Cosmetics, also known as make-up, are substances or products used to enhance the appearance or fragrance of the body. Let’s see some amazing history facts and trivia about it!
1.The word cosmetics derives from the Greek κοσμητικὴ τέχνη (kosmetikē tekhnē), meaning “technique of dress and ornament”, from κοσμητικός (kosmētikos), “skilled in ordering or arranging” and that from κόσμος (kosmos), meaning amongst others “order” and “ornament”.
2. Ancient Sumerian men and women were possibly the first to invent and wear lipstick, about 5,000 years ago.
3. They crushed gemstones and used them to decorate their faces, mainly on the lips and around the eyes.
4. Also around 3000 BC to 1500 BC, women in the ancient Indus Valley Civilization applied red tinted lipstick to their lips for face decoration.
5. Ancient Egyptians extracted red dye from fucus-algin, 0.01% iodine, and some bromine mannite, but this dye resulted in serious illness.
6. Lipsticks with shimmering effects were initially made using a pearlescent substance found in fish scales.
7. Six thousand year old relics of the hollowed out tombs of the Ancient Egyptian pharaohs are discovered.
8. Kohl used by ancient Egypt as a protective of the eye kohl
9. Castor oil used by ancient Egypt as a protective balm.
10. Skin creams made of beeswax, olive oil, and rose water, described by Romans.
11. Vaseline and lanolin in the nineteenth century.
12. The Ancient Greeks also used cosmetics as the Ancient Romans did.
13. Cosmetics are mentioned in the Old Testament, such as in 2 Kings 9:30, where Jezebel painted her eyelids—approximately 840 BC—and in the book of Esther, where beauty treatments are described.
14. One of the most popular traditional Chinese medicines is the fungus Tremella fuciformis, used as a beauty product by women in China and Japan.
15. The fungus reportedly increases moisture retention in the skin and prevents senile degradation of micro-blood vessels in the skin, reducing wrinkles and smoothing fine lines.
16. Other anti-ageing effects come from increasing the presence of superoxide dismutase in the brain and liver; it is an enzyme that acts as a potent antioxidant throughout the body, particularly in the skin.
17. Cosmetic use was frowned upon at many points in Western history. For example, in the 19th century, Queen Victoria publicly declared make-up improper, vulgar, and acceptable only for use by actors.
18. During the sixteenth century, the personal attributes of the women who used make-up created a demand for the product among the upper class.
19. As of 2016, the world’s largest cosmetics company is L’Oréal, which was founded by Eugène Schueller in 1909 as the French Harmless Hair Colouring Company (now owned by Liliane Bettencourt 26% and Nestlé 28%; the remaining 46% is traded publicly).
20. The market was developed in the US during the 1910s by Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubinstein, and Max Factor.
21. These firms were joined by Revlon just before World War II and Estée Lauder just after.
22. During the 18th century, there was a high number of incidences of lead-poisoning because of the fashion for red and white lead makeup and powder. This led to swelling and inflammation of the eyes, attacked tooth enamel, and caused skin to blacken.
23. Heavy use was known to lead to death.
24. Although modern make-up has been traditionally used mainly by women, an increasing number of men are using cosmetics usually associated to women to enhance or cover their own facial features such as blemishes, dark circles, and so on.
25. Concealer is commonly used by men. Cosmetics brands release products especially tailored for men, and men are increasingly using them
26. A variety of organic compounds and inorganic compounds comprise typical cosmetics. Typical organic compounds are modified natural oils and fats as well as a variety of petrochemically derived agents. Inorganic compounds are processed minerals such as iron oxides, talc, and zinc oxide. The oxides of zinc and iron are classified as pigments, i.e. colorants that have no solubility in solvents.
27. The manufacture of cosmetics is dominated by a small number of multinational corporations that originated in the early 20th century, but the distribution and sale of cosmetics is spread among a wide range of businesses
28. The worlds largest cosmetic companies are L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Shiseido, and Estée Lauder.
29. In 2005, the market volume of the cosmetics industry in the US, Europe, and Japan was about EUR 70B/y.
30. In Germany, the cosmetic industry generated €12.6 billion of retail sales in 2008, which makes the German cosmetic industry the third largest in the world, after Japan and the United States. German exports of cosmetics reached €5.8 billion in 2008, whereas imports of cosmetics totaled €3 billion.
31. The worldwide cosmetics and perfume industry currently generates an estimated annual turnover of US$170 billion (according to Eurostaf – May 2007).
32. Europe is the leading market, representing approximately €63 billion, while sales in France reached €6.5 billion in 2006, according to FIPAR (Fédération des Industries de la Parfumerie – the French federation for the perfume industry).
33. France is another country in which the cosmetic industry plays an important role, both nationally and internationally. According to data from 2008, the cosmetic industry has grown constantly in France for 40 consecutive years.
34. In 2006, this industrial sector reached a record level of €6.5 billion. Famous cosmetic brands produced in France include Vichy, Yves Saint Laurent, Yves Rocher, and many others.
35. The Italian cosmetic industry is also an important player in the European cosmetic market. Although not as large as in other European countries, the cosmetic industry in Italy was estimated to reach €9 billion in 2007.
36. The Italian cosmetic industry is dominated by hair and body products and not makeup as in many other European countries. In Italy, hair and body products make up approximately 30% of the cosmetic market. Makeup and facial care, however, are the most common cosmetic products exported to the United States.
37. Due to the popularity of cosmetics, especially fragrances and perfumes, many designers who are not necessarily involved in the cosmetic industry came up with perfumes carrying their names.
38. Moreover, some actors and singers (such as Celine Dion, Rihanna etc) have their own perfume line.
39.Criticism of cosmetics has come from a wide variety of sources including some feminists, religious groups, animal rights activists, authors, and public interest groups.
40. Cosmetics testing on animals is particularly controversial. Such tests involve general toxicity, eye and skin irritancy, phototoxicity (toxicity triggered by ultraviolet light), and mutagenicity.
41. Cosmetics testing is banned in the Netherlands, Belgium, and the UK, and in 2002, after 13 years of discussion, the European Union (EU) agreed to phase in a near-total ban on the sale of animal-tested cosmetics throughout the EU from 2009, and to ban all cosmetics-related animal testing.
42. France, which is home to the world’s largest cosmetics company, L’Oréal, has protested the proposed ban by lodging a case at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, asking that the ban be quashed.
43. The ban is also opposed by the European Federation for Cosmetics Ingredients, which represents 70 companies in Switzerland, Belgium, France, Germany, and Italy.