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History of Hygiene
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Skin Care

A brief history of…SKIN CARE

Ancient Egypt: Creams and oils were used as skin moisturisers, providing protection from the hot, dry climate.

200 BC : The first cold cream? Ancient Roman Physician, Galen, developed a cold cream by melting beeswax into rose oil and then adding water.

Ancient Greece: Athletes used olive oil and fine sand to help protect the skin from the sun.

4th/5th C: Indian women used a treatment of flour or wheat husk mixed with milk to exfoliate the skin.

1100s: Moisturiser. Hildegarde of Bingen provided an early recipe for facial moisturiser: cook barley in water, strain through a cloth, and bathe the face with this water.

Other known moisturisers included: animal fats (Native America), avocado (Latin America), and palm oil (Brazil, Africa).

Trophy  Developments towards modern-day skin care

Early 1880s: Dr Fleet of the USA invented lip balm. He then sold his recipe for $5 and Chapstick production began from a domestic kitchen in 1912.

Late 19th C: Manufactured body creams used ingredients such as petroleum jelly, mineral oil and lanolin.

1930s: The first sunscreen? Two separate inventors, Chemists Eugene Schueller and Franz Greiter, are credited with development of the first sunscreens. 1940: The first zinc sun cream was developed. 1962: The “Sun Protection Factor” (SPF) was developed by Franz Greiter as a way to measure a product's ability to block ultraviolet rays. 1980: The first UVA/UVB sunscreen was developed.

Today, there is an extensive range of skincare products including body washes, gels, lotions and exfoliants; facial cleansers, toners, treatments and moisturisers; and specialised products for the lips, hands and nails. There is also a broad range of sun protection products.


useful stuff...

How Australian pandemics have changed! The 1919 Spanish Flu pandemic caused over 10,000 deaths in Australia,14 whereas the 2009-10 H1N1 pandemic ("Swine Flu") caused 191 deaths.15 English knights were required to bathe at least once in their lives - during the ritual of their knighthood ceremony. Because of this tradition, during the reign of King Henry IV there originated an order called "Knights of the Bath".16 The term "shampoo" came from Indian language and originally meant "massage".17 English society ladies held vacuuming parties after invention of the horse-drawn electric vacuum in 1901.18
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