For the ancient Egyptians body care was a ritual. Preserving beauty and finding happiness was not only a form of respect for oneself but also for the gods. In fact, the ancient Egyptians thought that, on the threshold of the afterlife, the god Osiris asked two questions, the first was if the person had given happiness to others, the second if he had found happiness on earth. This is how every action, even the simplest, at least for us, such as moisturizing the skin or applying a perfume, became a sacred moment that had the purpose of taking care of one's home of the immortal soul, as the body was defined. So, let's immerse ourselves, in a timeless moment, in the beauty rituals worthy of the pharaohs and their queens, we’ll discover essences and aromas that lead us into a magical and fascinating world and that can make us feel in harmony with ourselves and pampered.
Jasmine and rose water
The ancient Egyptians used to tone body and face with floral waters, such as jasmine and rose water, to be sprayed on the skin. But these waters are also a true beauty and wellness treatment. In fact, jasmine is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, calming and helps fight sadness and depression (Kaviani et al, Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res., 2014). Not only that, this flower is also antioxidant and helps to counteract the damage of free radicals and therefore wrinkles and dull skin (El-Hawary et al, Nat Prod Res, 2019). Rose is also an antioxidant, relaxes, helps relieve stress and headache (Boskabady et al, Iran J Basic Med Sci, 2011). The floral waters are therefore soothing, calm redness but also help to release tensions, bring serenity and give a more elastic and luminous skin. Bring half a liter of water to a boil, remove from the heat and wait a couple of minutes. Add the petals, previously cleaned with a cloth, of a dozen roses or a generous handful of fresh jasmine flowers. Let it brew for 15 minutes, filter and use as a tonic on the face or body. The water can be kept in a closed jar in the fridge for a few weeks.
The ancient Egyptians moisturized the skin thanks to precious oils, such as sweet almond oil, ideal for the body.
As for the face, however, it is better to avoid sweet almond oil that could result a bit heavy. Nowadays, we can use other oils, powerful anti-aging, such as argan oil, apricot kernel or moringa oil, or anti-inflammatory such as jojoba oil. The Egyptians then, to counteract wrinkles, added resins and essences, such as myrrh, to the vegetable oils. Myrrh, in fact, shows antioxidant properties, able to counteract aging processes and wrinkles (Orchard et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2017). Myrrh also helps overcome fatigue, which often comes with hot weather.
In addition to this, this oleoresin is also antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, proving to be beneficial especially for the airways (Fatani et al, Exp Ther Med, 2016). Add 7-8 drops of myrrh essential oil in 50 ml of a plant based oil.
Then apply a few drops of this serum oil on the face in the evening or a teaspoon of this lotion on the body, after applying the rose or jasmine floral water or after bathing or showering, when the skin is still damp and the oil can be absorbed more easily.