How Has Beauty Treatments Changed Over The Years?


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Akshay Kalbag answered
Beauty treatments have been in vogue for thousands of years. In the ancient times, people used oils and fragrances while performing the rituals during ceremonies and religious rites. Aristocrats in ancient Egypt used minerals to provide colour to the faces and enhance their features. The ancient Greeks used to paint their faces. People in ancient Rome used to add perfumes containing aromatic oils in their public baths and fountains. Lucian has narrated instances of ancient Roman women using cosmetics to polish their teeth and eyebrows.

Perfumes with alcohol as the base were developed in the Middle East. These were brought to Europe in the thirteenth century by the Crusaders. The French used new ingredients, mostly the parts and extracts of plants, to create natural perfumes in the seventeenth century. As time went by, the labour intensive methods used to develop natural perfumes were replaced by chemical processes. Poisonous substances such as lead oxide, lead sulphide, antimony sulphide, mercury sulphide were used to make cosmetics, apart from carbonate, hydroxide and zinc oxide. Zinc oxide was later used to make face powder.

Anti-perspirants and deodorants began to enter the market in the 1890's. It became a huge commercial industry in the 1920's, when people started taking notice of and inspiration from Hollywood's good-looking leading ladies and getting more conscious of their own appearances.

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