The Egyptians were always neat as they were a society that valued their appearance and were also a very creative and inventive culture and they had specific reasons behind the cosmetics and beauty products that were more than just making their appearance more beautiful. For example the Egyptians original eye shadow, mesdemet was made from a copper derivative and lead ore. These dark shades were used around their eyes to ward off the evil eye and at the same time was an effective bug repellent and disinfectant. They also made use of kohl which was a combination of burnt almonds, copper, ash, lead and ochre to adorn the eyes. They also applied a mixture of red clay and water to their cheeks and painted their nails with a yellow and orange henna chemical. It was well know that the Egyptians bathed in milk and flower essence such as Neroli and others. Many of the ingredients used for their beauty regime proved to be fatal. Greek women also began following the Egyptians cosmetic and beauty rituals and started applying a pale hue that was lead based to their faces which once again proved fatal. Long after the Egyptian empire diminished the Romans began making use of sheep’s heated body fat and blood to paint their nails. A dark tanned skin was associated with being peasants and pale white complexions the wealthy upper class. Men and women used a powder concoction of carbonate, lead oxide and hydroxide which was applied to their skin and faces.
Once again people suffered from lead poisoning. At the turn of the 19th century a chemist developed a zinc oxide combination that was extremely effective and produced creams and rouges. This combination is still used by beauty and cosmetic manufacturers today. Due to the benefactor of these fatal mistakes, there is an unlimited range of beauty and cosmetic products which has become a very competitive billion dollar industry.
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