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Notable Notes
May 2013

Medicamina Faciei Femineae: Roman Skin Care

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Dermatology Centre, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester, England (Dr Ali); Department of History of Art, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England (Dr Fox); and Centre for Global Health, King's Health Partners, Denmark Hill, London, England (Dr Finlayson).

JAMA Dermatol. 2013;149(5):591. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.350

Discite quae faciem commendet cura, puellae,
et quo sit vobis forma tuenda modo

Now learn, my dears, the art of beautifying your faces;
learn by what means you can retain your charms.


Written 2 millennia ago, Ovid's Medicamina Faciei Femineae (Cosmetics for the Female Face) provides a unique insight into Roman dermatological practices and attitudes toward beauty. Born in Sulmo (east of Rome) in 43 BC, Ovid trained as an orator before crafting his art as one of the canonical poets of Latin literature.