In 2003, a 2,000-year-old Roman face cream was found. The discovery was made in the temple complex dedicated to Mars. The content is in a six-centimeter wide container. The find is dated to the 2nd century CE.
As it turned out, the cream was in very good condition and fingerprints were still visible. The team of researchers managed to recreate the consistency using fresh ingredients. Mostly, the ointment was composed of animal fat (cattle or sheep), mixed with starch and zinc oxide.
The cream had a pleasant consistency, which initially appeared to be very greasy, but over time, under the influence of starch, it gained flowability. Interestingly, starch is still present in modern cosmetics. The ointment was probably used by elegant Roman women as a foundation that was supposed to help achieve a fair complexion – in line with the fashion of the Empire.
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