Skincare Through the Ages: Part I

Skincare wasn't always as we know it to be. Thank goodness for progress.
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2800 B.C.

The very first soap is invented in ancient Babylon. Legend holds that its name derives from Mount Sapo, a sacrificial site.


1000 B.C.

You are what you eat, said the holistic Ancient Chinese (more elaborately, though).


1550 B.C.

When in Egypt… do as the ancient Egyptians once did. Queens soaked in milk baths, exfoliated with pumice stones and massaged their skin with Aloe Vera for beautiful skin. Pyramids first, skincare second.


476 A.D.

The fall of Rome also meant the end of bathing and personal cleansing habits. (A shame, really – let’s be thankful it’s 2013.)


500 – 1000 A.D.

Let the Early Middle Ages be remembered not for their supposed poor hygiene, but for the birth of apothecaries that dispensed increasingly elaborate herbal concoctions.


1000s – 1400s

Sun protection was all the rage. Medieval maidens also begin to tackle blemishes… using amethyst.

Did you know? According to, “medieval maidens tighten


 their skin with a cream made of chickpeas, barley, almonds, horseradish seeds, and milk.”1400s – 1500s

While skincare and cosmetics remained relatively the same (albeit a little more hazardous), the skincare philosophy was less about the appearance of attractiveness, and more about personal cleanliness.


1600s – 1700s

Two opposing skincare philosophies came to be: Baroque extravagance versus Puritan minimalism. Makeup versus the natural complexion; perfumed “makeup-removing” soaps versus a simple splash of water.


Baroque or Puritanical? Which skincare philosophy would you have followed?

To be continued…

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