By Aly Walansky, Beauty High
woman getting facialThe ancients had some weird concepts of beauty rituals (leeches and crocodile dung weren't out of place), but they had a lot of great ideas as well. In fact, some of the ideas can still be used today. After talking with a few beauty industry professionals, we learned eight ancient beauty secrets that we should be putting to good use today. Read on to better your beauty routine with ancient secrets!
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Eggs: You may be all about your morning egg white omelettes, but there's a whole bigger world out there. Eggs have been a primary ingredient in skincare for thousands of years. "Zhang Lihua, renowned beauty and Imperial Consort of the Chen Dynasty compiled the earliest recorded skin care recipe, dating back to 600 B.C. Egg whites applied to the face and neck will tighten the skin, providing an instant temporary face lift. The protein in the egg will also hydrate the skin!" says Mike Marenick, the Founder of Heal Fast Skin Care.
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Anti-aging gloves: Marie Antoinette knew that the hands were the our first spot to show signs of aging way before science told us. She was known to wear gloves every night that were lined with wax, rose water and sweet almond oil to soften her hands.
The original cold cream: "My favorite ancient beauty secret is hardly any secret at all. The original cold cream was invented in the 2nd century (the 100s!) by Galen, and it contained the special mix of ingredients that makes it work as well as it does. The original cold cream contained a mix of grease and water so that both organic (dead skin cells) and inorganic material (makeup particles) would be dissolved and removed from the skin while cleansing and softening it. Rose water was added for scent, and the first cosmeceutical was created. Cold cream cleanses, removes makeup and softens skin all at the same time, and it's still used today!" says Dr. Jessica Krant, MD, MPH, a board-certified dermatologist, Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at SUNY Downstate, and Founder of Art of Dermatology on 5th Avenue in New York City.
Crocodile dung: The Ancient Greeks were all about using crocodile dung in their facials and body treatments. Brings a whole new meaning to the whole Aphrodite legend, doesn't it?
White out: Elizabeth I had a bout with small pox early in life, and went on to use thick white makeup to cover up her scars. During this era of the Tudor dynasty, her pale skin was quite en vogue, and became a sign of being regal and well-to-do. To achieve this look, women would attach leeches to their ears to drain blood from their face! We're certainly not about to stick a leech on our face, but it'd still work if we wanted to go that far.
Milk and honey: Cleopatra is one of our favorite legendary beauties, and was known for her flawless skin. History tells us that she bathed milk, honey and olive oil. All three of these ingredients are still commonly found in facial treatments done in some of the finest spas in the country. Next time you need a body treatment, look no further than your pantry!
Rose water: Rose water speaks of romance and luxury now, and dates back to ancient Egypt, where it did as well. Rose water prevents aging by reducing wrinkles and tightening skin pores. It was also used as a cleanser because it can easily remove dirt, oil and other pollutants from the skin.
Avocado: Avocado was used centuries ago by Aztec civilizations as a skin moisturizer. Avocado oil will help to balance the skin by reducing pore size to produce healthy looking skin. The oil is easily absorbed by human skin and it will not clog pores.