Cleopatra Inspired Bath Rituals
There is a distinct obsession in the world for the rich and powerful. It has been true for a long, long time. Cleopatra achieved such heights of both that she remains remembered for her position in the world, but in truth her beauty also plays a large part in this immortality. Her name is almost synonymous with a sort of unchallenged, eternal beauty. Many of us continue to try to learn her secrets even to this day in hopes of managing to capture even a fragment of her beauty. Cleopatra was credited with doing many things to maintain her beauty ranging from various natural oils and beauty masks applied to her face to sleeping in a golden mask. All of these likely helped in one way or another, but the specifics are less clear. What we do have are ideas on the kind of baths she was supposed to have taken to aid in her beauty.
Milk and Honey
The single most often highlighted bath that Cleopatra supposedly took was a credited as including a combination these two ingredients. It was generally remarked upon as she supposedly had her servants ensure that the necessary ingredients traveled with her so that she would never be without it. An actual bath infused with milk and honey might not be the most practical thing for most of us today though. What was going on with the bath though? Think about what we know about milk. It is both lightly acidic and the thickness of untreated milk sticks to the skin some. This would form a nourish barrier. Similarly, honey is a natural astringent with antimicrobial properties. When combined, these two would make for for combination that both repaired skin and helped protect it. Consider trying a soothing and nourishing bath product combined with a honey scrub to get a similar result.
Natural oils figured heavily into Ancient Egyptian beauty practices. Both the fragrance and skin nourishing abilities of oil can do wonders for the skin. They were more commonly used as bases for compounds that we’d think of as being the close relatives of creams, but even today we know a good selection of oils poured directly into bathwater can have a noticeable effect on the skin. Cleopatra likely enjoyed various uses of oils for both hydrating and nourishing effects. The popular oils for the region were castor and moringa oil in particular, but you don’t need to feel constrained on the oils you use. You’ve got far more access than the Ancient Egyptians ever did, after all. Look into tutorials on how to appropriately prepare an oil bath and what each kind of oils is good for before trying this though. Too much of any oil in a water can irritate sensitive skin.
One of the last major things that Cleopatra was credited as using were baths in the Dead Sea. This body of water has an incredibly high concentration of minerals thanks to the water being filtered through the rock below. The concentration of minerals has lead to waters credited with both healing and preservative properties for ages. It makes perfect sense that Cleopatra would take her time to make use of the resource. Some say she even set up her own personal “spa” in the area depending on the sources you read and how much you trust particular local lore. Regardless, a mineral bath can do wonders for the skin if done appropriately. In most cases you’ll find this available as part of a bentonite clay mixture that is added to bathwater. There are other mixtures that focus more on salts to varying degrees of effectiveness. The product doesn’t matter as much as raising the mineral content of the water though.
Ancient Egyptians, like most cultures, tried to find the best ways to preserve themselves against age and to maintain their appearance. It is a very human practice. Cleopatra wasn’t immune to this goal either. The various tricks she’s credited as using to help maintain her legendary beauty continue to be considered things to aspire towards. These bath practices may let you emulate part of Cleopatra’s tricks and may be just what you need to add an extra boost to your skincare routine.