Beauty Products – Where Did They Originate?

Ancient Egyptian records show that beauty products have been around and recognized as early as 4000 BC. Proof of the use of various beauty products such as facial cosmetics and fragrances by ancient Romans and Greeks have been discovered. There is even reference to myrrh and frankincense in the Holy Bible.Beauty products were also recognized in other parts of the globe. Although they were banned from use by certain branches of Islam, cosmetics have been in some parts of the Middle East. Back in 936 to 1013 AD, a physician named Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi mentioned something about cosmetics in his medical encyclopedia, Al-Tasrif. He called cosmetic products such as precursors to lipsticks, deodorants, perfumes, and incense ‘Medicines of Beauty’. Around the 4th century in ancient India, henna was used as either hair dye or hand and foot tattoo called mehndi. Intricate designs are drawn on the feet and hands of a Hindu couple on the day of their wedding. Some African cultures also use henna as a beauty product, painted on the body in bolder and more complicated patterns.The art of fingernail coloring originated in China back in 3000 BC. Persons of royal descent usually wore the colors gold and silver, which later on changed to red and black. People with low social status were prohibited to wear bright nail colors.Meanwhile, in Japan, the Geishas were the first persons to use beauty products. Bintsuke wax was used as foundation, and rice powder was applied all over their face and back. For the eyes and nose, geishas used rogue. Safflower petals were crushed to paint on their lips, eyebrows, and edges of the eyes. Occasionally, geishas would paint their teeth black using ohaguo, especially when apprentice geishas graduate from training. Weird as it may seem, bird droppings were applied to lighten their color. Europeans concocted beauty products to lighten their skin. This is because people with dark skin color were believed to belong in the lower class of society since they had to work outdoors, under the heat of the sun.Over the years, the use of beauty products have become extremely popular, thanks to the influence of the movie industry, as well as ballet and theater.

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