Sign in

Ancient Egyptian Makeup May Have Helped Protect the Eyes

New research shows the eye makeup worn by ancient Egyptians may have helped ward off eye infections.

The stunning eye makeup worn thousands of years ago by Queen Nefertiti and other Egyptian royals may not have been used to enhance beauty alone: New research suggests that the ancient cosmetics may have helped prevent or treat eye disease.

Some ancient Egyptians thought their lead-based black eye makeup could protect against illness. Until now, scientists haven't believed this because lead-based substances, such as paint, can make people sick.

In the study, published in the current issue of the journal Analytical Chemistry, researchers analyzed substances from ancient Egyptian makeup containers that are preserved at the Louvre museum in Paris. They found that the substances raise the production of nitric oxide in skin cells, which can help boost the immune system and prevent or treat eye infections.

According to study author Christian Amatore, of the Universite Pierre & Marie Currie, and colleagues, eye infections could develop due to exposure to contaminated water and may have commonly struck ancient Egyptians. While it's not known if the makeup was specifically produced for health reasons, "it is clear that such intentional production remains the first known example of a large-scale chemical process," the study authors wrote.

More information

The U.S. National Eye Institute has more on eye health.

HealthDay News, January 23, 2010

Related Content

 

Skip

Welcome to the new SkinInc.com!

Delivering the best information on the spa, skin care and wellness industry is our passion, and we’ve worked hard to design a powerful new website that incorporates cutting-edge technology to bring you:

  • Mobile-friendly Design
  • Integrated Sample Request
  • Refreshed Look and Feel
  • Dynamic Content
  • Free Registration

Mobile-friendly Design

Providing a unified experience from mobile to desktop, responsive design allows you to access Skin Inc. content from any device, whether you’re in the treatment room, at home or on the go!

Integrated Sample Request

Visit Featured Product pages to quickly and easily identify new suppliers and request product samples and information.

Dynamic Content

Articles are now linked with relevant products so you can find the products and treatments you need to provide the best results for your clients.

Free Registration

Create your user account to gain unlimited access to Skin Inc.’s unparalleled content.

Enjoy the New SkinInc.com!

Thank you for joining the Skin Inc. community of passionate skin care professionals. We look forward to providing you the best information to enhance your career!