Annie Hatcher Beauty

The History of Skin Care: From Cleo to Today

My whole life I have had a passion for two things, skin care and history. Throughout my career I have always loved finding new interesting facts behind how something makeup, skincare or anything came about. Here I’m going to give a little description of skincare history starting at the beginning.

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The history of skincare dates as far back as the time of Cleopatra. As we all know Cleo definitely knew how to always look good, not only for her man but also for herself. In this time the Egyptians used creams and oils as moisturizers to protect themselves from the dry climate. Even in 200 BC Roman Physician, Galen, invented the first “cold cream” by melting down beeswax into rose oil then adding water to the product. Beeswax is a non comedogenic product meaning it will not suffocate your skin or clog pores and the rose oil helps inflamed acne, fade stretch marks and more. Moving into Ancient Greece we find that athletes used olive oil on their skin along with fine sand to protect from the sun. Olive oil has been found to have the highest SPF rate out of all oils and its emollient properties protects the skin from the drying effects of the wind and the sun.

From Greece to Ancient China, about 3000 BC, Chinese people began to stain their fingernails with gum arabic, gelatin, beeswax, and egg. The colors used represented one’s social class: Chou dynasty royals wore gold and silver; later royals wore black or red. The lower classes were permitted to color their nails but forbidden to wear bright colors. Beauty “painting” became all the rage in ancient China when legend has it a plum blossom drifted down onto the forehead of a princess, leaving a floral imprint. Ladies of the court were so impressed they too began to decorate their foreheads with delicate little plum blossom designs and soon it became commonplace. In medieval Japan, geisha used crushed safflower petals to paint their eyebrows, edges of the eyes and lips.

Jumping ahead to the 1880s is when we really start seeing products start coming into the department stores or even grocery stores. Like for instance right here in the grand old USA, Dr. Fleet invented the first ever lip balm he sold his recipe for $5 and from there lip balm began from a domestic kitchen in 1912. Throughout much of the 1900s the use of cold creams and oils were used at night much like moisturizers are used today. Unlike today though the use of sunscreen was non existent until the 1930s when two chemists, Eugene Schueller and Franz Greiter, are credited with the invention of the very first sunscreen. Even though this was invented enhancements were made and in 1940 zinc sunscreen was introduced and then in 1962 the “Sun Protection Factor” (SPF) was created by Franz Greiter to correctly measure the products ability block ultra violet rays and then 1980 brought forth the first UVA/UVB sunscreen.

It’s really amazing just how much there is out there and where this amazing industry derived from. As my career develops, I am excited to learn more about products, their ingredients and how I can help others achieve that beautiful natural healthy glow.

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