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Top Five Ancient Greek Beauty Tips Everyone Should Know

ancient greek beauty tips
Greek honey on Evia Island. Credit: Greek Reporter

Beauty was extremely important in ancient Greece, and not just for women but for men as well. As admirers of beauty, ancient Greeks placed great emphasis on healthy skin, and naturally, they developed many useful, natural beauty tips.

The countless works of art depicting the human form, and philosophical treatises on the nature of beauty from antiquity attest to the fact that beauty was indeed much prized in ancient Greece.

Natural cosmetics were used widely and regularly, for not only one’s physical appearance, but also for the maintenance of the health of one’s skin and body.

Women in ancient Greece enhanced their beauty using common ingredients like milk, honey and olive oil that are also at our disposal to this day.

Olive oil was used as moisturizer

Ancient Greeks also used olive oil as part of their efforts to enjoy a healthy life and to promote longevity, employing it as a cosmetic for the skin and hair. Today, Greek olive oil is considered by most as the best in the world.

Ancient Greek women were the first to use olive oil as a moisturizer. Olive oil helps to revitalize dry skin and contributes to the cell renewal process.

They would also mix it with sugar or salt and use it as an exfoliant. Olive oil made the skin look shiny and healthy, while adding a bit of glowing color.

An ancient Greek beauty secret: Honey

Honey has a long history of cosmetic usage as women used it to make face masks or body scrubs. Honey has soothing properties and is used even today in wound care.

Because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, honey also helped with certain types of acne.

Yogurt soothes the skin

Greek yogurt is a miraculous ingredient as it soothes and nourishes the skin. It is also used to relieve skin after sunburns.

Greek yogurt, another natural moisturizer, contains probiotics, proteins, vitamins and minerals, making it great as an anti-aging mask as well.

Yogurt is also good for calming the skin, as it revitalizes dry skin and works wonders with cases of eczema.

Sea salt for exfoliation

Ancient Greeks, along with Egyptians, were known for using sea salt to exfoliate their skin. It was mixed with olive oil and used as a moisturizing natural peel as well.

Ancient Greek beauty tip: using milk for soft skin

Milk — from cows, goats, or donkeys — has great softening properties and it was widely used in ancient Greece. However, it was a luxury that only rich Greeks could afford at the time.

Humans have been using milk from donkeys for cosmetic and health purposes since antiquity, particularly the ancient Greeks and Egyptians.

Sources from antiquity state that the ancient Egyptian queen Cleopatra, known for her extensive beauty routines, would bathe in donkey’s milk to keep her skin soft and glowing. It is said that the milk of 700 donkeys was used to fill her bathtub.

The ancient Roman poet Ovid also suggested women use donkey milk on their faces to improve the health and appearance of their skin.


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