Beauty Secrets in Ancient Rome: Here are 9 Interesting Methods

Beauty Secrets in Ancient Rome: Here are 9 Interesting Methods

When we think of Ancient Rome, most of us think of gladiators, temples, and images of emperors. However, there are other things waiting to be discovered in the rich culture of Rome! For example, beauty secrets… Let’s examine the care and beauty methods that were very popular among people at the time, although they may sound a little strange today. Here are the beauty secrets in Ancient Rome…

1. Skin care

Skin care was very important in ancient Rome. Especially for young girls, having healthy-looking skin was crucial to their reputation and marriage prospects. For this reason, special ointments and oil components were prepared according to the needs of the skin in Ancient Rome, and these prepared components were used regularly by both men and women.

Wealthy women like Poppaea Sabina, wife of the Roman Emperor Nero, thought that milk was indispensable for skin care. In fact, according to rumors, Poppaea would take a small army of donkeys wherever she went to meet her milk needs. Such a fondness for skin care even prompted Poppaea to invent a night cream made of dough and milk.

However, it is known that goose fat, which is thought to reduce wrinkles, and sheep’s wool fat, due to its softening effect, were frequently used for skin care in the Ancient Roman period. Although the smell of these products is disturbing, it is certain that people’s desire for healthy skin outweighs!

2. Dental care

Similar to today, strong and white teeth were also very attractive in Ancient Rome. For this reason, people prepared and used various pastes to keep their teeth healthy. The most well-known of these was the ashes obtained from the bones and teeth of animals.

Dentures made of bone or ivory were prepared for people who lost their teeth, and the prepared teeth were placed in the gaps with the help of gold wire.

3. Perfume

In ancient Roman times, products applied to the face for skin care were very heavy and smelled bad. This encouraged people to produce and use pleasant fragrances.

In this period, perfumes were generally obtained by mixing iris or rose petals with grape juice. Manufactured perfumes had a solid, liquid or viscous form. It is possible to see perfume bottles used in ancient Rome in many museums in Italy today.

4. Makeup

Since most people in ancient Rome had dark skin, the most common purpose of cosmetics was to whiten the skin. Because white skin gave the impression of not working under the sun to other people. For this, they used materials similar to the ones they used to paint the walls. Some women even drew blue veins on their temples to give them a dignified look. Thus, he was proving to other people that they were not working outside, and he thought that they had achieved a certain status in society.

On the other hand, it is known that women in Ancient Rome used things like wine residue or mulberry for blush. Some women applied brown seaweed to color their cheeks.

5. Eyes

Just like today, long dark eyelashes were very popular in Ancient Rome. People often used burnt cork to get it. It was very fashionable to apply blue or green paints made from various natural minerals on the eyelids.

Although it is not liked nowadays, the joining of the eyebrow in the middle was loved by people in Ancient Rome. It is even known that people who do not have bushy eyebrows try to achieve a bushy appearance with animal hair.

6. Hair removal

Detail of the “Girls in Bikinis” mosaic found in Del Casale’s archaeological excavation.

Unlike bushy eyebrows, body hair was an uncomfortable condition for women. While women with status were expected to have smooth legs, epilation was also common among men.

In ancient Rome, removing hair with a pumice stone was the most popular method. However, some people were also able to get rid of their hair by clipping or shaving. Ointments obtained from the internal organs of fish, frogs or leeches were also very popular for epilation.

7. Physical properties

Physical appearance was very important to women in ancient Rome. According to them, the ideal body consisted of tall stature, full lines and wide hips. Thin women often concealed their slender bodies with thick and plump clothing, as being thin did not meet the beauty standards of those times.

8. Hair care

Naples National Archaeological Museum

Yellow and red were the most desired hair colors in Ancient Rome. These colors were generally obtained by using vegetable and animal oils.

Although dyeing hair was more popular with women, Roman men were also eager to change their hair color. It was even common for men to dye their hair blonde during the rule of the emperor Commodus. However, the dyeing process often had dire results, sometimes even going as far as baldness.

Bronze rods were used for hair styling. By heating these sticks in ashes, Roman women could obtain curly hair. How similar to the tongs used today, right?

9. Wig fashion

Wearing wigs was very fashionable in Ancient Rome. While full wigs were sold for those who had no hair, there were also small pieces for those who wanted to make their existing hair look thicker. While red or yellow wigs were popular among the Romans, people could easily obtain them near the temple of Hercules.

This is how beauty secrets were in Ancient Rome. Let’s see how the beauty and care routines we apply now will be remembered in the coming years.

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Hygiene and Toilet Habits of Ancient Roman Civilization You Have Never Heard Before

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