crosses paths with the past of ancient customs and rituals from around the world as let’s face it, plants for example, have been around considerably longer than we have and were used regularly for different cosmetics, health remedies and medicinal treatments.
With so many useful ingredients that have been around for centuries that we may be familiar with, let’s take a look at some unusual solutions from across the globe from a bygone era.
Queen Elizabeth 1
Royal Secrets ~
In England during Queen Elizabeth 1 reign, lush ruby red lips were achieved by squashing the remains of insects and applying the rich ruby color directly to the lips. Today lipstick, lip stain, lip balm and lip gloss are all easily made but without the need of squashed bugs!
Another tradition during Elizabethan times in England was ladies favouring the white pale face. For this they used white lead powder which unfortunately was the cause of many premature deaths of women in the 16th century just wanting to be “fashionable”. A popular powder today is bronzing powder which may be rustled up in the kitchen using cocoa powder, nutmeg and even cinnamon (sparingly).
Using a mix of sulphur and safflower petals to dye hair the “in vogue” and trendy red was commonly done by the women of England during the Elizabethan era. The English ladies would die their hair and wigs with this lethal concoction and beauty came with a price of regular nosebleeds, nausea and headaches. Hair dye and hiding grey naturally may be still done at home using fresh ingredients in less harmful ways.
Beauty is International ~
Women the world over have been dying their hair, not just the English ladies.
Iranian women would make a hair dye of henna, tadpoles and blood from black cows.
It was thought the blood gave the cows their ebony coloring and would do the same for human hair. Tadpoles? The mind boggles as to their benefit!
Ladies of ancient Rome were known to rub brown seaweed on their face for rouge or blush.
Back in the early days of Japan, the Japanese Geisha and Kabuki actors were frequently known to swear by nightingale droppings as an effective form of cleanser for removing their thick white make-up.
Cleansers today are easily made in the kitchen without the need of bird droppings, thankfully. Still with nod to the past, carrot and mango butter may be successfully used as the base of a facial cleansing cream.
Egyptian Make-Up Spoon
A blast from the past - Egyptian Secrets
The Legends of The Beauty World ~
The Greeks have a long history of being homemade beauty gurus of their time. One popular beauty treatment among the wealthy and those seeking to turn back the hands of father time was to bathe in crocodile dung.
The excrement was said to have restorative and beautifying benefits for all who wallowed in it. Mixed into natural mud holes or added to a warm mud bath, Grecian women would immerse themselves in this for lengthy periods of time.
The Egyptians were another race of beauty specialists. Beauty at a price comes to mind with their poisonous concoctions.
One of their favourite applications was for men and women to daily paint their eyelids with a mixture called mesdemet which included a dark grey lead.
They also used a green eye paint which included a copper ore.
King of The Jungle
Eureka for Urea ~
Oral hygiene is another aspect not to escape from the past. The Romans were said to be just as keen to have fresh breath and white teeth as we are today. Their idea of mouthwash however was a bit more bizarre.
They would import Portuguese urine as they believed it to be stronger than their own and held amazing whitening and fresh breath qualities when used as a mouthwash. Urine does contain urea and ammonia which help kill germs and treat the gum disease gingivitis so maybe not so insane?
Not to be outdone on the benefits of urine, the Arabian ladies who loved their black as ebony hair to be glossy, sleek and shiny swore by using camel urine and would dip their lovely locks in it regularly.
Another vote up for urine use came from the Venetian ladies who favouring blonde highlighted hair would pour lion urine over their hair before they went into the sun.
Today bleaching hair naturally can come from simple lemon juice as a final rinse on the hair. DIY hair treatments can cover shampoo, conditioner, rinses, intensive treatments, hot oil treatments, hair gel and hair masks so something for everyone without the need for urine.
Lavender & Lavender Oil
Modern Day but Still Steeped in History ~
Many of our oils, fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs , spices, plants and foods have a place in the present day for beauty benefits when applied.
It is so rewarding putting together recipes using basic ingredients such as sugar, olive oil and lemon juice to make a face scrub that actually WORKS without the need of a chemical or toxic ingredient in sight.
Knowing that you are using ingredients that were used thousands of years ago adds a nostalgic element which I for one love.
Even though many remedies and beauty regimes of the past were dangerous it was the start of the billion dollar cosmetics industry we know today.
Learning from what cultures did that were beneficial and applying in our own kitchens seems a good idea to me, how about you?
"Creating health awareness through homemade beauty solutions"
Which area of homemade solutions interests you most to try?
An Assortment of Modern Homemade Beauty Remedies
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- How to Host a Girls' Spa Party
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- Quick and Easy Beauty Tips
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- Beauty Recipes with Turmeric
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Author Info ~
Information on the author, her bio and full body of works available @ Suzie HQ
Credit to sharkye11 ~
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