Ancient cosmetics: Ancient Egyptians were the first to invent cosmetics
Ancient cosmetics were invented in the third millennium BC, the oldest archaeological evidence of the cosmetics industry in the world, researchers say.
“The first cosmetics were made from olive oil, but this was later replaced by other fats such as butter and coconut,” said Dr. Anand Mahbub, professor of history and art at the University of Exeter.
Dr. Mahbub and his team found that the first cosmetics manufacturing technology was probably made from palm oil and was used in the first century BC.
He said the use of oils in cosmetics was widespread, especially in the Levant, but the earliest evidence of cosmetics production in Egypt came from the site of Umm el-Hilweh in modern Lebanon.
“The oldest cosmetics from the Levant were made with the same oil as today, so they probably came from there,” Dr. Mahboob said.
“There is no evidence of any use of olive oil in cosmetics.”
Dr Mahbub said the earliest cosmetics in Egypt were used for cosmetics but that later developments in the use and manufacture of cosmetics were probably brought to the region by the Arabs.
The Ancient Egyptians used oils from the olive tree for cosmetics, Dr. Mohab said.
Palm oil was one of the oldest cosmetics known to the ancient world, Dr Mahbub added.
Ancient cosmetics and the ancient cosmetics industry are not directly comparable because the two cultures had completely different worldviews.
They had different understanding of the human body, for example.
Dr. Mohammer said it was likely that the Egyptians invented cosmetics after observing the way humans responded to oils, because oils had a powerful healing effect and could be used for all sorts of medical treatments.
“This is an amazing discovery.
We don’t know much about ancient cosmetics.
This is the first evidence that cosmetics were a part of the ancient medical system, so this makes it an important contribution to our understanding of ancient medicine,” he said.
Dr Mahboobs study will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology.