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Guthy Renker Corporation

Skin Products Throughout the Times

How did we as humans get to the point where we spend billions of dollars annually on cosmetics and it became the social standard for women to wear cosmetics everyday Assuredly a female way back in old times did not all of a sudden wake up one day and decide to apply eyelashes, lipstick, eyeliner, base, and blush all at the same time. As you might have guessed, it was a combination of thousands of years and a lot of errors.

The Egyptians were the first to use cosmetics. That was over four millenia ago. Cleanliness and looks were very vital to the people of Egypt. Egyptians had the belief that the appearance was in direct link with the well being of the soul. They attempted to constantly appear neat and smell pleasant. And with a society who values their appearance, you are inevitably going to have members who are going to try and stand out. But the Egyptians, being the cutting edge society they were, had cosmetics for reasons that were even smarter than just attempting to look good.

Mesdemet was the earliest kind of eye shadow- a mixture of copper and lead ore. The dark colors they thought would avert evil eyes from their own. It was also a great cleaner and bug repellent. Kohl was a dark combination that was put on around the eyes in an oval shape. Kohl was a combination of lead, ash, ochre, copper, and burnt almonds. To further boost their appearance, they would put a combination of water and red clay to the cheekbone area. They would also paint their nails colors of orange and yellow with a chemical named henna.

Success was often measured by a person's white skin color. If you had enough money, then you did not have to labor. So a pale complexion was very crucial to some people. To get this look, ladies (and men also) would use a combination of hydroxide, lead oxide, and carbonate in a powdered form to put on their faces and bodies. Unfortunately, this lead to a sometimes deadly side effect, lead poisoning.To cure this problem, chemists in the nineteenth century at last found a combination of zinc oxide that made the skin able to breathe and kept people out of that irritating lead poisoning sickness. It worked so well that it is still practiced today by cosmetics producers.

Long after the Egyptian empire faded, the fashion standard around the world was a white skin color. Only women who were poor and had to work out in the field all day with their husbands had rough, sun dired skin. The upper echelon women of course did not participate in manual labor like that therefore they remained under the roof and had white skin.

As time moved on and cultures mixed with each other more often, the Grecian people began to learn more of the multiple practices of the Egyptians way with cosmetics. Greek women would color themselves a pale color with a base that had lead inside. On more than one occasion this ended up being lethal. As the Romans started to adopt the make-up habits, the pursuit of beauty became less about practicality and took a turn into much more peculiar routes. They would paint their nails with a mixture of sheeps blood and heated body fat. An old Roman man once stated, A woman without paint is like food without salt.

In the era of King Edward of London, around the turn of the century of 1900, women with a disposable income would host exotic parties and do a lot of entertaining to show off their wealth. It was extremely important for a woman to be the most beautiful belle there, especially if they were the hostess of the soiree. Women in the past who lived these extravagant lifestyles did not have good diets, would not exercise, and inhaled the heavily polluted air that the cities of the time produced. Anti-aging and facial creams to disguise the blemishes were heavily relied upon by women in this time. Regular trips to the salon were also a regular part of the day. It was a little different in the past than it is today. Women would sneak into the back of the salons and hide their faces as they entered. One of the most famous of these secret beauty salons was the House of Cyclax, that would sell foams and rouges to ladies. Mrs. Henning, who was the owner, sold and invented multiple products for her frantic customers who did not want anyone to know that they were getting older.

The modern day woman is the benefactor of years of trial and error with a virtually never ending choice of beauty products for any look they want to get. There are thousands of cosmetics producers who have products in this now billion dollar annually industry. Cosmetic products sell year round and even in times of financial hardship. Therefore ladies, give thanks to your ancestors and their concern for their own looks for yours that you have nowadays. They probably didn't feel like putting on their face some mornings either.

Guthy Renker Corporation

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