In order to whiten, what crazy things the ancients could not do?!

In order to whiten, what crazy things the ancients could not do?!

I asked you if you were afraid after reading it!

No matter what kind of aesthetics, the human pursuit of beauty can be learned from heaven and earth!

when girls talk about skincare and makeup, whitening is always an unavoidable topic, and everyone seems to have a persistent pursuit of fair skin.

of course, the aesthetic is more diverse now. Some people pursue healthy wheat color, while others like dirty makeup, sick makeup, sunburn makeup, and other special make-up, but it is undeniable that the pursuit of white is still a popular trend. "one white covers three ugliness" is often said by people.

but when did the pursuit of dialogue begin? Has it been popular since ancient times? The answer is yes.

the Book of songs describes beauty's white and tender skin as "fat-clotting". Chuang Tzu's "carefree Journey" describes God-man as "skin like ice and snow." Japanese geisha makeup is also a powerful example.

geisha makeup

recently reading the Legend of make-up, I found that East Asians with not only yellow skin prefer white skin, as well as ancient Westerners! The Homer Epic praises the goddess Hera, saying that she has "jade arms as white as snow".


because the level of ancient science and technology is relatively low, some popular whitening techniques are also sensational. Various ancient whitening prescriptions such as the bloodletting whitening method, Venice whitening powder, and crocodile dung painting face are introduced in the Legend of Cosmetic lead white  

the ancient Greeks' whitening products are lead white.

What? This is the kind of lead powder

lead powder

of course not! This is lead, okay?!

so what is lead white?

about the method of making lead white, the Greek philosopher and chemical observer Theo Frastos described it this way in his monograph on Stone:

it still sounds frightening. It is estimated that no one dares to put a paste on his face now. (of course, many of our cosmetics contain lead.) Yes, lead white is also very toxic. Long-term use not only does not achieve the original intention of whitening but also makes the skin look haggard and old.

nevertheless, in ancient times when the level of science and technology was backward, lead white was also a very rare cosmetic that only the rich could afford (such as Eccley)! Archaeologists have left lead-white marks on the lid bottles found in the graves of wealthy women in ancient Greece.

not only did ancient Greece use lead-white makeup, but it was also loved by court women in the Tang Dynasty. The following picture shows the court women in the mausoleum of Li Xianhui, Princess Yongtai of the Tang Dynasty:

Venice White Powder

when it comes to lead white, we have to mention Venice White Powder.

Venice White Powder (also known as "Soul of lead") is the most popular, expensive, and toxic skin whitening product in the 16th century. it is produced in Venice, a city "famous for women with heavy makeup and the best quality lead white (the basic ingredient of cosmetics)".

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Venice white is essentially the same as lead white, but Venice white contains higher concentrations of lead derivatives-just as today's expensive creams may boast of "higher doses of active ingredients".

Venice white powder is mainly loved by European aristocrats, and this wealthy class can afford to buy lead white. The purity, opacity, and satin-like surface of lead in Venice white powder make it the best work in white foundation and receive the warmest welcome.

Queen Elizabeth I of England was a big fan of Venice white fans, and she was the most legendary make-up idol of her time.

Queen Elizabeth I

Queen Elizabeth I is said to be so vain that she wants to be the youngest and most beautiful person on the English court. In the Elizabeth period, the whole of Europe, including Britain, regarded fair skin as a symbol of beauty.

however, Elizabeth I had a dark face. The complexion may have been inherited from her mother, Anne Boleyn, who is rumored to have olive skin.

to whiten and cover her original skin tone, Elizabeth I tried all kinds of cosmetics, from egg whites and alum to the deadly Venetian powder, in short, products that make the skin fair, bright and smooth. Elizabeth I used it all over!

especially after she contracted smallpox at the age of 29, she became heavily dependent on Venice powder to cover the scars on her face.

