Cosmetics have a history that spans over 7000 years!
The origin of the cosmetic industry is traced back to ancient Egypt, where cosmetics were widely used for basic health and hygiene. Men and women used scented oils and liquids to sanitize their bodies and soften their skin texture.
Queen Cleopatra was believed to have obtained lipstick colors from ground carmine beetles. Both men and women of the late Egyptian era (4000 BCE) used kohl (Kajal), derived from metals, lead, copper, ash, and burnt almonds.
As you see, initially, make-up was never restricted to one particular gender!
Nevertheless, the purpose of make-up back then was much more than meeting beauty standards.
Kohl was applied to scare away the dangerous spirits and creams and ointments protected against the hot sun and dry winds. Many archaeologists and scientists believe that kohl might have inadvertently helped Egyptians prevent diseases.
Eventually, the concept of cosmetics found its way to ancient Rome and Greece, where people painted their faces with powders made of ground-up minerals and stones. The Greeks usually get credited for the origin of the word “cosmetics.” However, Egyptians are the proper pioneers of make-up as they are the first consumers of perfume, kohl, creams, and lipsticks.
Today, the cosmetic industry has evolved and is one of the biggest and oldest industries in the world generating around $400 billion as of 2020.