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5 Ancient Egyptian Cosmetics

        Health | Skin & Makeup


In addition to perfumes, ancient Egyptians also used soaps. They believed that an unclean body with unpleasant odors was undesirable and impure. The soaps they used were not like the bars or body washes we use today. Many of these soaps were a paste of ash or clay, mixed with oil, sometimes scented. This resulted in a material that not only cleaned the body, but also soothed any skin disease or damage.

The reason these soaps helped heal the skin was that the Egyptians often used olive oil for their cleansing rituals. Olive oil provides many benefits to the skin and body. It moisturizes and nourishes the skin, rather than drying it out -- something very important in a dry climate like Egypt. Also, olive oil contains polyphenols. Polyphenols can actually help the skin recover from sun damage and stress.

More wealthy Egyptians had several washbasins and water jugs at their disposal. Mixing sandĀ in jugs filled with water and salt helped scour the body clean.