history of cosmetics - Signewords blogs

Let’s take a look at the history of cosmetics, to understand the main objective of personal care better:

To reach authenticity


We can trace the use of cosmetics as far back as prehistory when people were already grooming themselves for the celebration of funerals and ritual acts.

Although they also adorned their skin with early cosmetic preparations as:

cosmetics in prehistory - Signewords blogs

  • clay
  • animal fat
  • and different-colored pigments

Some of these substances are still used today by aboriginal peoples.

Cave paintings show makeup used to:

communicate and illustrate mood and life situations.


The limestone bust and engravings of Queen Nefertiti are the most important symbols of beauty we have of ancient Egypt.

Nefertiti's figure - Signewords blogs

Today the carved image of Nefertiti is still considered

to embody the most standardized ideas of female beauty:

  • tanned skin
  • long neck
  • full, defined lips
  • large, almond-shaped eyes
  • straight, narrow nose
  • shaped eyebrows
  • small ears
  • prominent cheekbones
  • delicate chin

Grooming and beauty tools were also found in the tomb of Queen Puabi (whose name was formerly translated as Shubad), dated ca. 2600 BC, along with formulas for the preparation of oils and balsams.

You can find these discoveries in the ancient Egypt section of the Louvre Museum.

cosmetics in ancient Egypt - Signewords blogs

According to Amigos del Antiguo Egipto (Friends of Ancient Egypt-Link in Spanish), products existed in ancient Egypt to:

Women in ancient Egypt, in cosmetics history

They used:
  • deodorants,
  • skin and hair tonics,
  • ointments and numerous products.

ancient cosmetics - Signewords blogs

Mainly derived from:

  • asses’ milk
  • flours
  • yeast
  • honey
  • clay
  • oils

They used hair and scalp products to conceal grey hair and prevent hair loss,

as well as removing excessive body hair in some areas.

Women of patrician families and cosmetics

cosmetics in ancient Greek - Signewords blogs

The conquests of Alexander the Great led to the beginnings of the cosmetics and beauty products industry in Greece.

Here aristocratic women:

  • painted their faces,
  • dusted themselves with white and red gold,
  • tinted their eyebrows,
  • used eyeliner,
  • and lengthened their eyelashes.

Ladies of ancient Rome and cosmetics

ancient Rome cosmetics - Signewords blogs

Similarly, ladies in Rome:

And to shine at a busy stream of social gatherings:

  • hairstyles
  • headdresses
  • makeup


Middle ages and Renaissance cosmetics - Signewords blogs

In the Middle Ages, it was frowned upon for women to groom other parts of the body,

so the ladies wore their hair very long.

They eagerly awaited the visits of traveling merchants, who went to their castles to sell them:

  • balsams,
  • herbs,
  • and toiletries.

Though personal grooming was considered undignified and offensive, thus, the Catholic church attempted to eliminate any practices used to make women more attractive.

15th and 16th centuries in cosmetics history

Then came the Renaissance.

And a taste for pleasure and beauty became widespread during the 15th and 16th centuries.

Noblewomen wanted:

Renaissance cosmetics - Signewords blogs

  • a curvy body shape,
  • blond hair,
  • and a high forehead,
  • with scarce or non-existent eyebrows,
  • and white skin.

The beauty ideals of the classical world were revived, and the discovery of America brought new materials.

➤ The use of makeup became indispensable in the French and English courts.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, high society was obsessed with makeup

→ And both men and women used it extravagantly.

By contrast, the natural look was the style that dominated the 19th century.

vintage fashion and cosmetics - Signewords blogs

→ That became the new fashion.

And women even cultivated a sickly look to appear glamorous.

Later, in the 20th century, beauty products ceased to be a luxury; only a few could afford it.

20th century personal care - Signewords blogs

New products appeared in France, which also tended towards a more natural look.

The world cosmetics industry began to offer infinite possibilities in hair and beauty products.

At the same time, the surge of the film industry induced women to follow trends in beauty and makeup set by the actresses of the day.

Vanity Fair magazine cover ↑


Cosmetics occupy an essential place in the world today:

cosmetics nowadays - Signewords blogs

  1. Helping people who experience skin side effects produced by specific therapies and medications,
  2. in the treatment of aesthetic problems,
  3. and improving the quality of life of those who decide to take care of themselves.
The cosmetics industry is one of the most innovative.

And the use of sophisticated technology is on the increase, offering consumers specific products for:

  • every type of skin,
  • every person in their uniqueness.

Besides, products expire and are reformulated continuously.

Cosmetics are perfected every day and are increasingly safe and effective

Ultimately, the pursuit of beauty through personal grooming is intrinsic in human beings.

When you feel:

Personal motivation and care - Signewords blogs

  • beautiful,
  • healthy,
  • even radiant,

you feel better, thus caring for the body you live in:

  • all day,
  • every day,
  • and every day of your life.

In other words, it is a way of expressing your inner well-being.


Content creation and translation services, as well as copywriting services,
are essential for the cosmetic industry.
All content must:
  • have coherence
  • present its style
Cosmetics translation is a highly demanded service in today’s globalized world.

translate cosmetics Signewords

It is increasingly strange that a cosmetics manufacturer works only locally or nationally.

Most commonly, cosmetic companies internationalize.

Therefore, both translation and content management are essential,
to provide an excellent service to the public interested in cosmetic products of guaranteed quality.
Maria Rotger

This blog’s section grounds is my analysis relating to personal care and the history of cosmetics. In the same way, based on this ongoing study, at SIGNEWORDS, we translate cosmetics and perform beauty copywriting, as some of our most relevant services. Contact us right here to receive information and an adapted free quote✔️

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