Before beauty and skincare brands graced our markets, men and women in ancient times had to make do with what they had and could access, and resort to other methods to suit their beauty needs. Most of what they used were organic, of course, but they were dangerous. In fact, they were so dangerous that some of the products slowly killed them!
So, to be thankful for our safer and much nicer-smelling beauty products, here are 5 ancient beauty products we’re glad doesn't exist today!
Lead or Arsenic Based Face Powders
Ah, the most popular brand (or type?) of face powders in the Old World! Dating back to Ancient Greece, lead or arsenic based face powders rose in popularity because the trends of the time favored smooth and pale complexions. Those who were not so lucky to have smooth and pale skin layered this on their faces to cover their flaws, leading their internal organs to be slowly poisoned, and as a consequence, killing them. Yikes!
Before you cringe at the thought of applying poop all over your face, FYI, there are still poop facials at spas today - albeit not from crocodiles, and they’re mixed in with a variety of other products to be “more effective” on the skin. But during the time of the Roman Empire, men and women tried to slow down their skin’s aging process by applying crocodile dung mixed in with mud all over their faces and bodies because of their supposed beautifying and anti-aging properties. The things we do to stay young…
Back when Sally Hansen, OPI, Zoya, and Essie didn’t exist yet, the only possible nail polish women could use were red because they were derived from the blood of animals, which gave their nails a “stained” look. They must have had some expensive nail polishes at the time!
Men and women before, no matter what their status was in society, never had the luxury of using hairspray, styling mousses, dry shampoos, and more. And what a pity, because they had to resort to using lard to style their wigs (their hair was never really that big or high, you know), which would then attract rats! The worst part is these wigs were attached to their real hair, so to avoid a rat problem, they would sleep with cages over their wigs.
Egyptians were the pioneers of the smoky eye and the feline flicks, and they did this all with the help of kohl, another lead based product. To create those sultry eyes they were known for, they would apply kohl all over their lids and lash lines and use them as mascara, too. If applying lead powders damaged your internal organs, what more when you apply it close to your eyes!