The obsession with beauty has been prevalent in society since time immemorial but no culture has embraced beauty and splendour with such fervour like the ancient Egyptians did. A civilization which prided itself on its innovative thinking and creativity were the trendsetters when it came to beautification and body care.
Ancient Egyptian women took pride in attaining beautiful skin and hair and altogether enhancing one’s physical appearance. Modern day civilization owes much of their beauty tips and secrets to the ancient Egyptians who made use of natural materials and resources to create effective beauty recipes and treatments. Today we dig deep into the past to bring you some of the most natural and Today we dig deep into the past to bring you some of the most natural and ancient Egyptian beauty secrets and tips.
Being exposed to the hot and dry climate of the Mediterranean made ancient Egypt take body care and personal hygiene very seriously. Beauty treatments for the skin which were initially used as protection from the hot sun came to be embraced for its prepossessing and beautifying effects. A paste made from Water and Natron (baking soda) was used for its supreme cleansing action on the body and also known to prevent displeasing body odors. The multi-benefits of Dead Sea salt was also recognized and used extensively, most notably by Cleopatra, the legendary Egyptian Queen and celebrated symbol of beauty who would add 1 to 2 cups of the salt to her bath. Known to have a calming effect and combat stress and skin problems like eczema and psoriasis, Dead Sea salt also acted as a natural skin rejuvenator and slowed down skin aging.
Bathing in milk and honey was highly popular among high-end women who also used this combination as well as a mixture of Honey and Natron as a facial mask. Aloe Vera was of paramount importance used for skin smoothening and healing of minor cuts and burns. Essential and aromatic oils like rosemary, olive oil and almond oil were key ingredients even in the beauty routines of lower class women while fragranced oils like frankincense and myrrh were used to create treasured perfumes.
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Women in ancient Egypt loved thick hair and went through great lengths to maintain their thick mop of hair, cleansing and conditioning it with coconut milk and warm extra virgin olive oil. Oils like rosemary, castor oil and almond oil were used to stimulate hair growth. Henna was the much preferred colouring agent while cocoa and shea butter were used as hair gels to style and keep their elaborate hairstyles in place. Women of higher social status opted for wigs and hair extensions which were braided or plaited, adding to their exquisite beauty. Body hair however was considered unattractive and was removed by the ancient Egyptian art of body sugaring which involved using a sugaring paste made from water, sugar and lemon juice.
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Great emphasis was given to the eyes by both men and women alike who considered eye makeup an essential requirement not only in enhancing one’s beauty but also for its miraculous properties. Green and black kohl made from malachite (a copper ore) and galena (a lead ore) served a dual purpose. It was used to paint the eyebrows, darken the lashes and outline the eyes while also protecting the eyes from the sun and dust. Puffiness around the eyes was treated with the application of avocado.
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Fitness And Diet Of Ancient Egyptians:
Many sports of today were a combination of pleasure and fitness activities in ancient Egypt. Sports like swimming, weight lifting, wrestling, fishing, long jump, rowing, hunting, archery and a variety of ball games were played with gusto and were aimed at strengthening their bodies and enhancing their athletic prowess.
As far as their eating habits went, bread and cereals comprised their staple diet. Vegetables like beans, chick peas, green peas and lentils were also consumed along with meat from poultry and wild game and edible fish from the Nile in equal proportions. Of the few known fruits consumed by the ancient Egyptians, dates were the most popular which were also used as a natural sweetener and in the preparation of wine.