History of Make Up

By Elsie Masutha

From the copper and lead ore that the ancient Egyptians used to create the world’s first cosmetics to the scientifically advanced products of today that can do everything from hide pores, smooth complexions, and turn the pale green of your eyes a vivid shade of emerald, makeup has been an integral part of humankind for thousands of years . Over the centuries, women used burnt matches to darken eyes, berries to stain their lips and young boy’s urine to fade their freckles. They even swallowed ox blood in some misguided attempt to improve their complexions.

Women throughout history put their health at risk with many of their home made cosmetics. In some cultures, for examples, women used arsenic, lead, mercury and even leeches to give themselves a pale appearance deemed beautiful in the old days. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way from the days of using toxic and deadly mixtures to enhance our looks.

Today’s multi-billion dollar cosmetic industry must meet strict government regulations about what it can and cannot include in products and must follow safe manufacturing guidelines. Today, the most serious injury you are likely to receive from using your cosmetic is an irritation that is too harsh for your skin. Yet, despite decades of safety testing and a safety record unparalleled in many industries, there are many myths circulating the dangers of cosmetic ingredients.

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