Since when does man put on makeup?

The first traces of the use of cosmetics can be found in the ancient Egyptians. The Egyptians adorned themselves to look more like the gods to become. The beauty recipes of the ancient pharaohs were closely guarded secrets. Probably people have painted colors on their faces much earlier. Modern lipstick is just a hundred years old.

Since when does man put on makeup?

Cosmetic accessories such as small jewelry boxes and ointment jars were found in archaeological excavations in Egypt. The age of the depicted objects is estimated to be over 3.000 years. (source: Andreas Praefcke || Wikipedia)

The oldest evidence for the use of manufactured colors is the stone-age cave art – the figures carved with flint were traced with colors. One uses this date also gladly, in order to speak of the "beginning" of human culture.

We know from the ancient Egyptians that they used the colors they made for their own beauty care. But also the ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, Hittites, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Chinese, Indians and the South American Incas could be said to be "inventors" of cosmetics have been.

Traces in the cultural history: the ancient Egyptians

Since when does man put on makeup?

The Egyptian queen Nefertiti (literally translated "the beautiful one who is coming") is said to have been of legendary beauty. Beauty care was of central importance at the court of the pharaohs. (Source: Andreas Praefcke || Wikipedia)

The ancient Egyptians believed that the physical appearance of a person reflected his soul. In order to arouse the pleasure of the gods on the surface of the bodies, they used various products such as eye make-up, face creams and many different oils for the care of the skin.

During excavations, archaeologists found numerous objects for personal hygiene, such as cosmetic boxes, ointment jars, make-up spoons, hand mirrors, tweezers, combs and blades for removing body hair. Cosmetics and cosmetic items were also left to the dead as grave goods. Due to the hot and dry climate, the ancient Egyptians made special efforts to produce creams to protect themselves from the sun. Also during the mummification of the dead, specially prepared ointments were used to stop physical decay.

Unlike today, the Egyptians at that time had to make do exclusively with natural ingredients. By adding flowers, tree bark and resins, for example, they were able to give different oils different fragrances. Mineral and metallic trace elements such as "iron oxide", "Antimony" and "malachite one mixed with water to a mass, which could be applied then to the face care.

Animal fats, honey from bees and beeswax were other important ingredients for creams, as well as "ambergris" (waxy substance from the digestive tract of whales) "Musk" (secretion from a gland of the musk deer) "Myrrh" (resin of a balsam tree) and "civet" (substance excreted by the civet cat). To store the creams, the hollow stems of plants were used, which were then squeezed out like a tube.

Both sexes used makeup

Since when does man put on makeup?

The mineral "cinnabar": in ancient Egypt, ingredient of a paste for coloring the lips. Nowadays this ingredient is considered highly toxic. (Source: U.S. federal government || Wikipedia)

The leaves of the henna shrub were used to dye the palms of the hands and fingernails and for other cosmetic painting. For this purpose, the leaves were pulverized and mixed with water – a practice that is still common today (especially in Arab countries).

Around the eyes, the ancient Egyptians used make-up made of resins and minerals such as "green malachite" and "gray galena or charcoal and soot for a black coloration. For lips and cheeks, a fatty red paste was used, with the addition of the mineral "cinnabarite" ("Vermilion") used.

Some of the ingredients used by the Egyptians were, as we know today, highly toxic. Priests and their assistants were responsible for the production of cosmetics. The oldest known recipes for the production of cosmetic products can be found in an ancient medical writing "Papyrus Ebers called. This document was found during archaeological excavations in the 19th century. In the ancient royal city of Luxor in the sixteenth century.

Not only the noble women at the court of the Pharaohs made themselves up, but also the noble men. Both sexes appeared thus depending upon cause more or less conspicuously made up.

Ancient Greece: Learning from the Egyptians

Since when does man put on makeup?

The conquests of Alexander the Great to Persia and Egypt also brought new knowledge to the ancient Greek culture about the production of cosmetics (on the picture: representation of Alexander on a mosaic from the ancient city of Pompeii). (Source: Ruthven || Wikipedia)

When in the fourth century B.C. the Macedonian king Alexander the Great and his army conquered first Egypt and then the Persian empire ("Alexander’s march"), he and his companions got hold of information about the production of cosmetics unknown in the Greek city states.

Both Egyptians and Persians were masters in the production of creams, ointments, tinctures and perfumes. The Greeks took over from the Egyptians the recipes for the preparation of all these artificial products and used them in their personal hygiene, for medicinal purposes and also as an aid in sexual practices. The Greeks also received inspiration from the Persians, especially in the production of perfume.

The Greeks also found the appropriate name "cosmetics" – The Greek verb "kosmeo" means as much as "arrange or "adorn. The new products were so popular with the Greeks that merchants were soon doing a thriving business selling makeup, bath salts, perfumed ointments and anointing oils. Greek physical culture attached great importance to bathing and massage, both of which were performed in specially built "bathing rooms" and "anointing rooms practiced. Here one gave oneself up under use of the cosmetics to an extensive body and beauty care.

Luxury in ancient Rome

Since when does man put on makeup?

Henna powder mixed with water has been used for hundreds of years to dye skin, nails and hair. (Source: Andrey "A.I." Sitnik || Wikipedia)

The ancient Romans adopted much of the lifestyle of the Greeks, even if the noble and rich Romans had an even more "luxurious" side parting Style coined.

