Skincare today is full of fashionable devices (step into the spotlight FOREO), and specific routines such as the Lancer Method. While these modern advances have helped us to understand our skin a lot more and tailor each product to our skin type, ancient skincare practices were practically based on the same methods.
A Brief History Of Skincare
You might think that everything we know about skincare has been learned in the past 100 or so years, and while scientific discoveries have certainly given us a lot more information than previously realised, the art of ancient skincare wasn't too far from removed than the practices we know today.
3000 BC Ancient Egypt
Skincare routines first came to light in Ancient Egypt, with powerful and wealthy figures such as Cleopatra maintaining a healthy complexion using innovative methods at the time. It is believed that she used to bathe in milk to help keep her skin soft and smooth. As milk is rich in Lactic Acid, which can help to remove dead skin cells, the practice wasn't entirely crazy!
Today, you might not love the idea of bathing in a tub of milk, so instead you can incorporate it a little easier into your skincare routine using a more conventional method, thanks to Korres. The Milk Soap has been designed to help soothe stressed out skins, while still keeping them well maintained and soft thanks to the addition of natural milk proteins.
1200 BC Ancient China
In Ancient China, the use of naturally sourced herbs and spices including Turmeric, was extremely popular for radiant and healthy skin. The foundation of ancient Chinese Medicine practice is based on the use of traditional herbs to cure a whole host of ailments, so it comes as no surprise that they featured heavily in women's beauty routines. Chinese women believed that your complexion was a direct reflection on the health of your body. If your skin was dull and lacked radiance, it was believed that this was because your health was not in good condition. Herbs and spices played a big part in this, as they were used from everything from medicine and teas, to food and beauty products.
Beauty is the wisdom of women - Ancient Chinese Proverb
To get your spice fix, Turmeric is a great place to start. It's a brilliant ingredient as it helps to reduce inflammation and signs of blemishes and acne to leave your complexion clear and glowing. The Mega Mushroom Treatment Lotion from Origins is one of their best-selling products and is packed with Turmeric, alongside Ginger and a unique Mushroom blend to get your skin gorgeous!
750 BC Ancient Greece
It seems that the use of natural ingredients was a trend that stayed over thousands of years, as honey was a key skincare ingredient for women living in Ancient Greece. Honey was used as a face mask and moisturiser to soothe dry complexions and leave the skin radiant and healthy.
The thought of putting honey directly onto the skin can be daunting for some people (mainly because of its sticky texture!), but it really is an incredibly beneficial ingredient. There are many different types of honey you can use, but one of our favourites is Manuka Honey thanks to its high anti-bacterial content. It's also packed with amino acids and vitamins to fight blemishes and leave your complexion clear. We love the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask, which is as close as we're going to get to ancient Greek skincare rituals!
18th and 19th Century Europe
During this time period throughout Europe, facial mists and toners were extremely popular items. These tonics were generally fashioned from herbs, flowers and natural botanicals, and helped to relieve hot flushes to leave ladies feeling relieved and refreshed. Facial spritzers were traditionally used to fragrance the skin with their floral scent but due to the blend of ingredients used in them they also promoted beautiful, youthful looking skin. The blend of oils and herbs act as astringents, tightening pores and balancing complexions, leaving the skin glowing and restored.
Today, the idea of facial mists are the same and are used to provide instant revitalisation to the skin. They are now more purified thanks to the lengthy distillation methods, and only contain the finest for you ingredients that will benefit your skin. We love the iconic Caudalie Beauty Elixir, which is loved by Rosie Huntington Whiteley. Packed with refreshing Mint and calming Rosemary, it is the cult facial mist no professional beauty bag is ever without. Suitable for all skin types and inspired by the 'elixir of youth' created by alchemists and used by Queen Isabelle of Hungary, this treatment smoothes features, tightens pores and gives the complexion a burst of radiance.
21st Century Women
Today, women are more focussed on anti-ageing skincare and using innovative and scientific ingredients that are going to give them a healthy, radiant and youthful complexion. Routines such as the Lancer Method are favoured as they are lengthy regimens that promise to deliver gorgeous skin, and that they do. I have only recently started using the Lancer Polish and I am incredibly impressed with how it has brightened and evened-out my skin.
Another area of interest for modern women is electrical skincare devices that use unique technology to cleanse the complexion deeper than a traditional flannel would. FOREO are leading the way with fun and compact designs that mean you can take your device with you no matter where you go. The FOREO devices use T-Sonic technology with antibacterial silicone bristles to deliver a deep cleanse to the skin without feeling harsh or leaving you irritated. We love the range of LUNA GO, which not only comes in a gorgeous array of colours, but uses the same powerful technology in compact form.