Beyond Makeup: 50 Eye-Opening Facts About Cosmetics

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1 Puppy Water’s Bizarre 1600s Recipe

Puppy Water's Bizarre 1600s Recipe

Puppy Water, a moisturizing cosmetic used in the 1600s, had a recipe that included 4 pounds of Sallet oil, 2 newly whelped puppy dogs, and 1 pound of earthworms washed in white wine. The whelps were boiled until they fell apart, then the worms were added and strained, followed by the addition of 3 ounces of cypress turpentine.


2. The Romans believed that excessive sex caused eyelashes to fall out, prompting women to use cosmetics to make their lashes appear fuller and longer, symbolizing chastity.


3. In 1770, the British Parliament passed a law condemning lipstick, stating that women found guilty of seducing men into matrimony through cosmetic means could be tried for witchcraft.


4. Breast cancer survivors worldwide seek the expertise of Little Vinnie in Baltimore, renowned as the “Michelangelo of Nipple Tattoos,” for highly detailed areola tattoos after mastectomies.


5. Carmine, a popular red dye used in both foods and cosmetics, is made from thousands of tiny, crushed insects called cochineals.


6 Lipstick’s Ancient Evolution

Lipstick's Ancient Evolution

Lipstick, first invented in ancient Sumerian and Indus Valley cultures about 5,000 years ago, served various purposes over time. The ancient Egyptians used it to signify social status regardless of gender, while the Chinese used it for lip protection.


7. Lipsticks may contain toxic amounts of metal, exposing women to excessive chromium associated with stomach cancer. Additionally, 75% of tested products contain lead, with no way for consumers to determine metal content. Some lipsticks include fish scales for a shimmer effect, and there’s no FDA limit on lead.


8. Giulia Tofana, a notorious figure from the 17th-century Italian Renaissance, assisted over 600 women in murdering their husbands. She created Aqua Tofana, a poisonous concoction believed to contain arsenic, lead, and belladonna, which was sold mixed into cosmetics.


9. Microbeads, widely employed in cosmetics as exfoliating agents, are made of plastic and can persist in the environment for up to 50 years after passing through water treatment plants.


10. In Italy, it is common for dwarfs to undergo painful limb-lengthening surgery, involving the repeated breaking and pulling apart of bones over 2-3 years, due to societal pressure. Notably, 90% of Italian dwarfs undergo this procedure, a rate significantly higher than the 8% observed in the rest of Europe.


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11 Deadly Risks of Brazilian Butt Lifts

Deadly Risks of Brazilian Butt Lifts

Brazilian butt lifts (BBLs) have a mortality rate 10 to 20 times higher than the average cosmetic procedure, making them the cosmetic procedure with the highest death rate.


12. As of 2012, South Korean men were using 21% of the world’s men’s cosmetics and makeup.


13. In 2004, Jessica Simpson’s line of edible makeup, perfume, and body wash faced discontinuation after several lawsuits. Customers reported issues like yeast infections brought on by Butterscotch Toffee Body Wash and bees following them after using Belly Button Love Potion.


14. Vietnam grapples with rising medical issues caused by fat-dissolving injections sold by dubious beauticians and cosmetic treatment clinics. The FDA in the United States has banned a hormone that is present in the urine of pregnant women, which is what these injections contain.


15. In 1915, a farmer witnessed his sister making mascara with coal and petroleum jelly, inspiring him to create a more user-friendly product. His invention, named Maybelline after his sister Maybel and the base material Vaseline, was easier to apply and gentle on the eyes.


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16 Moisturizers: Hydration or Illusion?

Moisturizers: Hydration or Illusion?

Moisturizers don’t moisturize the skin but prevent it from losing hydration. Additionally, there is a technical distinction between creams, ointments, and lotions.


17. In Britain’s Victorian Age, when wearing makeup was linked to low morals, women pinched their cheeks and bit their lips to make them appear red.


18. In 2017, the world’s fastest-growing cosmetic procedure was labiaplasty.


19. Arsenic was sold as a beauty product in the late 1800s. Women would nibble on wafers or wash with the poison, hoping to achieve an ideal complexion free of “freckles, blackheads, and pimples.”


20. Cleopatra’s eyeliner, containing lead salt, served both beauty and medicinal purposes, protecting her against eye diseases by eliciting an immune response that killed bacteria. The use of lead in ancient Egyptian eyeliner also contributed to the origin of the color Kohl.


15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History


21 Lip Balm Essentials: The Truth

Lip Balm Essentials: The Truth

The most effective lip balm or ointment includes petrolatum to lock in moisture and dimethicone to seal off cracks in dry lips. Lip balms with menthol, camphor, and fragrances can exacerbate lip issues.


22. NASA engineers designed a makeup kit for female astronauts, anticipating their desire for makeup in space.


23. The spa and beauty industries coined the term “cellulite” to market their goods. Many in the medical community view it as the “normal condition of many women” rather than a disorder.


24. Sarah Breedlove, an orphan born to freed slaves, achieved the distinction of being the first self-made female millionaire in U.S. history in the early 1900s by creating and selling homemade hair-care products through her own factory. She further established a beauty school to train sales agents. Adjusting for inflation, the $1 million she earned then would be equivalent to $13 million today.


25. Facial Botox injections can impede the ability to identify emotional expressions in facial photos as they may prevent facial mirroring, hindering the brain’s interpretation of emotions in others.


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