This Egyptian Queen’s beauty has transcended the ages. When you think of Cleopatra you think of a spell binding enchantress who held both Marc Anthony and Caesar hostage by her beauty. If you dig a little deeper it appears that she and the other women of her time had more than a passing understanding of how to use natural products to look their very best. Let’s explore a few of these beauty techniques.
The first that comes to mind is the oft shown vision of the queen bathing in milk and honey. Science informs us that it is the lactic acid in milk that cleanses and clears the skin while the honey is an aromatic in addition to having moisturizing properties. It is not realistic these days to fill an entire bath with milk and honey but you can still add certain ingredients to your bath to achieve the same results. Try adding concentrated milk powder to your bath water with a bit of honey. These will have similar effects of softening and moisturizing the skin. Also, try washing just your face with natural milk and honey. (Avoid this tip if you have oily skin as that can lead to excess surface oils and acne.)
Another beauty tip from the times of antiquity was using a cleansing cream on the skin. In the tombs of Cleopatra and other members of her court, jars of cleansing cream composed of oil and lime were found. The lime has an astringent effect and the oil would keep the skin supple and rich. Many of today’s cleansing creams follow the same simple formula. They include ingredients to clear the pores and keep them moisturized.
It is apparent that Cleopatra and women of her time knew the importance of removing oil and grease from the skin. There are many reports of these women using natron to cleanse their skin, teeth and even open wounds. Natron is dried up salt concentrate and these women cherished the natron from the Dead Sea. It was known to remove oil and grease from the skin. They would grind it into a paste with water and honey and then rub it onto the skin. To achieve a modern day equivalent combine water, sea salt, baking powder and honey. The salt acts as an exfoliant as it also removes oil and grease.
Cleopatra had beautiful long dark hair. One of her secrets was to rinse her hair with aloe in order for it to retain moisture. She also brushed her hair nightly to maintain its sheen.
The egyptian sun is extremely hot. For the times when her skin was sun burned she used a grape leaf mask to heal the skin. She would apply a mask of ground grape leaves mixed with honey and let it rest on her face for 15 minutes then rinse.