Humans have always gone to great lengths to look beautiful. We now have laser treatments and filler injections, but once upon a time, beauty treatments were much less uhmm, clinical. These beauty tips from the ancient times will make you feel very thankful for modern beauty technology.
- Crocodile poop facials
In ancient Greece and Rome, it was believed that croc poop has anti-aging properties. It’s mixed in with mud for facials, or dropped into baths to allow the user to soak up all the purported benefits. Yikes, the smell must have been terrible. Also, how do you harvest croc poop? So many questions.
- Tapeworm diet
Think fad diets are a recent thing? Nope. Fast methods that claim to help you lose weight fast have been advertised from as early as the 19th century. One of the diets advertised is the tapeworm diet, where you swallow tapeworm cysts in the form of a pill. The tapeworm supposedly absorbs food in your stomach and causes vomiting and diarrhea, which helps you shed the pounds. You then remove the tapeworm once you reach your ideal weight. Hopefully, infections don’t kill you first. No thanks.
- Not washing hair
Hey, what do you know – the no ‘poo movement (where you don’t shampoo your hair) has a precedent. In the 19th century, people thought that washing your hair was a really bad thing, so women would get rid of the dirt and dust by brushing their manes for half an hour every day.
- Mouse fur eyebrows
Brows not on fleek? If you were in Victorian England, the solution would be to fill up wispy brows with rodent fur.
- Beetle blusher
Before powder and cream blushers, ancient Egyptians used crushed beetles. The squashed insects are then mixed with clay and applied on cheeks. Err, at least it’s organic?
- Nightingale poop makeup remover
What’s up with ancient beauty treatments and the use of poop? Who was the first one who thought, ooooh look this animal just laid a brick, let me gather up the excretion and rub it all over my face? But anyway, geishas use it to effectively remove their thick makeup, which is actually made with harmful chemicals like zinc and lead. Well, looks like this beauty treatment stood the test of time, because you can still get nightingale poop facials at specialised spas today.
Text: Sophie Hong