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Guthy Renker Corporation

Beauty Products Throughout the Ages

With all the billions of dollars spent annually worldwide on skin care products, sometimes we may find ourselves asking, How did it get to this ? When did this become the norm for me to awaken each morning and before I even go outside have to paint my face from completely? Certainly a woman way back in history did not all of a sudden wake up one day and decide to put on eyelashes, lipstick, eyeliner, base, and blush all at once. As you might have guessed, it was a combination of thousands of years and lots of errors.

The Egyptians were the first to use cosmetics. That was over four millenia ago. Good hygeine and appearance were terribly critical to the Egyptians. Egyptians had the belief that the appearance had a direct connection with the health of the soul. They attempted to always appear neat and smell good. And with a society who values their appearance, they are invariably going to have humans who are going to make themselves stand out. The Egyptians, being the innovative society they were, implemented cosmetics for reasons that were even more intelligent than just attempting to look great.

A mixture of lead ore and copper known as Mesdemet was the origin of eye shadow. The dark colors they believed would avert evil eyes from their own. It was also a great sterilizer and insect repellent. Kohl was a dark powder that was also put on around the eyes in an oval shape. It was a mixture of lead, ash, ochre, copper, and burnt almonds. To further complement their appearance, Egyptians would apply a combination of water and red clay to the cheekbone area. They would also paint their nails hues of orange and yellow with a substance known as henna.

Success was often measured by a person's light skin color. A person was not obligated to work if they had enough money. So it was very important for some socialites to have a white complexion. To get this look, ladies (and men too) would apply a mixture of hydroxide, lead oxide, and carbonate in a powdered form to put on their faces and bodies. Unfortunately, this lead to a sometimes fatal side effect, lead poisoning.To remedy this, chemists in the early nineteen hundreds at last discovered a mixture of zinc oxide that did not block the skin from being able to breathe and kept people out of that annoying lead poisoning death. It worked so well that it is still practiced today by cosmetics producers.

As time past and civilizations were exposed to each other more and more, the Grecian people began to pick up on the various practices of the Egyptians way with cosmetics. Greek women would give themselves a pale color with a base that had lead in it. This ended up being terminal more than once. As the Romans began to pick up the cosmetics habits, the effort to achieve beauty became much less about functionability and turned into much more exotic routes. The Romans would decorate their nails with a mixture of sheeps blood and cooked body fat. An ancient Roman man once stated, A woman without paint is like food without salt.

A white skin color was the fashion around the world after the Egyptian civilization faded. A tanned, sun-dried face was associated with being a plebeian who labored outdoors all day along with her spouse. The upper echelon women obviously did not participate in manual labor like that therefore they stayed inside and had white skin.

Exttravagant and glamorous parties were thrown by urban ladies with throw away wealth in the King Edward era of London. As hostesses of the shindig, it was important for them to be the best looking woman at the gathering, so it was crucially important for them to look as youthful as they possibly could. Women at that time who experienced these excessive lifestyles did not eat well, would not work out, and inhaled the heavily polluted air that the cities of the time produced. Women would need products like anti-aging foams and face creams to mask their blemishes. Routine trips to the salon were also a regular part of the day. It was a bit different in the past than it is today. Women would go into the back of the salons and cover their faces as they went in. One of the most famous of these secret beauty parlors was the House of Cyclax, that would sell foams and rouges to women. Mrs. Henning, the owner, sold and invented multiple products for her desperate consumers who did not want everybody to know that they were getting older.

The modern day woman is the benefactor of all these years of trial and error with a practically unlimited choice of products for any look they want to achieve. There are thousands of cosmetics producers who produce products in this now billion dollar per year industry. Beauty products sell year round and even in times of financial hardship. Therefore ladies, thank your ancestors and their concern for their personal appearance for your own that you have nowadays. There were possibly mornings when they woke up and didn’t really want to go through the trouble of putting on their face either.

Guthy Renker Corporation

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