3100 BC - 332 BC
Way back in 3100BC, the Egyptians were pioneers in embracing natural ingredients for skincare. In an age where beauty was a cornerstone of the monarchy, the iconic appearance of Cleopatra was brought to life using ingredients sourced from both plants and animals. The Egyptians created henna to stain their lips, sourced natural oils from olives and essential oils from aloe vera to moisturize skin, tackle wrinkles and combat other skin conditions.
When it comes to skincare ingredients sourced from animals, the Egyptians favored the ostrich. Their eggs – the largest of all eggs in the bird world – were used to create natural skincare products. The techniques adopted by the Egyptians laid the foundations for how we take care of ourselves today. We have Aloe and Olive ranges if you like what you see.
1760 BC - 970 AD
Fast-forward to 1760BC in China, and we find ourselves at the Imperial era. This is where the world’s first written documentation of how to look after our bodies and skin was born. During the Qin dynasty, skincare regimes were created and written from the very top of the hierarchy, where an Empress took notes on what worked for her! It was also a time where new body care techniques were emerging, starting with the art of massage.
The properties in seaweed and even jellyfish were found to help with both circulation and relaxation, so they were adopted in massage techniques for the face. Keeping skin clean was mostly inspired by ingredients sourced on land in this era – honey and almond oil combined with a little water was used to create a face wash. We also use Honey and Almond Milk to gently care for skin – have a peek at our collection.
GREEK & ROMAN
1200 BC - 600 AD
Moving towards the beginning of the Anno Domini period, the Greeks and Romans started creating new combinations of ingredients to take skincare for the body and face to the next level. Embracing the curdling process, yogurt made from milk was often used soothe and nourish skin, and honey was used to moisturize.
Tackling skin damage was seriously embraced during this time – olive leaves were used to fight blemishes, and the Strigil was a great body care tool, invented to exfoliate and remove dirt when used with olive oil. A cold cream was also discovered by the Romans, which was made by combining beeswax with rose oil. The soothing texture of yogurt has inspired our Body Yogurts collection – try out our British Rose variety.
1558 AD - 1603 AD
The Elizabethan era brought about an interesting change in body care. Cleansing was not embraced very often because it was considered out of fashion – the less you bathed the better.
More targeted solutions for skin were invented during the 1500s. Rose oil was used to treat skin blemishes and mercury became one of the first chemicals used in skincare as a facial peel ingredient! However, nature still played a big part – eggs were used as an anti-ageing ingredient for body care, and wax was used for keeping long hair soft and nourished.
Tackling maturing skin with naturally derived ingredients is still something we draw inspiration from today – explore our firmer looking skincare collections to find what works for you.
1900 - 2000
Jumping forward to the 20th century, this is where body care was moved light-years ahead by science. Sunscreen was developed to protect our skin against the elements. We started taking better care of our safety measures, with the introduction of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906 to reduce toxins in cosmetics. We also incorporated chemical formulas into skincare regimes, including chemical peels to resurface the skin, microdermabrasion using diamond tipped pads, and lasers to tackle skin conditions.
Despite all the changes in body and skincare over the years, our timeline shows that nature has always played a huge part. Our commitment to enriching our products, people and the planet means nature inspires how we work and is one of our main focuses for creating our beauty products.