A Brief History of Skincare

What do you know about the history of skin care? Do you know which culture developed the first skin care methods? Do you know who was considered to be the first beauty guru and even wrote a book? While commercial beauty may only go as far back as a century ago, think Pond’s Creams, the world’s first beauty methods started in Egypt around 3000 B.C.

In Ancient Egypt, queens were illustrious for their skin care and beauty developments and regimens. Cleopatra authored one of the first books on record about beauty secrets. She bathed in milk and rubbed aloe vera on her skin. Queen Nefertiti’s daughters were buried with tubs of kohl. Queen Thutu was the first to use pumice stones to exfoliate her skin and mixed her own herbs for ointments and eye shadows in a bronze dish.

While many of us protect our skin from the heat by accessorizing with hats and sunglasses, the Ancient Egyptians had to take more drastic measures. Both men and women chose to wear their hair short or don a shaved head to be able to make it easier to take care of their scalp. Those who still wanted luxurious locks often wore wigs made of human hair, plant fibers, and sheep’s wool so at the end of the day, they too could care for their scalp. Even better, most wigs were scented with perfumes to keep the wearers smelling fresh all day long.

Skin care may have been established in order to fill a need, the need to protect skin from the climate. But soon after, nobles were expected to maintain a cleaner lifestyle by bathing daily and using oils. One of the first beauty products developed was the exfoliating scrub (made from sand and aloe vera) and oils were being developed to treat skin ailments such as stretch marks and to promote hair growth. Even in death, beauty was paramount to the Egyptians. While we may laugh now to hear if a loved one is buried with their makeup, the Egyptians loved to bury their loved ones with perfume pots and makeup containers so they could maintain a youthful appearance in the afterlife. Because of those practices, we still have remnants of their original scents as they were preserved in their tombs.

Skin care may have been a luxury when it was first developed, as are many practices in the world of beauty. But due the widespread phenomenon and the necessity of skin care, many kinds of skin care and skin care services are now affordable to the masses, such as our Pearlesque Box. We know Cleopatra would be proud.

~Brianne Nemiroff

Brianne Nemiroff is the Online Managing Editor for Viva Glam Magazine, @vivaglammag. She loves fashion, beauty, entertainment, and lifestyle. She loves all-natural and organic beauty and skincare brands. Brianne is a force to be reckoned with in the industry. She can be found sharing her story on Instagram at @briannemiroff.