The desire to be beautiful and to enhance one’s appearance is as seemingly ancient as our oldest civilizations. Humans have not only craved beauty but have gone to great lengths to improve and accentuate their features, in hopes of gaining more beauty. Throughout the ages, in pursuit of esthetic ideals, people have come up with some pretty unique and extreme techniques to look more beautiful. While these methods may seem insane by today’s standards; who are we to judge? We all want to feel beautiful!
Read on to learn about some of the wildest beauty treatments and practices dating back to ancient times. They’ll make you really glad you’ve got medical-grade, scientifically- backed options in abundance nowadays!
The Paler the Skin, the Better
Throughout millennia, humans have adored the look of pale skin. During the Renaissance, to obtain the coveted beauty standard of paleness, bloodletting using forest leeches was quite popular. Extraordinarily painful, the blood loss brought on extremely pale skin from the blood loss, but many found it to be worth the agony and trouble.
The Deathly Victorian Look
Victorian-era women were quite resourceful in the name of beauty. A common practice involved ingesting tapeworms for consistent, ongoing, automated weight loss. Nothing quite says “gorgeous” like having parasites, right? These ladies were really into the fragile, weak, near-death look, so for further effect, they used deadly nightshade/ belladonna in their eyes to make them larger and watery. An unfortunate side effect was that this toxic plant often led to blindness.
Victorian Bavarian women bathed in arsenic to make their skin more pale and ethereal, but this often caused severe illness and/ or death. Pretty ethereal, right?
The Beautiful Yet Toxic Cinnabar
Cinnabar, the ore of oxidized mercury, was used for thousands of years in beauty products. This vibrant, fire-red mineral was found near volcanoes and mined for its intense color, which was coveted for a range of different beauty products including blush. Throughout the world, in locations such as Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, China, Japan, and throughout South America, cinnabar was found and used to make colorants, which were then often used in cosmetics. Eventually, through modern science, it was determined that this richly colored mineral was formed of toxic mercury and it was causing illnesses and death.
Ancient Mediterranean Beauty Hacks
Dating back even further in the history books, in ancient Greece and Rome, a common spa-like practice was bathing in crocodile dung to rejuvenate the quality of one’s skin. Sounds rather foul and smelly, no? The Romans used urine as mouthwash to get their teeth extra white; and supposedly people from Portugal had the highest-quality, most sought-after urine. In ancient Greece, it was common to use pigeon droppings as a cure for baldness, however, in time it was determined that it didn't work. Another interesting solution hailing from the ancient Greeks was the use of lead to achieve extraordinarily pale skin, but sadly this led to lead poisoning.
The Modern Skincare Renaissance
Today’s cosmetics and skincare market is filled with products that range from highly toxic to superbly clean, with an enormous variety in-between. Many mass-produced products contain questionable ingredients, many of which are known toxins or known to cause health ailments. Despite the trial and error, illness and death our forebears went through to attain unachievable beauty standards, in today’s modern world, you have the option to choose natural, nontoxic, cruelty-free skincare and beauty products.
Jennifer Bradley’s entire line of skincare and beauty products offers a refreshing, holistic approach to achieving both wellness and beauty, using products that have been scientifically formulated with the purest, cleanest ingredients available. No leeches, arsenic, parasites, dung, or urine involved!
While many people today are opting for the cleanest beauty products possible, we humans have a long history of using sketchy substances in hopes of achieving undying beauty. However, in understanding the health risks involved with using toxins and chemicals on the body, we have been able to forge ahead with the development of clean, medical-grade skincare to ensure safe product usage.
In choosing Jennifer Bradley Skincare and Cosmetics for all of your makeup and skincare needs, you can rest assured you are using only the purest, non-toxic ingredients on your skin!