The Origin of Cosmetics

April 24, 2011 | Health & Wellness

@beautynhealth.com

For women who are professionals and celebrities, first impression should be appealing. Their personality and appearance should leave a lasting impression. It is for this reason that they always aspire to enhance their interpersonal skills and improve their appearance.  One of the popular ways of feeling more confident about one’s  image is the use of skin care products and facial cosmetics. These products highlight the positives in women’s appearance and contribute to their well-being as a whole.

The truth about cosmetics: Most, if not all women in the world, can hardly ignore cosmetics. In fact, even at the early stage, teens cannot forget wearing them. What makes these cosmetics very essential to women? Can cosmetics really help boost their social status as women? Where do these ideas about cosmetics come from?

Origin: Cosmetics came from the Greek word “kosmos” meaning “to arrange” or “to adorn”. In the late 10,000 BC, cosmetics were very important in Egyptian health and hygiene. They used oils and creams to protect their skin against the excessive heat of the Egyptian desert and ointment to clean and soften their skin.

Men and women during ancient times used cosmetics for different purposes. Findings from archeologists suggest that the first cosmetics have been around for more than 5000 years since it was first used by Egyptian royalties such as Nefertiti, and Tutankhamun. It was also mentioned in biblical accounts, particularly during the Jewish period.  Harmful effects of lead and mercury are still unknown during ancient times so they were used extensively in making cosmetics.

During medieval times, a fair-skinned woman is the epitome of beauty.  Medieval women have come up with a variety of techniques to achieve a snow-white complexion using pastes of lead, ceruse (white lead pigment), chalk, flour, and even bloodletting. Face-painting, however, was generally abhorred and was deemed inappropriate except for use by actors in stage performances.

Cosmetics during the ancient and medieval times had been associated with blindness, deformities, and even death due to lead (ceruse) and mercury poisoning. That’s why, in later years, they developed cosmetics that use substances and tinting colors that does not have harmful side effects. Nowadays, cosmetics are fused with titanium oxide and zinc oxide, known for their anti-inflammatory properties. People suffering from skin problems such as rosacea or acne can benefit from this kind of mineral makeup. They’re also noncomedogenic and offer protection from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Use of cosmetics :  People can live even without them. Cosmetics is not a necessity for everybody. But why can’t women resist using them?  Some say a face without paint is like a food without a salt. For them, cosmetics add vibrant colors to what the nature has given. Vanity or the women’s strong desire to look more beautiful and smell better drives them to paint their faces using cosmetics. Once pride and vanity comes in, especially in women, cosmetics become a part of their daily lives. In other words, they cannot face the world without cosmetics.

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Comments (1)

 

  1. Thanks for the link! Also another interesting link is Lisa Eldridge who is a well known UK makeup artist talks about vintage makeup and the history behind it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBoeMo8ojPc

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