Black eyeliner, this distinctive feature of the ancient Egyptian culture, caused some controversy as to its practical usefulness. The Egyptians claimed that eye makeup possessed special protective qualities against illnesses. One of the blessings attributed to gods’ special favors, you know.
Last century’s scientists wrote it off as superstitious belief, since in their opinion the eyeliners contained lead which is regarded as a poisonous substance.
But the latest research shows that ancient Egyptians didn’t believe quite as blindly as we may have thought. They may have been wrong about the gods’ grace, but it seems that their eyeliners had a trick or two up their lines.
The research that appeared in the Analytical Chemistry gives credit back to the eye makeup. The analyses of 52 samples of Egyptian makeup from time immemorial that was preserved at the Louvre showed that they contained four lead-based substances, only two of which were natural, while the other two were clearly the results of the work of some Pharaoh’s chemists.
When applied to human cells, these proofs of ancient scientific genius caused a 240 percent boost of nitric oxide, the process that results in an instant strengthening of the immune system.
Considering that the Nile must have been a perfect source of dissemination of many bacteria, some of which affected the eyes, the makeup, by building up the immunity of the cells around the eyes, may have proven an ideal preventive measure. Although chances are they weren’t intended as one in the first place. The chemists sought to provide purely facial satisfaction, but then it was noticed that the application of some kinds of makeup did prevent their wearers from developing eye infections. But let us not think of that while we are enjoying the beauty of ancient Egyptian women!
Source of the image: Ehow.com.