Unique And Usually Toxic Ingredients Used For Victorian Beauty Rituals.

Updated: Jul 18

Disclaimer; This info is for historical references (education) and humor only. Do not try these ingredients at home. I hold no liability if you attempt to use ANY of these ingredients that are talked about in this blog, Furthermore any mention of names from here on out, Are simple for reference purposes only not for monetary gain by anyone related.

As was mentioned in previous blog talking about the beauty practices Phenol (Carboilic Acid) as it was and still is commonally refered to today was use in a number of beauty rituals but the one I am going to focus on in this blog is the most common and probably the most concentrated of all the uses back then,the facial peel. Phenol works by penetrating the dermal layer of the skin where as AHA work on the epidermis. This bypasses the epeidermis and goes straight to the second layer of the skin where it interacts with damaged tissues removing them from the skin forcing it to regernerate and therfore heal. During the healing proccess broken and weakened collagen fibers are replaced and epidermal flaws are replaced too! Carbolic Acid is still used in medical esthetician offices and dermetolgist offices to this day.

Ambergris was used in the perfumes of the day for men and women because it had a dule purpose it is a sweet smelling substance from the stomach of whales that because of it's sweet aroma worked to help to deminish the smell of body odors,furthermore it also worked to "adhere" the other aromas used in each perfume acting like binding/emulsifier to keep the sensory exsperience as it was intended.

Now lets move on to good old fashion mercury, you know that stuff that was used in glass themomiters an which as a liquid element looks like something slithering on the floor out of a Sci-Fi film (ah the days before digital everything). Mercury that is used in cosmetics commonly in two forms, organic and inorganic. Organic mercury was/is used as a preservative and inorganic mercury was/is used as a skin lighting agent similar to that of the good old beloved arsenic. The two common compouds that are largely found in skin creams in victorian times but still can be found in some potions of today were mercury chloride and ammoniated mercury. Interesting little known fact mercury based skin creams not only have been found to raise the mercury levels of the person whom is using it but even to a slight degree others in the household. For those of you who may still not know this mercury my lovelies is radio-active.

Now I save the funnest of them all for last, if you read my previous blog here you may remeber me mentionig about the victorian women being infactuated with lashes kind of like we are today. As I stated in first blog they didn't have falsies or lash exstentions as we do today so the took hair from their head and had it surgical placed in the lashline via sewing it into the lashline by a "pro" of the day. doing this was very painful so to curb some of the pain response the profecinal would rub a bit of cocaine directly on to the lashline to deaden the painful process ahead.


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