Cosmetics is a term that includes many different things: Basically, everything that counts to the care and beautification of the body can be understood under cosmetics. Cosmetics have very different beauty traditions, cosmetics are often used for medical reasons. Cosmetics are used for cleansing, cures are used for cosmetic purposes, there are cosmetics that are used against ageing processes and even cosmetics with which the dead are prepared for their last days.
Most people associate the term “cosmetics” first of all with daily make-up, lipstick, eye shadow or powder. But the field of cosmetics is much wider, because there are, for example, a multitude of professions that are exclusively and exclusively dedicated to cosmetics.
I had to work in the sun. Pallor was therefore a sign of prosperity and exclusivity. With us today the exact opposite is the case: whoever has money travels to the sunny south, we relax with a sunbath and there are no longer so many professions that are practiced outdoors alone. A crisp tan is a sign of health and body awareness in our society. There are cosmetics, such as tanning creams and solariums, which can produce the desired tan artificially.
Cosmetics and today’s ideal of beauty
It is not unlikely that today’s ideal of Mary Kay Mascara in Malaysia will be reversed at some point. The kajal, cosmetics for the eyes, for example, has already been used by the Egyptians and is of immense importance to us only today. Henna, cosmetics from the henna bush, has been used in some cultures for centuries, is becoming popular with us every now and then and is losing this popularity again.
However, there are also cosmetics that simply could no longer be used today: Certain old peoples’ cosmetic fashions were so poisonous (because they were made of heavy metals, for example) that they would be banned today. There are also periods which are strictly religious, and in which women in particular are forbidden to change their appearance with cosmetics. Cosmetics can also shape entire cultivated landscapes, such as the cultivation of roses on huge areas in Bulgaria or France for the production of fragrances and oils or the production of argan oil, an exclusive edible oil that is regarded as a cosmetic for inside and outside and is currently changing society and production in Morocco, as the word has spread internationally.
Cosmetic professions in the field of cosmetics
Today, cosmetics is an important economic sector in Europe in many ways, and thus also a very varied professional field. In the field of production, it is increasingly important to comply with biologically controlled standards. There are also study professions in the medical-pharmaceutical field that specialize in research work in the field of cosmetics. Trainees in the field of cosmetics include, for example, cosmeticians, hairdressers, beauty and wellness specialists, but also colour and image consultants.
Cosmetics at home
In the bookstores you cannot find all kinds of cosmetics guides, every supermarket, the organic shops, coffee shops compete with drugstores in the field of cosmetics, even the service providers, such as hairdressers, are happy to provide advice and offer cosmetics for your home. All this is surpassed by cosmetics on the Internet. For all areas, almost all products, all problems and every design idea in the wide field of cosmetics, there are people who help each other via forums, provide each other with advice, tips and warnings.
Meanwhile, there are portals that provide tips on cosmetics for DIY, dig up and describe old household remedies (the famous cucumber masks are still the simplest form).
The Stories of Cosmetics
How much our ideal of beauty and thus our cosmetics are connected with culture and traditions can be seen by those who travel back in time or to distant countries, those who look over the shoulders of archaeologists looking at old photos. Cosmetics can be used to determine times and places, but also conditions that shape life. A very striking example of cosmetics, which can be a reflection of life, is that of the fine ladies who, just a few decades ago, were anxious to be as pale as possible, and whose pallor was certainly also sustainable with cosmetics.