5 Ancient Egyptian Cosmetics

Body Oils

The blistering sun and windswept sands of ancient Egypt caused dry skin, burns and infections for its people. Because of this, skin care was an important regimen for the Egyptians.

Body oils were so central to their well-being that workers actually received them as part of their wages. Both men and women used moisturizers on their skin to protect it from the arid climate. Sometimes people used honey on their skin -- both for the fragrance and its ability to hydrate. Additionally, evidence shows that women sometimes used oil to remove stretch marks after pregnancy. And men rubbed certain oils on their heads to stimulate hair growth or ward off baldness. Not so different from today!

Although oils were a necessity for day-to-day living, the addition of fragrance transformed them into luxury items. The most valuable oils were those blended with flowers and other scents. The ancient Egyptians even anointed statues of their gods with aromatic oils to honor them.