For beauty washings fruits were mixed with milk and fragrant concentrates, different perfumes were used for different parts of the body. However, the Romans did not agree on the extent to which cosmetics should be used – some rejected them altogether.

From the Romans comes the name "perfume" or "adorn, which refers to the use of incense – the name is derived from the Latin words "per" (means "through") and "fumum" (meaning "steam").

Europe: "cosmetics hostile" Middle Ages and "Rebirth the makeup

Since when does man put on makeup?

Elizabeth I., Queen of England and Ireland: in this portrait from around 1600, the ideal of beauty of the time can be seen. In order to produce the palest possible skin color, people made themselves up with highly toxic substances such as lead white. (Source: Wikipedia)

With the rise of Christianity in Europe, the excessive use of cosmetics was soon restricted – paying too much attention to the body was considered a sin. The "Church Fathers In the spirit of piety, they demanded that people take care of the "inner" lips values strive. The "external Beauty, on the other hand, was held in low esteem. However, the Christian missionaries did not object to the medicinal use of oils, ointments and creams.

Meanwhile, the art of cosmetics production flourished elsewhere, in China and the Orient. In the "Far East" under the influence of the Daoist religion, efforts were made to "soul" from the plants, in order to store them then in the form of perfume. The Chinese fragrances arrived through the great trade route of the "Silk Road" finally also reached Europe. The ancient Chinese also knew a great deal about the healing powers of plant extracts. In the Orient, the tradition of cosmetics production and use was maintained even after the spread of Islam, so that European crusaders on their journeys to the East again came into contact with cosmetics and their seductive effect.

In the historical epochs of the "Renaissance" and especially in the age of the "Rococo" (also called "late baroque (known as the "Orient"), cosmetics were again at their peak in Europe. However, body and beauty care was practiced at the courts of the nobility in a way that is strange from today’s point of view. Instead of extensive washing, people preferred to cover up unpleasant body odors with perfumes, powders, creams and ointments. (It was not until the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century that the use of the. The eighteenth century also saw the end of this strange phase of body culture.)

"Noble Women and men used the cosmetics equally. Through the new fashion one set oneself apart from the "common people" a pale complexion was considered particularly noble and also the wig was not allowed to be missing neither with the gentlemen nor with the ladies. For the white skin a strongly poisonous dye was produced, the so-called "white lead". In addition one colored however also the cheeks and the lips red, for which again the poisonous dye "Zinnober" was used was used.

Modern times: Cosmetics for all

Since when does man put on makeup?

The fact that women paint their lips, is nowadays completely everyday, at least in our cultural circle. With men, on the other hand, this is rarely seen. In ancient times it was quite normal for men and women alike to color their lips. (Source: Konstantin Gastmann ||

In the 19. In the 19th century and in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, body care products became more and more mass-produced and thus affordable for the general public. Soaps were now found in almost every household, and antiperspirant deodorants also slowly but surely became commonplace – initially, however, in an ammoniacal and therefore toxic version. With the advent of the chemical industry, it was possible to replace the costly natural manufacturing steps in the production of cosmetics.

The first modern lipstick was presented to the public in 1883 at the World’s Fair in Amsterdam, by Parisian perfumers. The pen wrapped in tissue paper was made of "castor oil" (a product of the African "miracle tree") "deer tallow" (body fat of the deer) and beeswax – in the beginning it was very expensive and only a few women dared to use it. It was not until the 1920s that chemists were involved in the creation of a lipstick that could be sold over the counter at an affordable price. One of the first popular models had the French name "Rouge Baiser" – in German "roter Kuss. In the 1950s, the twist mechanism was added, which is now standard in many lipsticks.

The cosmetics industry today: a huge business

Since when does man put on makeup?

More products than necessary? Buying cosmetics is not so easy, because nowadays you can find hundreds of different offers. (Source: Adrian Pingstone || Wikipedia)

With the further development of the chemical industry, new artificial products quickly appeared on the market, for example mascara and creams for tanning the skin or against wrinkles. The newly created mass medium "cinema" had a great influence on the demand for cosmetics, especially after the development of color film. The first chain stores for cosmetics were established, so that the same products could be offered in many places at the same time.

However, the development was greatly slowed down by the Second World War, when many consumers lacked the money to buy goods and consumer goods were strictly divided up. Chemicals needed to produce cosmetics were now more likely to be used to produce weapons, and there was also a lack of fats and alcohol needed to produce cosmetics. After the war, however, concern about one’s appearance became a dominant theme among people again. In the meantime, the trade with cosmetic products is a billion-dollar business – both in terms of sales and profits. The world’s largest cosmetics manufacturer "L’Oreal sells its products in more than 130 countries and throws off huge profits (as of 2009).

What often remains is the question of health risks of chemically produced cosmetics. The standards are very different from country to country, of course, one often knows nothing about long-term effects. Scandals were caused, for example, by cheap means for bleaching the skin, which were offered in African and Asian countries. Of course, it is also sad when social pressure becomes so great that people can no longer stand by their appearance. In many parts of the world, for example, dark-skinned girls see their skin color as an obstacle and try to "light-skin" with the help of skin bleaching products to become.

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