Five Beauty Product Ingredients Used By The Ancient Egyptians. Hello everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will be sharing a guest post from Egyptian beauty specialist and founder of Hayaty, Randa Zaid. Randa will share five little-known beauty ingredients used by ancient Egyptians that we should include in our self-care routines today. Most people are familiar with Egyptian rose water and rose oil. But the ancient Egyptians used many other natural treatments in their daily self-care.
Five Beauty Product Ingredients Used By The Ancient Egyptians
Beauty was big business in ancient Egypt and wasn’t born out of vanity. The boiling hot desert sun and the windy climate meant that both women and men wore make-up for protection, and neither would consider going outside without a good moisturiser.
So important was a holistic approach to self-care that little potions were often buried with the dead so they could continue using them in the afterlife. Even the most basic workers received body oils as part of their wages.
The most famous Egyptian queen, Cleopatra, was revered as an iconic beauty, but it wasn’t her looks they obsessed over. People saw her self-esteem and confidence as attractive in their queen, all part of the Egyptians’ holistic approach to beauty.
The Egyptians believed natural beauty comes from a feeling of wellness, and the body should be considered a whole. When you have that, it shines through your face. It’s about taking care of yourself in a way that goes beyond just looking good on the outside.
The ancient Egyptians didn’t follow a skincare routine to show off or try to look younger. Self-care was viewed as a positive commitment to oneself. It was a way of empowering beauty to flow from within.
Many people are familiar with Egyptian rose water and rose oil. Cleopatra often bathed in rose water used in ancient Egypt as a handwash. These days it is present in many moisturising creams, toners and cleansers, and it is famous for skin disorders because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
But the ancient Egyptians used many other natural treatments in their daily self-care.
These ingredients were so crucial that the Pharaohs had vast and valuable herbal knowledge. Many recorded formulas date back to 1550 BCE that detail using blended medicinal plants for the skin, hair and body. These are well-documented in ancient texts such as Ebers Herbal Papyrus and Edwin Smith’s Papyrus.
Here are my five favourite active ingredients used by the Ancient Egyptians that we should incorporate into our skincare routines today:
Black Seed—or Blessed Seed as the Ancient Egyptians used to call it—has been widely known to be part of the self-care and healthcare rituals of Cleopatra and Tutankhamun. It is known for its healing properties, with more than 600 clinical studies conducted to back up its vital prowess.
This nutrient-dense, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory plant is rich in powerful active constituents such as Thymoquinone, essential fatty acids, proteins, alkaloids, and saponins. It also contains several vitamins, such as E and C, and handsome minerals, such as iron, calcium, zinc, and potassium.
Black seed oil is a powerful botanical that provides superb protection for the skin from harsh conditions such as ultraviolet radiation and short waves of blue light. It can help repair the skin’s barrier, allowing skin restoration and illumination.
Lupin Seed Oil
Used by Ancient Egyptians to protect skin from sunburn and illuminate the skin, Lupin seed oil is rich in antioxidants, omega-3, omega-6 and omega fatty acids. It nourishes, hydrates, and promotes skin elasticity. It’s soothing and can help reduce dark spots.
This was the first oil recorded to be used by the people of ancient Egypt to protect their skin from damaging UVA and UVB sun rays. According to archaeologists, they discovered the seeds in the tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs.
Due to its rich content, it hydrates and protects and shows anti-ageing activity. In addition, it promotes skin elasticity and reduces skin irritations. It reduces the damage done by free radicals, delaying the signs of ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles.
Onion Seed Extract
In ancient Egypt, onions were worshipped as a symbol of ‘eternal life. This arises from the circle-within-circle anatomy of the onions. To validate its great significance, onions have been painted on the walls of the pyramids and tombs and are mentioned as a funeral offering.
The medicinal use of onions, documented in Papyrus records, explains its value in treating skin rashes. It presents nutritional constituents such as sulphur compounds, flavonoids, and saponins. It is a significant source of iron, potassium, and vitamins A, E, C, and B-complexes such as B9 and B6, which help nourish the skin, thus illuminating the skin and allowing it to glow. Onion oil is excellent for moisturising the skin.
Mullein Flower Extract
The Mullein (Verbascum Thapsus) flower can store UV radiation and transform it into new visible light to appear brighter to attract insects. The active ingredient in this process is luminescence. The whole flower was used in the past, but today, thanks to bio-liquefaction technology, it is possible to extract only the luminescence. Luminescence protects the skin from harmful high-energy UV radiation, transforming it into a source of light that radiates directly from the skin and hair, making them look more radiant, shinier, younger and healthier.
Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract
Ancient Egyptians valued Calendula for its healing activity and used it on wounds and as a poultice to stop bleeding. It is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, making it an excellent component to protect against sun damage. Its SPF properties help reduce the risk of skin cancers and UV light damage. The extract is also proven to hydrate, illuminate the skin, and improve the overall appearance.
By uncovering the beauty secrets of the ancient Egyptians, we have the chance to go back to basics, be more mindful and start an eco-friendly regimen that respects us and the environment.
I hope you enjoyed that.
Randa Zaid is the founder of Hayaty Natural, a genderless skincare brand inspired by the wisdom of the ancient Egyptians. Using medicinal botanicals like Black Seed (so beloved by the Ancient Egyptians that they called it the ‘blessed seed’) and a combination of plant-based ingredients sourced from local communities in Randa’s homelands of Egypt and Italy, each formulation follows ancient recipes developed by the Pharaohs to provide a holistic approach to self-care. Hayaty is organic, vegan, Fairtrade, cruelty- and GMO-free. Packaged in recyclable glass and card, each bottle comes with a hand-made Egyptian papyrus to inspire us to love ourselves and our environment. https://hayatynatural.uk.
so very interesting.. i had not heard of any of these for skin care before..
Wow, I love this. Using these oils seems so luxurious and natural ways to protect from UV rays, rather than chemicals is always a good thing.
I am sure Queen Cleopatra enjoyed every minute of her bath routine. I enjoy using rosewater as well. The smell is pleasant and my skin loves the extra moisture.
Such an interesting article. I love learning what other cultures have used – I haven’t heard of any of these before.
This was so interesting to read about! I’d love to try some black seeds.
These all sound like great skin care products. I live by using cocoa butter everyday, but wouldn’t mind trying out a few of these
Love to read all those beauty regimen used in the past. I never knew onion seed was worshipped in the beauty world with great skin benefits.