An incredibly well-preserved jar of 2,000-year-old face cream was found at the site of an ancient Roman temple in London. The cream even had its user’s fingerprints still in it. It was made from donkey’s milk, and other ancient cosmetics have been found made from delightful ingredients like crocodile dung.
Amanda Onion writes in abcnews.com that another favorite Roman cosmetic ingredient came from the sweat and dirt from sheep’s wool. “Basically they were getting lanolin,” says Museum of London curator Jenny Hall. Lanolin is still used in cosmetics today.
For lipstick, Roman women used red ochre or the dregs from red wine. They mixed bear’s fat with lamp soot for eyeliner and mascara. Blusher and eye shadow came from ground saffron.