If I tell you about Ancient Egypt, you’d probably think about the pyramids, pharaohs and beautiful queens. In a few words, you’d tell me that it’s the cradle of civilization. And you’ll be right.
But did you know that Ancient Egyptians were the ultimate beauty addicts?
Indeed, Ancient Egyptians were deeply inclined towards beauty rituals. Both men and women from every class took care of their appearance. Consequently, they left us a huge inheritance in this domain.
Actually, we still use some of their beauty techniques, even if we modernized some of them. Today, we’ll examine Ancient Egypt’s beauty secrets. You’ll notice that they’re still incredibly modern!
What was the Ancient Egyptian beauty philosophy?
In Ancient Egypt, beauty rituals were dedicated to Hathor. She was the goddess of beauty, femininity, music, dance, joy, love, sexuality, and maternal care. Together with Isis, Hathor was the ultimate representation of feminine beauty. Consequently, all Egyptian women of every class tried to emulate her.
In this context, beauty had also a spiritual and philosophical side. Ancient Egyptians believed that cleanliness was next to godliness. Does it ring a bell?
That’s why both men and women took great care of their appearance. Being beautiful wasn’t only physical, but it represented a high spiritual commitment towards the Creator/the gods. That’s why they relied on a wise combination of principles, including:
- the observance of strict spiritual principles (i.e. the 42 laws of Maat)
- a balanced diet
- proper exercise
- daily grooming
- natural body and skincare
The ancestor of soap
As we know now, Ancient Egyptians were extremely clean. But did you know that they cleansed their bodies with a kind of soap? They cleanse their bodies with a paste made of natron, ashes, and clay. For the record, the first “soap” will be invented in Babylon.
Milk and honey
I believe that this beauty secret from Cleopatra is recognized worldwide. Ancient Egyptians used to bathe in ass milk and honey. Thus, the bath would exfoliate and rejuvenate the skin, thanks to lactic acid. Also, they relied on the moisturizing properties of honey to get a smoother skin.
Do you want to replicate this bath without ass milk? Then, just replace the ass milk with coconut milk or full-fat milk. You’ll obtain the same results.
Also, please note that you can use milk and honey as a natural cleanser or as a facial.
Dead Sea products
Did you know that Cleopatra wanted Mark Antony to yield Judea to her because of Dead Sea products? Indeed, Dead Sea products were adopted very easily in Ancient Egyptians’ beauty rituals. They used these products to treat, cleanse, and detoxify their bodies.
For instance, they used Dead Sea salt to exfoliate their skins. Also, Dead Sea mud had a special place as a purifying face mask.
Recognized for their healing properties, Dead Sea products are rich in beneficial minerals, such as:
Ancient Egyptians used oils to moisturize their face, body, and hair. They especially favored black seed oil, sesame oil, almond oil, castor oil, and moringa oil. These vegetable oils helped them to keep their skins smooth and wrinkle-free.
Khol is one of the most famous beauty secret from Ancient Egypt. It was created by mixing soot with galena, a blue-grey minera form of lead sulphide. It had cosmetic, spiritual and medical properties. Indeed, khol was used as a deterrent for flies and to protect eyes from the sun and infections. Also, Ancient Egyptians used khol to ward off evil influences (i.e. eye of Horus).
Ancient Egyptian invented eyeshadows! They created a green eyeshadow by mixing crushed green malachite stone with animal fat or vegetable oils.
Like khol, Ancient Egyptian believed that their green eye make-up had the ability to ward off evil influences and various illnesses.
Red ochre was the main pigment to stain Ancient Egyptians’ lips and cheeks. They used it as the equivalent of our current lipstick and blush. Red ochre was a naturally tinted clay that Ancient Egyptians mined and left dry under the sun.
Then, they ground it, mixed it with water and applied it with a brush on their lips and cheeks. Also, it was likely to be used as a shield from the sun and infections as well.
Did you think that Fenty Beauty invented eyebrow make-up? Then, think again! Indeed, Ancient Egyptians already underlined their eyebrows with burnt almonds.
Having a hairless body was one of the main beauty standards of Ancient Egypt. Also, priests shaved all their body hairs, including their eyebrows! This was a way to get closer to the gods. Moreover, Ancient Egyptians believed that shaving their body hair distinguished human beings from animals. Consequently, they relied on sugaring.
To remove unwanted body hair, they used a mixture of sugar, lemon, and water. This technique is still widely used today! Through sugaring, they kept their skin smooth, soft…while obtaining the hairless result they wanted!
Wigs and extensions
Because of the harsh climatic conditions, most Ancient Egyptians used to shave their hair. For priests and priestesses, shaving their hair was required as a sign of respect for the Divine.
However, they still wanted to have fun with their hair. Enter wigs and extensions! All Egyptians used wigs in their daily lives. But while rich people used human hair, the modest classes purchased wigs made of vegetable fibers.
Also, Ancient Egyptians adorned their wigs and extensions with beads, flowers, ribbons, and jewels. Using fake hair didn’t mean that you couldn’t be stylish anymore!
Nevertheless, wigs were an overall hygienic solution to keep lice at bay.Thus, Ancient Egyptians really knew how to combine usefulness and pleasure.
Ancient Egyptians used henna to paint their nails, while decorating their hands as well. Unlike modern nail lacquers, henna also conditions the nails while promoting their growth.
Bonus: Ancient Egyptians’ diet
Ancient Egyptians ate a balanced diet that was a kind of Mediterranean diet. Indeed, their diet included bread, vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices. They ate minimum meat, as it was expensive. Therefore, they only ate red meat during specific festivals and ritual occasions.
To conclude, Ancient Egyptians’ beauty secrets include rituals that we still used today. Though we have transformed beauty and make-up products, our beauty rituals can be tracked back to Ancient Egypt. So, we can be thankful to them for that.
Well, that’s all for today! Do you use of these Ancient Egypt’s beauty secrets in your daily routine? What is your favorite Ancient Egypt’s beaut ritual? Share your answers in the comments!
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