Cosmetic History Worldwide and the Growth of the Cosmetic Industry
Cosmetic history worldwide has gone through a sea of change over the past few centuries. Today the cosmetic industry is worth over $50 billion, but this was not always the case. Before we study more about the history of cosmetics, we need to search the origin of cosmetics. Cosmetics was not a business during its nascent stage and it was solely vegan, used to enhance the look of the facial skin. It all started during the 4th century BC when cosmetics and business were words from two different worlds.
If we look into the history of cosmetics then we find that the Egyptians were the precursors of cosmetic use. Here the women of the upper class used animal fat, scented oils and eye color to give a real ‘facelift’ to their faces. During its initial years, cosmetics were restricted to the confines of a room where they were prepared from natural ingredients. Cosmetics had not yet found any commercial use though it was exchanged among women.
The western world also embraced it (though a little late) much to the dissatisfaction of the Church and Queen Victoria. The use of cosmetics here was more among the lower class women and this is what slowly gave rise to cosmetics being manufactured for sale among the common masses. The French were the first to manufacture cosmetics on a large scale with the use of new and improved methods. They replaced the dangerous ingredients like copper and lead with Zinc oxide and other harmless chemicals. This soon resulted in wide sales of cosmetics and women from the elite as well as lower classes started to use it for their facial beautification.
The history of cosmetics changed with the end of World War II and the industrial growth during the 1940’s, when cosmetics found acceptance among women from all corners of the world. With the advent of the electronic media like Television and Radio, things looked really sunny for the cosmetic industry as actresses wore cosmetic makeup that attracted the general masses – a huge boost to the sales figures. Soon more and more women turned it into a habit to wear cosmetic makeup for almost all occasions.