Welcome to the History of Cosmetics

The history of cosmetics started in Ancient Egypt around 3000BC. The Egyptian people discovered the many abilities scented oils had, such as the oil’s healing abilities. People used oils, eyeliner and other products to enhance their looks, all this just to honour their Gods. As the use of cosmetics found its way outside of Egypt, to places like Greece or Rome, it met resistance. In Rome, there was even a law that prevented cosmetics from being exhibited in public. Similar restrictions could be found elsewhere, but there were also much more horrible and strict punishments for people for simply wearing nail polish in public. If you were a commoner in China wearing nail polish, you could be punished with death. In Europe, the public barely had any knowledge of cosmetics. Makeup was also something you linked with prostitutes, and thus it was shunned by society. Even kings and queens made a statement that it wasn’t publicly decent to wear makeup. It was only after soldiers in Europe returned from their Crusades to the Middle East that cosmetics were slowly accepted. Slowly as industry advanced chemistry as well as medicine, the cosmetics got better too. The 20th century has been the dawn of modern day cosmetics, thanks to the film industry. But as you know, the history rarely is a dance on roses. The history of cosmetics have a dark side too, and there’s been toxic makeup throughout the ages. Many cosmetics were mixed with lead, which caused health issues to long-term users. There still are chemically laced, toxic cosmetics out there being sold so to avoid any health issues, read the labels.

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