History of Skin Care
When talking about skin care techniques, people tend to think about skin products of a few recent decades. Although one has to but mention that the history of skin care actually much further than that. In fact, it has been around for thousands of years.
Taking care of skin has been viewed throughout history as compliment to beauty and hygiene since the Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Greece times.
The Egyptians’ concern for beauty attracted attention of many for thousands of years. A big part of the Egyptians’ culture was dedicated to beauty and cleanliness through skin care.
Cleopatra is well-known for her anti-aging methods and skin care regimen, including bathing in sour milk, high in lactic acid, which turns out to be quite favourable for skin exfoliation.
Egyptians were very conscious of body odours and believed, in order to be healthy, attractive and protected from evil, you must be clean.
In Ancient Greece, athletes used to bath in olive oil and dust their bodies in fine sand to regulate body temperature and in this way make the skin more resistant to heat an to the sun rays, in other words, to prevent skin from sun burns and aging.
Men and women applied honey to moisturize and olive oil to protect their health and appearance.
In the times of Ancient Rome, hair removal hair removal was very popular among men (that didn’t always include facial hair). The Romans introduced methods of shaving, plucking and even use of “early” depilatory creams.
The Romans regarded cleanliness and smooth skin as a major constituent of being beautiful, which not only meant caring about the body hygiene, but skin surface, free from hair.
Note though, that in some ancient cultures body hair was viewed as beautiful and feminine.
As the Romans dwelled in a water-rich area, they happen to take lots of baths, using soaps to cleanse and lather the skin.
After removing the oil and grime from their bodies, they used to apply scented oils to finish the cleansing process.
Bathing was very important for the Romans, who had public baths and spent large amounts of time, effort and money building those bath premises.
Europeans were known for using perfume to cover their body odours, although not for the consideration of cleaning themselves by having regular baths.
In the Middle Ages, bathing was unheard of. Women used to bath in wine in order to achieve the effect of smooth, silky skin, but not in any sense to keep themselves clean.
Poor sanitary habits lead to people suffering from a number of hygiene related diseases and illnesses. Today, most Europeans take baths daily, like most Americans do. Daily bath regimen is an American tradition.
In the late nineteenth century, beauty and hygiene culture introduces antiperspirants and deodorants.
From the 1910s, along with the use of makeup, cosmetics, hair and body products, women consider exercise and diet as a part of beauty regiment.
During the World War I and after, women became more liberated, independent, both socially and economically, which lead to the noticeable rise of purchasing beauty products.
Hollywood star look became desirable, women trying to copy the looks of their favourite actresses.
TV and radio advertisements keep the interest in beauty products on the constant increase each year ever since the 1950s, when TV became available in almost every home.
The evolution of skin care through the ages, cultures and traditions doesn’t stop its pace in our modern times. It is constantly introducing and developing new products and technologies to satisfy that eternal desire for perfect beauty and everlasting youth look.
Along with the knowledge on beauty kept from ancestors, new generations bring new concepts for taking care of the skin and protecting it from aging.
If we look back, we will find that the most readily available natural gifts like fruits, vegetables, dairy products and fats, have been ancient secret ingredients of hygiene maintenance, sun protection and anti-aging treatments.
Who hasn’t heard of such quick natural fixes as: cucumbers on the eyes or egg whites for the hair? Now we find these”ancient”ingredients in the “latest” lotions, cleanses, skin care products.