Make-up is one of the essential skills for girls in modern society. Anyone who does not wipe all the cosmetics on a table before going out seems embarrassed to go out to meet people. In order to be more beautiful, the girls are willing to spend a lot of time and money on it. There are even people in Japan who specialize in studying how to make-up, and use this skill to the extreme. The birth of the “four major evil arts in East Asia” Makeup”.
Of course, makeup is not the patent of modern girls, and the ancients are not at all letting go. In order to make themselves more beautiful, they apply various oils, plant extracts, and even materials such as malachite, lead powder, mercury powder, and radioactive substances to their faces and bodies. I don’t know if these things make them more beautiful, but I can be sure that some of them will cost them a heavy price.
The earliest record of make-up by mankind is in ancient Egypt more than four thousand years ago. The ancient Egyptians’ makeup methods are actually almost the same as modern ones. They applied facial creams, body lotions, eye shadows, lipsticks, dyed nails, and wigs. Of course, they also had modern makeup tools—these were almost the same. It is also a modern basic makeup process.
However, some scientists may think that the makeup of ancient Egypt did not just originate from the love of beauty, but a way to adapt to the climate at the time. For example, Egypt is extremely hot and dry. At that time, people, regardless of men and women, would put oils on their skin for sun protection and anti-dryness. Among them, olive oil and other animal oils were the most commonly used. This may be considered the earliest sunscreen and body lotion. ? In addition, because of the strong sunlight, the ancient Egyptians would apply a large circle of eyeshadow around the eyes. The eyeshadow comes in two colors of black and green. These two colors come from galena and malachite, which are directly ground. After powdering, add other substances to blend it and apply it around the eyes.
The components of these eyeshadows basically contain lead, which can be absorbed through the skin after being applied to the periphery of the eyes, thereby increasing the nitric oxide content in the skin to the original level of 240%. Nitric oxide can enhance the body’s immunity and help fight diseases. The Nile area where the ancient Egyptians lived was flooded frequently. After the floods, a large number of bacteria would grow. These bacteria may infect the human body from the eyes. Therefore, the original purpose of the ancient Egyptians to apply eye shadow may be to prevent or treat the eyes. disease. Of course, the lead element is highly toxic to the human body, this is a story.
After the ancient Egyptians, the makeup of girls from all over the world basically got rid of the reasons for adapting to the environment or preventing diseases. The purpose of their makeup is one: beauty! Although they did make many beautiful cosmetics using plants, insects, shells, etc., they inevitably encountered many harmful substances. The cosmetics made from these harmful substances have been a disaster in the true sense for thousands of years.
In ancient Rome, a little later than the Shang Dynasty, people also liked lead powder as a foundation. And they are more radical than the Egyptians. In order to make the skin look whiter, they use animal urine, eggs, sulfur, vinegar, white lead, poultry excrement and other strange substances mixed together and applied to the skin. In the Middle Ages, the nobles of Western Europe carried it forward even more. At that time, the prevailing trend in the West was jokingly called “dead white”, which translates to “dead white”. People use a mixture of lead and vinegar to apply to the face, completely whiten the whole face, and then apply red lead (trilead tetroxide) on the dead white cheeks to make the face show a “healthy” rose color Come; at the same time, they will use lead sulfate to remove freckles and other blemishes on the face. (PS: Japan and ancient China have similar trends, and you can see these in the paintings of the Tang Dynasty in China and on the faces of modern geishas).
But lead is actually very toxic to the human body. After such a large amount of application on the body, it will penetrate into the body from the skin and cause lead poisoning. On the face, redness, swelling, dark spots, and darkening of the skin occur. This effect will cause people to use more lead powder to cover up, resulting in a vicious circle; manifested in the body is neurasthenia, general weakness, Symptoms such as memory loss, headache, nausea, vomiting, high fever, irritability, and coma. Among them, Queen Elizabeth I of the United Kingdom once caused hair loss and hairline receding due to lead poisoning. However, the British nobles at that time imitated Elizabeth I wildly, so there was a trend of pulling out their forehead hair, so we see Many of the ladies’ oil paintings of this period are similar to Elizabeth I, with the image of the hairline behind and showing a smooth forehead.
Because of its good adhesion and high color rendering, lead powder has been used on a large scale until modern times after thousands of years of testing. At the beginning of the 20th century, the United States began to ban the large-scale use of lead in cosmetics. Subsequently, various countries have also issued regulations to ban the use of lead in cosmetics. Even so, there are still many unscrupulous merchants. Lead is added illegally in this kind of cosmetics because it is too easy to use and too cheap. Of course, because the lead element is widely distributed in the earth’s crust, in many cases, in order to reduce costs, businesses will use some raw materials containing a large amount of lead impurity, which will also cause the lead element content in various cosmetics to exceed the standard.
In addition to lead, another item widely used in cosmetics is mercury. Mercury can play a role in skin lightening and firming, and cinnabar as a mercury mineral is also a very beautiful makeup pigment. In China, during the Spring and Autumn Period around 2,600 years ago, a man named Xiao Shi made a cosmetic called Feixuedan for his wife. This Feixuedan was actually mercurous chloride (mercury powder). The ancient Romans did not give up too much, and used a large amount of mercury-containing substances as cosmetics. However, the most famous age of use in the West is still after the great voyage. Due to the prosperous international trade lines, syphilis has been widely spread to various western countries. People not only began to use it as cosmetics, but also used it on a large scale to treat syphilis. However, long-term use can also cause mercury poisoning, red spot papules on the skin, and severe exfoliative dermatitis, as well as difficulty breathing, gum swelling and pain, erosion, diarrhea, kidney disease and other serious symptoms.
In addition, from the Middle Ages to modern times, there are still many people who believe that taking arsenic can make their skin white, so many girls will take arsenic internally for beauty-isn’t this just eating arsenic?
Since modern times, the situation has actually not improved much. Since Marie Curie discovered radioactive elements in 1898, some merchants discovered that some radioactive elements can fluoresce at night, so they added these radioactive elements to lipsticks, nail polish and other cosmetics (in addition, they are also added to medicines, Chocolate, chicken feed and other items)…
In addition, some people have discovered that large doses of X-ray irradiation can quickly remove hair, so some businesses have long used this method to replace hair removal cream, and the business was once very popular. After all, traditional hair removal methods have to cover the skin with melted wax, and then Tear it off-it sounds painful. In contrast, the X-ray irradiation method only needs to be photographed, and there is no pain at all, which attracted people who did not understand the dangers of radioactive materials at the time. But the consequences soon became apparent. A large number of radiation sicknesses appeared in the society, and many of them suffered from cancer, and spent the second half of their lives in misery.
These stories all sound incredible to us, right? But think about it carefully, this is just a cycle of generations. In ancient times, people did not know the hazards of these substances. We now know that they are banned. However, we have developed new compounds to replace their effects, such as numerous alkanes, benzenes, alcohols, etc. In the 2015 cosmetic safety technical specifications, there are 1290 compounds that have been banned, and there are also a large number of animal and plant components. It is conceivable that these banned substances will over time As time goes by, more and more.
Not only these kinds of compounds, but also the vast number of modern beauty salons have developed their own “stunning skills”, using raw materials that outsiders can’t imagine, and have not experienced scientific safety assessment at all. Cosmetology methods, various types of beauty services are carried out to girls in private.
Will the cosmetics we use become safer? This should be beyond doubt. But what is even more unquestionable is that when the girls 1000 years later look back at our time, they must have the same ideas as we now look back at the ancient times: these ancient girls, for the sake of beauty, are on their own faces. How many strange things did you paint?