Anti-aging treatments have been present since Ancient Egypt, but how did we progress from bathing in donkey milk to normalizing Botox treatments? The journey was certainly a long and sometimes disgusting one. Here’s a brief look at some of the history behind anti-aging treatments and the development of Botox.
Cleopatra is certainly an iconic female leader, but her skincare routine leaves something to be desired. To reduce wrinkles, the Egyptian queen would take daily donkey milk baths, a practice that required over 700 donkeys to keep up with. Unfortunately, this isn’t the most ridiculous anti-aging method cooked up by history.
1500 – 1800
Elizabethan women would often use raw meat as a means of anti-aging. Placing slices of raw meat on the face was thought to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. That practice thankfully ended after 1600. Meanwhile, in France, red wine was often used as a means of exfoliation. Egg whites were another popular solution to the problem of wrinkles.
Botulinum Toxin is Discovered
In the early 1800s, Dr. Justinus Kerner discovered the botulinum toxin while studying a batch of undercooked blood sausages that had killed several people in Germany. Instead of studying it under a microscope, he injected himself with the toxin he found to better understand the effects and causes of food poisoning. Now that’s dedication to your craft.
Botulinum Toxin Develops
After more research had been done on the botulinum toxin, several different strains were identified, one of which was safe to humans. After the idea of using the toxic strains for biological warfare was scrapped, science began to look at the potential benefits of the non-harmful strain.
Botox is Born
Research continued throughout the 1950s and 1960s, but Botox wasn’t officially developed and tested until 1978 when Dr. Alan B. Scott received approval to inject small amounts of the substance into human patients. When he saw positive results, the Botox craze was born.
Now, nonsurgical skin tightening has leaped from the ninth to seventh most popular plastic surgery procedure in the world. In addition to breast augmentation, tummy tucks, and nose jobs, Botox is widely popular and successful.