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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 highly 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.

Ancient Greek women would also mix olive oil with sugar or salt and use it as an exfoliant. The 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 even used 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 sunburned skin.

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

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

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 wealthier Greeks could afford at the time.

Humans have been using milk from donkeys for cosmetic and health purposes since antiquity, particularly in ancient Greece and Egypt.

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 seven hundred 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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