ancient beauty secrets

The best ancient beauty secrets you need to know

It’s no surprise that women love to be admired for their beauty and women from ancient world were no exception. The beauty, youth, and elegance played a major role in ancient civilization. They possessed knowledge of natural remedies and beauty rituals for radiant skin and glossy hair. Let’s discover the beauty secrets of Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and The Roman Empire.

Egyptians beauty secrets

Hair and makeup

Egyptian women often liked their hair long, smooth or with long natural curls. During the Old Kingdom period, they preferred short or chin length bobs. To style their hair into the particular position, they used a sort of hair gel that contained fatty acids of animal and plant origin.

To avoid having gray or white hair, Egyptians used henna or covered their head with wigs. Wigs were very popular in ancient civilizations and Egyptians were true masters of making them into perfections. The most expensive wigs created for Royals looked like real hair. They made them from human hair and vegetable fiber such as sheep’s wool and linen. The wigs had a structure similar to helmet. They decorated them with jewelry and precious stones and colored them with brightened blue, red or green. In ancient Egypt, a number of wigs they owned showed their position in society.

ancient beauty secrets

Ancient women applied natural oils like almond oil, castor oil or rosemary oil to stimulated hair growth. They also believed that using seeds of fenugreek is a wonderful remedy to encourage hair growth. Egyptian women used the mixture of castor oil and honey as a treatment for damage and dry hair.

The makeup application was important to ancient Egyptians. They used sulfites and malachite mineral as eyeshadows and liners. They used lip color with red and purple dyes from iodine, carmine beetles, and seaweed. Egyptian women used red ochre as a lipstick.


Skincare was crucial in ancient Egypt. The pharaohs, who seek youth, health, and beauty, initiated a lot of research into herbal skincare routines. Thanks to artifacts from uncovered burials we have knowledge about beautification rituals in Egypt.

ancient beauty secrets

Egyptians had to protect their skin against dry, harsh, desert climate. Both men and women used vegetable oils like olive oil or almond oil as a moisturizer. Fragrance oils like frankincense and myrrh become favorite ingredients for perfumes, skin care treatments, and dental hygiene.

They added Dead Sea salt to their baths for its amazing health benefits. It relieves stress, has calming effects and helps to treat skin diseases like psoriasis or eczema. Honey and milk baths were also popular for their anti-aging properties.

As exfoliants Egyptians used sea salt, sand or aloe vera to get a smooth and soft skin.

Sugaring was a natural method of hair removal. They mixed sugar, lemon, and water and formed a paste that was applied to hair. This method still exists today and is favorite among estheticians.

Rose water with her anti-aging properties dates back to ancient Egypt. Egyptians used it to reduce wrinkles and close skin pores and as a cleanser.


Greek beauty secrets

ancient beauty secrets

Youth and physical beauty played a significant role in ancient Greek society. Greeks were masters in seeking ways how to combat a body’s natural aging process and improved their appearance. There is no surprise that the word “cosmetics” actually comes from the Greek word “kosmetikos”.

Greek women used a mixture of charcoal and oils as dark eyeshadows, clay, and red iron to color their lips and crushed mulberries for lip and cheek stains.

Elixir of life

The olive oil was very popular in Greek beauty remedies. They called it “Elixir of life” and the olive tree was considered sacred. Greeks used olive oil to get and maintain smooth, healthy and radiant skin. They also crushed leaves of the olive tree to make a facial paste to prevent spots and pimples. The mixture of olive oil and honey was a traditional treatment for smooth, acne-free skin. Applying a facial mask from seaweed was also a favorite way to get skin glow.

To achieve pale skin, that was considered as a sing of prestige, they smeared their faces with white lead which was highly toxic, and many Greek women died after its application.

Greeks used lemons or vinegar with the help of sunbeams to lighten their hair. After this often aggressive procedure, they restored damaged hair with masks from plant oils.


Roman beauty secrets

ancient beauty secrets

Bathing rituals

The hygiene was very important for Romans. They met and relaxed in large bathhouses that were decorated with beautiful mosaics and paintings. Their favorite bathing rituals included hot and cold immersion therapy, steam therapy, body scrubs, and massage.

Same as the Queen of the Nil, Cleopatra, Romans believed that bathing in asses milk helped them to reduce wrinkles and get radiant, smooth skin. According to Pliny the Elder Poppea, a beautiful and ambitious wife of Nero, loved asses milk baths because it “erases the facial wrinkles, makes the skin more delicate and maintains the whiteness.”

Romans also liked to smell good and loved their perfumes with a variety of flowers and herbs like almonds, rose petals, lilies, myrtle, and jasmine.

ancient beauty secrets

Roman beauty tips

To achieve fair, a white complexion of the skin they used white lead, white marl, and chalk powder. They applied rouge from mulberry juice, wine dregs, red chalk, roses and poppy petals.

Romans also preferred pale and delicate skin. Luckily they chose safer method than Greeks. They applied chalk to their skin to whiten it, and mineral powder to draw blue lines on their arms to suggest a hint of veins beneath the skin. They used a mixture of barley flour and butter to soothe skin.

To get a glossy, thick hair Romans applied a combination of eggs and vinegar on them. They also used olive oil as a treatment for dry and damaged hair.

Roman women adored a monobrow. The thick set of eyebrows that meet in the middle was a fashion hit in ancient Roman society. If they weren’t lucky to have thick eyebrows, they would pencil it with charcoal.

What do you think about these ancient beauty rituals? Would you like to try some of them?

Let me know to the comment below!


Madeleine xx