Insects, poop & donkey milk – Bizarre beauty secrets from ancient times.

“I don’t wear makeup for others the same way I don’t decorate my house for others. This is my home & everything I do is for me.” – This quote from Amanda Lovelace, a celebrated American poet, epitomizes how women feel about their makeup and their need to look more attractive.

Makeup techniques and beauty treatments have existed since ancient times. Women and beauty, whether it is the days of yore or the ultramodern world, go hand-in-hand. Women never compromise with their beauty (neither do I). So, it isn’t surprising that our ancestors were so much into the beauty rituals and devices innovative (even if a little yucky) ways to look beautiful and young.

Men and women both emphasized their appearance or looks with the help of their peculiar beauty techniques. You will be surprised to know how strange were the beauty secrets behind their charming faces. Take a look at these bizarre beauty secrets and get to know how they keep them that glamorous.

Arsenic and lime for hair removal


Maintaining soft and attractive skin is a daunting task for every woman. Whether it is the painful waxing or shaving, they use these nosogenic methods to have smooth & clean skin. This craze is not a present day phenomenon, women have adopted insane ideas for the same back in primitive times too. For an equivalent of Veet hair remover, there was a lotion in ancient times that was made of Arsenic and Quicklime, 1 and 8 unit in liquid form respectively or the dry form equals one half of a quart.

They used to apply this lotion to their body and when they would feel their skin burning, they would remove it. It’s just shocking that they used to burn their hair with arsenic and quicklime which left their skin irritated and half burnt. Masochistic beauty I must say!

Wrinkle-free skin with donkey milk

Have you ever even imagined taking a bath in donkey milk? For what’s its worth, Cleopatra had this beauty bath. The donkey milk is said to be the beauty secret of the last queen of Egypt. She wasn’t just the queen of Egypt but also the unquestionable beauty queen during her rein. It is believed that she actually took bath in donkey milk to slow down her ageing and to have smooth wrinkle-free skin. The rarest bath taken by Cleopatra has the capacity to eradicate dead skin cells, blemishes and redness. As bizarre as it sounds, going by how her beauty was praised, it seems the idea worked for her.

Bleaching for a whitened face

Most queens of the ancient world have white, pale and smooth faces and skin. Ever wondered how they got such a white pale look? Women used to follow different methods to enhance their beauty, even if they are dangerous for their overall health.

A lot of bleaching powder and cosmetics were available there for whitening faces, which gives horrible results after a time period. White lead, vinegar, mercury and some harmful acids were used to make bleaching paste. Apart from this, they used leeches on their face, so that they can get a natural pale face. Eww!

Crocodile Dung for smooth skin

Egyptians, Romans and Greeks utilized Crocodile faeces or manure mixed with mud for bath very often. It believed that crocodile’s dung or sludge is helpful for anti-aging treatments and glowing skin. Cleopatra also adhered to this remedy and also used a mixture of donkey milk and crocodile dung as a face mask. These treatments were reserved for rich and classy women. Today, we use a lot of treatments for getting that perfect skin safely but these maddening and frightful remedies require courage to use. 

Make-up named as ‘ceruse’:

Makeup was invented 5,000 years ago and since then it has grown and changed its form and become safer for humans. In older times, our ancestors used to use fruits, insects and acid to make cosmetics. Fruits like berries were used to make lip colours but before that crushed ants and beetles used to give a red lip color. This method was introduced by Cleopatra.

In skin products, a makeup named ‘Venetian Ceruse’ was painted all over the face and skin to make it ceramic white. Ceruse is just a mixture of white lead and vinegar. Elizabeth I mainly used to paint this mixture to hide her scars and marks of smallpox. The LEADing lady’s secret of course!

Smoky eyes with black kohl:

Kohl was invented in prehistoric times and used as eyeliner or mascara, mainly made-up of dark lead and antimony. It was a belief in Egypt that wearing black around the eyes can protect them from the flashy sun rays. Ironically, the dark lead used to protect from the sun rays is more dangerous than the sun rays. These toxic eyeliners could cause potential health hazards or eyesight issues.

It is scary how a woman could do such experiments with her skin but it seemed they won’t settle for anything less than perfect beauty so the renaissance women did it irrespective of the consequences.

It was probably a lack of knowledge or a conscious choice to overlook health hazards for beauty, but these bizarre remedies are poisonous to your skin and health and therefore we strongly recommend not to try these. But the one thing you can learn from these examples is to choose your makeup and beauty treatments very carefully, keeping in mind the health risks they pose. Nothing is more beautiful than what nature has given us, keep it natural and just amplify it – there’s no need to change it.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: