Imagine a skincare line created by a model turned archaeologist. Ancient Preparations recreates historic and ancient skincare formulas. Before I review their products I’m going to share with you the story of Ancient Preparations.
The brand and their mission is what immediately drew me in. This “line of cosmeceutical products is inspired by historic formulations. Each artifact is artisan crafted in seasonal batches from organic and wild harvested ingredients as it has been for thousands of years.”
If you’re reading this blog there is a good chance I already got your attention when I said seasonal, organic, and wild harvest. Throw in the history, the story, and suddenly you want it now. Did you catch that they call their products “artifacts”?! Branding gold.
The creator, Nefernil, is an archaeologist currently with the University of Edinburgh. She specializes in Classical archaeology, especially ancient Egypt and Rome. Her research focus for the last five years has been in medicine, cosmetics and magic/ritual – which were essentially the same thing in the past. This was where the idea of cosmeceuticals came in. While working in Italy, she became inspired by the ancient pharmacies/cosmetics stores which are attached to old churches. They are run by nuns who continue to hand-craft traditional soaps and tinctures.
As a conservator in cultural heritage, Ancient Preparations believes in sustainability. This is why the Ancient Preparation products are organic, responsibly sourced, and donate to UNESCO World Heritage. The idea for the project began with the realization one could use the trend of natural products to inspire the public about our cultural heritage and the importance of reexamining our inherited beliefs (good and bad).
Nefernil states, “I think looking into the past to understand the present and plan for the future is the way to make the world a better place.”
ROMAN BATHHOUSE OIL DERMABRASION
AN ANCIENT ROMAN METHOD OF MICRODERMABRASION WITH HONÆ.™
200 B.C. In ancient Rome, bathing was a daily ritual. Bathhouses were social sanctuaries that cultivated the art of high spa from their earliest appearance.
77 A.D. Before the invention of processed soap, oils mixed with abrasives effectively cleansed the skin. Olive oil and hempseed oil, Mediterranean sea salt and bentonite clay were luxury means. A softening poultice of honey would follow the bathing regimen.i
1300 A.D. Lavender later derived its name from the Latin word for “to wash” after its historical use in perfuming the baths of ancient Rome.ii
i. Pliny the Elder, Natural History. (Rome, 77 A.D.)
ii. Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 12th Ed. (Oxford, 2011)
The Roman Bathhouse Oil Dermabrasion is silkening treat for the skin. Used on wet skin it effortlessly exfoliates. After rising off, the beneficial oils linger on the skin and are soaked up. My skin was brighter and softer. I love the heep seed oil, olive oil, and that is uses Honæ™, which is a proprietary cruelty-free honey alternative.
Get your significant other to massage it on you for the full pampering bathhouse experience.
QUEEN OF HUNGARY OIL MULTIPURPOSE
A MEDIEVAL CONCOCTION FOR THE MULTIPURPOSE TREATMENT OF SKIN AND HAIR
1346 A.D. As with many early European perfumes, Queen of Hungary’s Water is a healing tonic born in response to the Black Death. Its active ingredient, rosemary, purified the poisoned air associated with plague.
1372 A.D. The oldest recipe for Queen of Hungary’s Water was written in hand by Queen Elizabeth of Hungary. In her testimony, she was cured of gout and appeared so beautiful she was courted by the king of Poland in her old age.i
1400 A.D. Similar multipurpose perfumes have long existed in folk medicine.ii Despite the grave robber’s legend, Four Thieves Vinegar was likely named in contempt of the gypsies who imported their remedies.
i. Beckmann, J., A History of Inventions, Discoveries and Origins. (London, 1846)
ii. Petulengro, X., Romany Remedies and Recipes. (London, 1935)
The Queen of Hungary Oil Multipurpose is to be used on skin and hair. It contains grape seed oil which has been traditionally used as a wound healer and anti-inflammatory. It not only helps condition and treat the skin, but is a natural preservative. Containing malic acid, which is considered an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid). AHA help exfoliate the top layers of skin, promote moisture restoration, and help the penetration of other ingredients. These actions will help correct discoloration and improve skin’s texture. Although AHAs can exfoliate the top layer of the skin, making it more susceptible to UV damage, grape seed oil is thought to have built in UV absorbers that would negate this harmful side effect. It even promotes tissue regeneration, skin tightening and toning because of its unique ability to lock in moisture, which minimizes the appearance of wrinkles. Other benefits include treatment of acne due to it’s anti inflammatory and anti oxidant properties. By preventing the pores from clogging to a level of less incidence of breakouts.
All the ingredients of this oil contain equally exciting and dynamic ingredients. It’s no wonder this formula was so highly prized. It is easily absorb and a pleasant earthy scent.
GIFT OF THE NILE NIGHT OIL
AN ANCIENT EGYPTIAN ELIXIR FOR PRESERVING YOUTH WITH BLACK MORINGA OIL.™
1700 B.C. The revival of body and youth was sacred practice in ancient Egypt. An early cosmetic treatment from Ramesseum medical papyri describes a mixture hemp and celery for swelling and dark circles.i
1600 B.C. The Edwin Smith Papyrus prescribes fenugreek to render the skin “beautiful without any blemishes” and, in one spell, is the singular ingredient to the fountain of youth.ii
1550 B.C. Anti-aging prescriptions during the New Kingdom called for a compound of moringa oil with frankincense and sedge. Yellow nutsedge remains one of the oldest cultivated medicinal plants.iii
1323 B.C. Among the treasures presented in King Tutankhamun’s tomb was black seed oil.iv Since antiquity, it has been revered as the cure for all ailments but death itself.
i. Papyrus Ramesseum III. (Thebes, 1700 B.C.)
ii. Edwin Smith Papyrus. (Thebes, 1600 B.C.)
iii. Zohary D. et al, Domestication of Plants in the Old World: The Origin and Spread of Domesticated Plants in Southwest Asia, Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. (Oxford, 2012)
The Gift of the Nile Night Oil is the artifact that started it all for Ancient Preparations. The creator’s personal favorite, it is the kind of beauty product Cleopatra or Nefertiti would have used. The makeup of the formulation reveals this was for good reason.
The night oil smells wondrous with hints of cumin and hemp seed oil. I noticed my skin change for the better with this night oil. Shocked I dug in deep to the ingredients. The hemp seed oil immediately was a winner. Hemp seed oil is made from the only edible seed that contains gamma-linolenic acid. This is needed to regulate hormone levels and may diminish hormone-related acne. So it looks like I’m be buying some additional amount of this pure oil for consumption too! I hear it’s great for salad dressings.
Psoriasis is caused by a deficiency of omega-6 fatty acid, hemp oil is an effective treatment. It also hydrates the skin and brings more oxygen to it, which makes it a good treatment for eczema and dry, itchy skin.
Hemp oil can also bring down the redness and irritation of acne outbreaks. Over time, it can help eliminate acne by keeping the skin healthy and hydrated. It absorbs quickly and doesn’t block the pores and helps the skin balance oil production.
Not only is hemp oil rich in vitamins A and E, it also contains trace amounts of important minerals like potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium and phosphorus. Ingesting it improves cardiovascular health and blood flow to the skin.
It is also high in antioxidants, which are elements that prevent or slow cell damage. Because of this property, some people believe that the regular application of hemp oil slows the aging of the skin.
Now that’s just the first ingredient, the second is black cumin seed oil. This oil is also packed with benefits.
It’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti aging. It contains beneficial nutrients like, Omega 3 Acids, Zinc, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Potassium. Clearly another powerhouse ingredient!
The list of benefits as you go through ingredients is wonderful. Each ingredient of the formation adds powerful contributions to this amazing skincare ritual. The evidence will show all over your skin. Absolutely a worthwhile product and complete bargain once you see your results! If you’re not sure where to start diving into this line, please start here! And come back and thank me in the comments.[line]Get to the comments and let me know which of the Ancient Preparation artifacts you can’t wait to get your hands on!