When we buy a face mask, we always look at the ingredients because we all know that not all face masks are created equal. In addition, there are different types of face masks that target different skin types and skin problems. Thanks to technological advancements and medical research, there is aloe vera for dry skin, charcoal for acne treatment, glycolic acid for dull skin, and so on.
But did you know that back in the days, face masks used to contain weird and, to some extent, terrifying ingredients?
Here are some of them:
1. Animal Placentas
Using placentas topically may not be eyebrow-raising these days, thanks to the plethora of beauty products containing only a few milligrams of it and to the studies that prove placenta, when applied topically, heals wounds fast and stimulates collagen proliferation. But it would still be weird to know that these were once a part of a pregnant mammal’s body.
Although these are sterilized before incorporated in any beauty product, experts note that the way it is done is not revealed to many of us. In ancient times, Roman women used animal placenta in their face masks, too.
2. Stool of Animals
In case you don’t know, bird droppings are used to make your skin look better. Some skin care clinics and spas mix it with other ingredients, such as rice bran, to exfoliate and brighten the skin. Bird droppings are known to contain enzymes that break down dead skin cells, as well as guanine that makes the skin shine. Ancient Roman women used kingfishers’ dropping as an ingredient to their face mask.
If you follow Miranda Kerr, you probably know about her terrifying facial regimen called the leech therapy. Using live leeches, this therapy allows those suckers to feed on your face and then smear this blood all over your face as a face mask. According to its supporters, this mask tightens the skin and makes it look younger.
Apparently, Kerr is not the only known user of leech facial masks. According to some historical data, European women in the Middle Ages used leeches to give them a pleasant appearance everyone was raving about in those days.
4. Blood of Calves or Hares
You probably saw Kim Kardashian undergo (and sparked a trend called) vampire facials where blood from your arms is processed and used to aerate your face. But did you know that using blood to maintain one’s youth is not something new? Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed, also known as the Blood Countess, believed that blood contains elements that preserve youth and beauty.
As for the face mask, European women in the Middle Ages thought that the blood of calves and hares has rejuvenating and freckle-removing properties.
5. Raw Meat
Although putting raw meat on faces no longer exists these days, it was popular once upon a time. Victorian women would put raw veal or beef over their faces before bedtime to maintain a youthful look. Empress Elisabeth of Austria is one of the proponents of this method. While it was not mentioned how raw meat does that, rumor has it that steak helps get rid of black eyes fast. Perhaps, something in them helps with cell regeneration.
The production of face masks has come a long way, and we’re thankful it did. Now, you no longer need to search for sacrificial lambs to get that youthful glow. A few clicks here and there should suffice, as many suppliers offer modern, safe, and effective beauty masks online.