The Evolution of the Facial
Ancient Egyptians were all about looking good. I mean just check out Cleopatras eyeliner which was made of kohl which we still use today! Thankfully we don’t live by all of Cleopatra’s beauty rituals because her favourite facial was made from crocodile poop and donkey’s milk. Maybe not the most spa like experience.
Yes more poop. Aren’t you glad poop facials aren’t a thing anymore? In Japan Geishas would use nightingale poop to remove their rice based makeup and cleanse their faces. Yes, you heard me right, cleaning your face with poop. This actually worked better than you might think, there is an active chemical in nightingale poop called guanine which cleanses the skin and rejuvenates it. Whowouldathunkit?
Did you think we could get away from animal excrement? You were wrong. In ancient India woman would tone their faces with cow urine to fight acne and heal cracked skin. Considering urine is sterile it might have worked… but I’m not willing to try.
In the Elizabethan time pale skin was thought to be beautiful. (No tanning beds for them)! To achieve this super ghostly look, they avoided the sun, and some even put a mixture of white lead and vinegar on their face to whiten their skin. Of course this was highly toxic and would cause a lot of damage to this skin, so how did they fix that? Put on more lead makeup of course.
This ad appeared in 1875 for the one and only toilet mask. Yay! What, you’re not sold on the idea? You wore this mask to bed, so apart from the thrill of terrifying your husband, was this a genius treatment? Basically this mask just suffocated the face and made you sweat all night long… nothing says beauty like sweat.
So we got over the craze of animal excrement, but now we just switched to body parts. In the early 1900’s women started craving a glowing completion, and raw meat facials became a thing. Luckily they were short lived (probably because they were useless).
Finally in the 1940’s things started to make a little more sense. Rosy cheeks were the goal, so they started using electric heated face masks. You could probably get the same results by doing a few jumping jacks, but at least they were aiming for a healthy glow.
In the 1950’s a glowing complexion was achieved by lightly steaming the face. This is still a great method for doing a deep cleanse and is used in many salons today.
In the late 1900’s spas started to become popular. Facials were now something that you went out get. One of the more popular facial treatments is a mud mask. These spas sure charge you a lot for something you could easily do at home. These spas are really more about the atmosphere than they are about results. If not done by a professional dermatologist, rubbing and touching the skin can cause breakouts and other misfortunes. Sure, the music is relaxing and the room smells great, but does it do anything other than put you to sleep?
Today we use the precision of science and are able to fully understand the skin and what it needs. As such, Microdermabrasion has become the ultimate facial. It uses microfine diamond tipped mini vacuum to smooth the skin, remove dead skin cells, and encourage blood flow to the skin. The result, soft, dewy, healthy, glowing skin. Aren’t you happy you were born in the time of diamonds and not poop facials?