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Oct 2012

Beauty Tips From Ancient Queens

Arch Dermatol. 2012;148(10):1164. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2012.2407

The quest for beauty stretches back into antiquity. Here are some favorite beauty recipes from queens of yesteryear.

Poppaea Sabina (30-65CE) was the second wife of the Roman Emperor Nero. She spared no effort to maintain her beauty, bathing regularly in donkey's milk.1 Poppaea kept on hand many lactating she-donkeys to supply the necessary bath milk. According to the Roman author Pliny the Elder, donkey's milk was thought to eliminate facial wrinkles and keep the skin smooth and delicate, while preserving its whiteness.1 Unrefrigerated milk, such as used by Poppaea, naturally sours to produce lactic acid, an α-hydroxy acid, which has exfoliant properties. Perhaps Poppaea's skin benefited from such lactic acid production, assuming that it formed in her milk bath.

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