Article On How Fashion Has Changed Through The Decades Men’s Skin Care – The History From Apeman to Metrosexual Man

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Men’s Skin Care – The History From Apeman to Metrosexual Man

When we crawled out of the jungle in the first stages of our evolution into humans, we had hair all over our bodies and moved on all fours. What followed was the reason for, and the need for, men’s skin care.

Soon (relatively) we had learned to walk upright and at the same time shed hair from most of our bodies. This left us exposed. Exposed to sunlight, scratches, cuts and bruises. As we roamed further afield we encountered rough terrain, difficult vegetation and wind and rain. With sore bodies, we needed something to soothe our skin. The answer was herbs.

Herbs soothed the skin of both men and women. But as we evolved into cave dwellings and then basic shelters, a more settled existence developed. Women looked after the homes and looked after the family, while men hunted, fished and later farmed. Thus, it tended to be the men who came back from ‘work’ and needed repair and relief of discomfort for their skin.

Fast forward through thousands of years of evolution to the ancient civilizations of the Middle and Far East. Writings on papyrus in Egypt, Sumaria, China, India and Greece prove the use of herbs as moisturizers. Basil, dill, thyme, coriander and parsley were mentioned in the herb gardens of Mesopotamia. The Romans also used chives and sage.

As the western part of the Roman Empire declined and collapsed during the first few centuries AD, it left the Middle East as the developer of herbs for moisturizing. Baghdad and Cairo were the centers of herbal medicine and pharmacology, which helped develop skin care. Britain and Western Europe fell into a cultural and literary stalemate. Witchcraft developed and flourished, and strange mixtures of bizarre substances were used instead of herbs.

However, the monasteries continued to cultivate and write about herbs throughout both the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages. Skin care in the Middle Ages changed with the times, but was also heavily influenced by wars, plagues and religion. men used ‘cosmetics’ of various substances to color and discolour their faces and this often led to the subsequent use of herbal remedies as a palliative. So skin care and moisturizing continued to rely on herbs throughout the centuries.

In Victorian times, Christianity discouraged facial adornment, and men’s skin care activities were considered evil. But into the twentieth century, two wars and the rapid advancement of science heralded major changes in skin care. Herbs were scientifically analyzed, extracts were refined and blended, and the sources of skin care ingredients spread to a much wider range of vegetation from around the world.

The twenty-first century has seen men’s skin care expand in a scientific way to provide carefully formulated men’s skin care products such as moisturizers and cleansers that are specialized for different types of men’s skin, all regulated to the highest standards. This modern wave of men’s skincare has given rise to the term metrosexual man, but there is no doubt that men’s skincare now has a wide and broad appeal across men.

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