We all know that luxury skincare is now more accessible than ever. In fact, sheet masks, made popular again by Korean Beauty manufacturers, can now be purchased everywhere from drug stores and mass retailers to specialty boutiques and med-spas. Did you know that the facial mask can be traced back to Ancient Egypt from 51-30 BC? Masks made of egg whites, milk and honey, and clay from the Dead Sea were designed to tighten the pores, nourish, and purify the skin. Nearly 800 years later royals of the Tang Dynasty were known to have pastes of white jade, ginseng, lotus root, starch and pearls fabricated to brighten skin.
In ancient Greek and Roman cultures, noblewomen favored facial masks made of starch, eggs, and animal excrements. Natural oils, honey, vinegar, basil juice, and goose fat were introduced. By the Middle Ages, achieving a clear, pale, flawless complexion became the beauty standard among European women. They often resorted to extreme measures, applying the blood of calves or hares and even deadly lead-based mixtures to the skin in an effort to remove pigmentation. (more…)