Elizabeth I

but unfortunately, although lead white is very effective in whitening skin, it is also very toxic, making the Queen's skin gray and haggard. Over time, Elizabeth I needed more lead white to cover the skin damage caused by lead white.

but the Queen's makeup-- lead-white foundation, rouge-coated cheeks and lips, carefully painted veins (for a fair and clear visual effect), and arched eyebrows-- is not only to keep up with the trend and stay youthful but also to show authority and dominance. Ironically, some people believe that arsenic, lead, and other dangerous chemicals in cosmetics are responsible for the Queen's blood poisoning and death at the age of 69-but there is no way to find out.

crocodile dung

in ancient Rome, a whitening product called "crocodile dung" was popular for a time, and it was repeatedly mentioned by many writers. It is precise because male writers have mentioned it many times when denouncing the use of cosmetics that we know something about it. But Pliny Sr., an encyclopedic writer in ancient Rome, once described the "crocodile dung". According to his explanation, the terrestrial crocodile lives on herbs and flowers, so its intestines give off a "pleasant fragrance". Its feces can be used to make whitening cosmetics. He suggested that crocodile droppings and lakesMix powder, chalk, or Joan's air-dried feces whiten and brighten the skin. Women in Rome may indeed use various reptile droppings for facial beauty, but modern historians suspect that "crocodile dung" is a common name for a kind of kaolin from Ethiopia. The ancient Romans believed that the Nile originated in Ethiopia and was famous for its large number of crocodiles.

whether crocodile dung refers to real crocodile droppings or kaolin, it sounds healthier than lead white. Next, we introduce another pure natural whitening product-donkey milk!

donkey milk

is still in ancient Rome.

at that time, there was a tyrant in Rome-Nero. It is said that the beauty care program of his second wife Popeia was so complicated that it took hundreds of slaves to complete it.


to keep Popeye's skin shiny, the maid applied a moist powdery mask on her face every day and all night. The next morning, Popeye washed off the hard powder mask with donkey milk. Because donkey milk has the effect of whitening and softening skin, she often bathes with donkey milk and then smears her skin with chalk and lead white. In addition, she uses lemon juice to make a powdery paste to remove spots.

there is a scientific basis for bathing with animal milk. We can see that in modern times, people also like to use milk to protect their skin, and I make milk masks every day for some time. (it was a little white at that time, but then it became swarthy again when I was lazy.)

Milk contains lactic acid, which is an effective exfoliating ingredient and can remove the toxicity of lead white. This method of skincare became popular among Roman ladies because most of them could afford the raw materials and slaves they needed.


speaking of whitening, bloodletting should be the scariest one.

bloodletting and leeches were popular methods of skin whitening in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and bloodletting was also used to treat a variety of ailments and diseases, such as gout and plague (which may not be effective for the latter).

people in the Middle Ages and Renaissance believed in the importance of the humoral system. The body fluid system originates from the body fluid theory of Galen, an ancient Roman physician, who believes that body fluids are made up of four classical elements-fire, earth, water, and air. If all the elements are balanced, the body will be very healthy. Physicians believe that blood contains all four elements, so bloodletting can help keep body fluids in balance and keep the patient in good health. For example, "gynecological diseases" recommend "bleeding from the soles of the feet" to treat uterine diseases.


although I can't find conclusive evidence of using bloodletting to achieve cosmetic purposes, there is not much difference between the view that bloodletting can bring or restore health and the view that bloodletting can improve facial appearance and enhance beauty. In the story, when Renaissance women prepare for banquets, they ask their physicians to put a leech behind each ear to suck away part of the blood from the face and get the most fashionable pale face. Of course, we can think that only the rich can afford to let doctors do bloodletting cosmetic surgery, otherwise, they can only rely on themselves to complete the procedure.

just ask you if you are afraid after reading it! (if you can finish it)

while we marvel at the madness of the ancients, when we think of us today, we can only say that we love beauty even more! It's just that we are lucky to be born in this era of advanced science and technology. But the quality of modern cosmetics is also uneven, long-term use, we also see that many girls after taking off makeup are very pale, the skin is also relatively rough, and then fall into the same cycle as Elizabeth I. the more this, the more you need to rely on cosmetics to cover.

so try to make money!