Her HealthHer Skin

From Ancient Rituals to Modern Practices: The Evolution of Skincare Around the World


Skincare rituals have been around a lot longer than most think. In fact, many of our rituals have derived from ancient skincare routines. Some of the differences between what our skin goes through now versus then are the foods we eat and the environment our skin lives in 

Pollution and processed foods have the ability to age us and cause blemishes. Now, with advanced technology, anti-aging products are all around us. But, what most are surprised about is that the ingredients haven’t changed that much over time. 

Let’s compare the then versus now. 


Ancient Rituals We Love

There are a few ancient skin rituals that are worth talking about. Skin in some ways has become more blemished which sometimes can signal less is more. 

Egyptian Culture 

Ancient Egyptians have been well-known for their beauty and skincare routines because they intertwined them with religion. Their focus on natural ingredients is similar to what many beauty brands are going for today. Cleopatra was famous for using the following ingredients. 

  1. Milk is moisturizing and rich in lactic acid. This helps the skin feel soft and supple. Overall, milk is great for improving skin texture. 
  1. Honey is one of the most popular ingredients used in skincare today because of its antioxidant and healing properties. Back then it was used for treating blemishes and abrasions, just as it is today in various nourishing honey infused shampoo to moisturizing creams. It’s also a great humectant and moisturizer. 
  1. Oils are great for cleansing the skin. The double-cleanse method is popular today as oils can remove any debris and dirt from the day’s affairs. 

Today’s skincare is very similar to Egyptian skincare, but that’s not the only culture that’s worth noting. 

Greek and Roman Traditions

Greeks and Romans took luxury beauty to new heights in older civilizations. The staple of both these cultures focused on olive oil from a diet perspective and as an ingredient in their skin routine. Olive oil is great for moisturizing and repairing the skin barrier. 

However, the Greeks and Romans also focused on skincare. Much of their rituals involve herbal baths and massages to rejuvenate the skin from head to toe. That’s why we see Hamman spas that focus on body wraps that incorporate florals, herbs, and seaweed wraps. 

Asian Beauty

K-Beauty and other popular Asian beauty trends have taken the internet by storm over and over again. That is because their skin often looks as smooth as porcelain. So what are their secrets? They stick to rituals that have never failed them. Here are some of the main ingredients that have stuck around today. 

  1. Rice water is incredibly rich in all the vitamins and minerals your skin needs. This helps brighten the overall appearance and tone of your skin when you wash with rice water. It also has a number of anti-aging properties in it, making skin appear tighter and more youthful. 
  1. Ginseng is filled with powerful antioxidants that help protect our skin from free radicals and all the damage they can do to our skin. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help our skin appear more firm. 
  1. Last but certainly not least, let’s look at green tea. Many Asian skincare rituals include green tea extract because it is acne-fighting with its anti-inflammatory properties. What many don’t know, however, is that it can also assist with sun protection. 

Similar to the following examples, Asian beauty rituals use natural ingredients to keep the ritual simple and wholesome. But there is one more culture that can’t be missed. 

Ayurvedic Practices 

Indian skincare revolves around balancing the doshas. This beauty system works by using many herbs and oils to balance our skin. This is a more holistic approach as lifestyle and diet are a major part of healthy skin as well. Ayurvedic processes are similar to today’s approach, as many doctors will also tell you our skin is our messaging system from our internal selves. 

Turmeric and Aloe vera are two of the most common ingredients we see used. This has been brought into modern society as turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory. On the opposite side, Aloe vera is great at soothing wounds, particularly sunburns and other abrasions. 

How Is Today’s Skincare Different?

While skimming through this piece, you may have heard of all the different practices and ingredients. And that’s because the skincare industry is focusing on more natural approaches. The difference between recent years and anxiety practices with skincare is that we are much more involved now. 

We have many different technology options for laser facials, hydro facials, and others that help speed up healing and cell turnover processes. But many dieticians, estheticians, and dermatologists are saying keep it simple. There is no need for added ingredients or medications that can actually cause more harm to the skin than good. 

That being said, not all derived ingredients are bad. Retinols have proven to be a powerful anti-aging ingredient that many dermatologists would recommend in small doses. Sunscreen protection, which wasn’t as prevalent in ancient rituals, has improved. 

Striking Balance

When it comes to finding a skincare routine that works for you, striking balance is key. Using minimal ingredients at home that focus on skin health and well-being is crucial. And with these ingredients being so natural, some of your face masks can be made from home. 

Sometimes it’s also worth going the extra mile to get a facial and focus on our skincare with professionals. The Ayurvedic lifestyle is the closest thing we have to today’s most commonly practiced advice. Hydration, a good diet, and an active lifestyle will help do the trick to look your best