Aside from its glorious pyramids, the beautiful Sahara Desert and the Nile River, Ancient Egypt is also home to some popular beauty secrets such as henna, milk baths and more. Beauty once held great significance in Ancient Egypt as beauty and youth often governed social status.
Here, we’ll discuss some of Ancient Egypt’s most popular beauty secrets, which are still being practised today.
Henna is a plant-based dye produced from the henna tree, also called the Egyptian privet. The leaves from the henna plant contain natural colouring, which is used for temporary body art, colouring hair, nails and more.
Traditionally, Ancient Egyptians used henna to enhance their beauty by colouring their hair and nails. However, henna wasn’t just about improving beauty perceptions. Health, too, was improved due to its nutritious ingredients that strengthen both the hair and nails.
Today, henna continues to be a popular beauty ritual, particularly in Indian weddings. Many Hollywood movies and games, such as the film Cleopatra and the Book of Queen slot have also been inspired by Ancient Egyptian traditions, proving that the civilisation remains of interest, even today.
A milk bath is where milk is added to a bath in liquid or powdered form. This beauty ritual treats various skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and dry skin. The Egyptians, particularly Queen Cleopatra, were famously known to bathe in sour milk to improve the texture of their skin.
It is said that Cleopatra, who regularly bathed in donkey milk and honey, bathed in such conditions to preserve the beauty and vitality of her skin. According to history, about 7,000 donkeys were needed to provide enough milk for her daily bath. Today, milk baths have remained an ancient solution for smooth and soft skin and can also help treat sunburn and even hyperpigmentation.
Sugaring is another Ancient Egyptian beauty secret known to aid hair removal. This technique was used by Cleopatra herself, as hairless Persian women were considered more beautiful and also signified youth.
The wax was made of sugar mixed into water and lemon juice – the ingredients were then boiled to form a tangible, honey-like paste. This paste was then applied in the desired area following the direction of hair growth, it was then covered using a small muslin cloth, which was then pulled off in the opposite direction when cooled, signifying the classic waxing procedure we use today.
Sugaring is a popular hair removal technique today as it’s an easy, cost-effective home alternative to hair removal.
Kohl is an ancient eye cosmetic, traditionally made by grinding galena or lead sulphide and mixed with oils or animal fats. The kohl was stored in beautiful, small shaped vessels and applied using a thin kohl stick.
Used by both men and women, the Egyptians believed that kohl held various religious and medicinal benefits. It was used to keep the eyes cool and clean and to ward off evil spirits (it was believed that eyes without makeup were vulnerable to the evil eye).
However, it is the signature black eyeliner and heavy doses of kohl that many adore about Ancient Egypt’s beauty culture. The look enhanced beauty, social status and offered protection. Today, the famous cat eye is a statement beauty look, albeit no longer made with kohl but with modern eyeliner.
Dead Sea Salt
Dead Sea Salt has been praised for its health benefits since the early days. Its utilisation can be traced back to the Ancient Egyptians, particularly Cleopatra, who took extraordinary measures to rule the Dead Sea.
The Dead Sea is not actually a sea but rather a salt lake bordered by Jordan toward the east and Israel and Palestine toward the west and contains 34.2% of salt and is one of the world’s saltiest waterways.
Dead Sea Salt contains 10x more minerals than ordinary ocean salt, which can help purify and detoxify skin and recover muscle aches more quickly. This includes decongesting pores, reviving skin and reducing puffiness. Dead sea salt also has strong mending, antifungal, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Dead sea salt continues to be used today, particularly in bath salts which can hydrate, exfoliate and cleanse the skin.
The Ancient Egyptians have paved the way for beauty since the very early days, with many traditions remaining prevalent today with a modern twist! The beauty rituals practised in ancient Egypt were not only aesthetically functional but had significant social and spiritual importance, the ancient Egyptians greatest beauty secret of all.