Russian women have always been considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Now the beauty industry is quite developed and allows you to take care of yourself without much difficulty. But how did women look after themselves centuries ago? What means did women in Kievan Rus use to preserve their youth and beauty? Read up at Bologny.
The ideals of beauty in Russia
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The beauty of Russian women in ancient times was appreciated all over the world. Foreigners who visited the Russian lands were very enthusiastic about them. For example, the following records have been preserved in the manuscripts of Ottoman and Byzantine historians:
“These virgins are incredibly good – beautiful in body, pale face, flexible camp, tall.”
As at the present time, Ancient Rus had its own ideals of beauty. The Russian beauty was supposed to have the following external data:
- long, “heavy” braid;
- beautiful, strong nails;
- rounded, prominent hips;
- high, full chest;
- good posture;
- black (“sable”) eyebrows;
- snow-white skin;
- blush on the cheeks.
Particular attention was paid to the girl’s weight. If she was too thin, she could remain in the “old maids”. Since it was believed that lack of weight is either a sign of illness, or evidence that the girl is from a poor family.
Of course, thin girls also got married, but they had much less chances to arrange a personal life than “donuts”.
Self-care rules in Russia
Women in Russia, even living in peasant families, carefully watched not only the face, but also the body. There were several bathroom rules for personal care that every self-respecting woman adhered to.
1. Facial care
Women in Ancient Russia did not have such an assortment of care products as modern women of fashion. Facial care was carried out using natural remedies – herbs and food.
The morning necessarily began with washing your face with improvised means:
- decoction of chamomile;
- decoction of rose hips.
With enlarged pores and oily skin, they practiced ablution with cornflower infusion.
If they wanted to whiten the skin, they used cucumber juice or parsley broth.
To preserve the youthfulness of the skin, masks were used from:
- egg yolks;
- animal and vegetable fats;
- curdled milk;
- sour cream.
Well refreshed and rejuvenated the skin of the face by rubbing with cow or goat milk.
2. Body care
Russian women at all times carefully watched the body. An obligatory indicator of grooming was its cleanliness, so once a week women in Russia always visited the bathhouse. In it, they not only washed, but also performed various body care procedures. Such as the:
- cleaning with scrapers;
- massaging with special refreshing and toning ointments and balms from natural ingredients;
- hair removal (a procedure available only to wealthy women).
To make the skin smell good after the bath, quite often fresh beer was poured onto a red-hot stove. It gave the body the aroma of freshly baked bread.
Even if the family was poor and did not have their own baths and the opportunity to visit a public one, women still washed themselves every week, using a hotly heated Russian stove for water procedures.
3. Hair care
Russian beauties were especially proud of their gorgeous hair. A long and thick braid was considered one of the indicators of good health, so proper hair care was instilled in girls from early childhood.
For hair loss and dandruff, rinsing with decoctions of nettle or burdock was used. Hair dyeing was no stranger to Russian beauties. For this, dyes obtained from various plants were used:
- alder bark, sorrel, saffron – yellow;
- nettle leaves, onion feathers – green;
- young apple leaves – scarlet;
- saffron and chamomile – light yellow;
- onion husks are brown.
To wash the hair, we used shampoos made from available tools. For example, one of the most popular detergents of the time was a mixture of curdled milk and rye bread.
Its only drawback was that it was difficult to comb out. But, nevertheless, women regularly used it, as the hair after it became not only clean, but also soft and silky.
Of course, in the villages, women did not try to decorate their faces with decorative means, but in the urban environment, the use of make-up was quite popular.
The following products were used as cosmetics:
- chalk or flour to make the skin whiter;
- brown dye and soot for eyes and eyebrows;
- beets, cherries, raspberries for cheeks and lips.
Some noble women even specially stained their teeth black. It was believed that in this way you can emphasize the whiteness of the skin of the face.
Some historians note that in the pursuit of beauty, noble Russian women sometimes reached the point of absurdity. The chalk-bleached faces with too black eyebrows and scarlet cheeks looked very comical. Moreover, many women did such makeup against their will, so as not to stand out from the crowd.
Many folk recipes used by the women of Ancient Rus have come down to our times. Even now, it is quite popular to make face masks from products, rinse hair with decoctions of herbs and use natural balms when going to a bath or shower.
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