4 Fascinating Historical Beauty Practices from Around the World

AAnnabelle September 18, 2023 8:06 PM

When it comes to beauty, every culture has its unique practices and rituals. Throughout history, people have gone to great lengths to achieve what they perceived as physical perfection. Here, we take a look at 4 fascinating historical beauty practices from different parts of the world.

1. Kohl Eyeliner in Ancient Egypt

Used by both men and women in ancient Egypt, kohl served a dual purpose. It was not just seen as a beauty product, but also as a protective measure against the evil eye. Made from a mixture of lead, soot, and fat, kohl was applied around the eyes to create a dramatic and defining look. This practice was so prevalent that it is often one of the first images that come to mind when we think of ancient Egyptian culture.

2. Geisha’s White Face Makeup in Japan

In Japan, the tradition of geisha is closely linked to their distinctive white makeup, known as oshiroi. This unique look, created using a white powder mixed with water, was considered a sign of beauty and refinement. The stark white face, accentuated by red and black details, was a symbol of elegance and artistry that is still revered today.

3. Henna Tattooing in India

Henna, also known as mehndi, has been used for centuries in India to adorn the hands and feet of women. This temporary form of body art is made from the henna plant and is often used for special occasions such as weddings. The intricate designs symbolize joy, beauty, and spiritual awakening.

4. Olive Oil as Beauty Elixir in Ancient Greece

The ancient Greeks believed olive oil had magical healing properties. They used it for everything from hair care to skin beautification. It was common to massage the body with olive oil to maintain skin elasticity, promote a healthy complexion, and protect against the harsh Mediterranean sun.

These historical beauty practices tell us a lot about cultural values and societal norms of beauty. They also remind us that the pursuit of beauty is a universal human endeavor, transcending time and geography. While some of these practices may seem unconventional by modern standards, they all underline the fact that beauty is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder.

The table below gives a quick overview of the practices mentioned above:

Culture Practice Purpose
Ancient Egypt Kohl Eyeliner Enhancement & Protection
Japan Geisha’s White Makeup Beauty & Refinement
India Henna Tattooing Joy & Beauty
Ancient Greece Olive Oil Beautification & Health

Isn’t it fascinating how beauty practices vary across time and place? Let's keep exploring the vast world of beauty and its many faces.

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