White lead facial
Nowadays people with darker skin considered to be more attractive. However in the Age of Enlightenment it was quite the opposite. There was a beauty trend towards aristocratic paleness. Tanned skin meant you spent more time outside which usually was associated with working outside in the fields or similar backbreaking labor. If your skin looked whiter then people would think more highly of you and they would think you were more rich too. In order to look whiter people would apply a powder made of white lead, calcium carbonate and hydroxide to every centimetre of exposed flesh.


Surely that would provide unearthly pallor which was considered hot at the time and even Queen Elizabeth I of England used lead in order to look super-pale. Later her look was called “the Mask of Youth.” Too bad this powder wasn’t very safe to use and it caused numerous side effects like skin inflammation and even baldness.


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