The need to look and feel beautiful is in no way a novel phenomenon. From ancient times, man has been paying much attention to the aesthetic value of his or her appearance, and used many elements in nature to achieve a more beautified appearance. In ancient Egypt, it is said that Queen Cleopatra preferred to bathe in a mixture of milk and honey in order to keep her skin supple and youthful. During the same era, charcoal was used to paint around the eyes to give it more prominence, and animal urine was used to bleach hair and clothes. Plant matter was mixed with oils to be applied as lip colour and cheek stains. In ancient Greece, olive oil was used to keep skin and hair beautiful and healthy, in addition to using it in cooking and cleaning. It was also used to clean the body in place of modern soap. It is obvious that the history of cosmetics is a longstanding one.
However, within the recent past, the industry itself has expanded at a rapid rate. Cosmetics and international brand that sell such products became widely available to any individual worldwide, and cosmetic companies started to rake in massive amounts of revenue.
The makeup industry
Makeup ranges from products for the face, eyes, lips, even hair. Consumers can choose from large reputed brands or cheaper brands that are more budget-friendly but do offer quality products. Face makeup, ranging from foundations, primers, and concealers, offers a range of colours and varieties to suit all skin tones as well as different types of skin, such as products that cater to oily skin and those that cater to dry skin. This allows individuals to choose their makeup according to the needs of their skin. Other cosmetics, such as lipsticks, facial scrubs, eyeliner, mascara, and face masks, all cater to specialized needs, be it glamorous makeup to an important occasion, or a spa treatment that offers skin-renewing benefits. Evidently, these types of cosmetics are in fact modern and far more improved versions of cosmetics used centuries ago.
The hair care industry
Hair is said to be the ‘crowning glory’ of any person. Hair care has long been a crucial factor in the lives of people. The aforementioned Greeks in ancient Greece used olive oil to moisturize and treat their hair, while modern-day Indian women, famous for their luscious locks, use Ayurvedic and natural oils to treat their hair.
Shampoos, conditioners, hair serums, and topical sprays have become staples in most individual’s hair care regimens. This also includes hair care supplements, usually containing biotin, that are taken to strengthen the hair and improve its growth.