Photo by Philip Lange/iStock / Getty Images

The health of the skin and caring for it has been important to people throughout history. Written documentation has been found since the Egyptian times. Because all of us are affected by our environment, the sun, the wind and other climate conditions, we have had to develop ways of caring for our skin in order to maintain a healthy, youthful appearance.

In Egypt, due to the desert climate in which the people lived, they needed to come up with methods for maintaining smooth, unblemished skin. The Egyptian men and women of royalty would bathe daily and use fine mixtures of sand and aloe to exfoliate their skin. They would then add herbal tinctures to their oils and smooth the oil over their entire body. The main oils used were castor oil, Sesame oil and Moringa oil. Moringa is also known as the “drumstick tree”. These oils and powders kept their skin healthy, pliable, resilient and youthful looking while providing protection from the harsh sun and desert sand.

In China, written records that have survived date back to 500 B.C. China and its people have linked the health of the skin with the overall health of the whole human body. They spent time developing herbal, medicinal and skin care practices that became part of their daily routine. It has been important for them to eat a healthy diet as well as apply herbs and oils to their skin in order to facilitate natural health and beauty.

In the Roman culture we see the advent of indoor plumbing and large bath houses that allowed men and women to bathe in heated water to nurture and hydrate their skin. After bathing before getting dressed, men and women of Rome would apply beeswax and almond oil to their skin. They often dressed in robes that would cover and protect their skin from the sun.

In England and America during the times of the Industrial Revolution trends of skin care that used to be out of reach for the working class suddenly became affordable. People were no longer having to hide behind thick powders to cover their skin and could wash with soap regularly which brought out the trend for more natural beauty and less heavy make-up.

Modern European and American science and technology have brought in the computer age with laser technology and advanced sciences to assist in skin care to prevent and reduce skin cancer while helping maintain the health of our skin. The modern age of skin care has evolved by combining old traditions with modern methods. We can now approach skin care with the knowledge of the Egyptians using the wonderful oils that protect and hydrate our skin to the care of the Greeks and Romans by using healing bath waters to the medicine of the Chinese eating a healthy diet that assists our skins healthy appearance to the modern technology of Europe and America and technology. As we evolve, the methods of skin care evolve as well. Discovering ideas from all cultures that assist in healing our skin both inside and out is a continuous journey of discovery. Enjoy the trip!

AuthorShannon Sullivan