3/ Belladonna eye drops, Italy
Back in the middle ages, belladonna (a very poisonous plant) was used by witches in a mixture of other plants to make a cream. This concoction apparently allowed them to fly and see Satan… In the Renaissance period, belladonna was used to put into your eyes. This was THE beauty tip of the Italian ladies of the time. Drops of belladonna dilated their pupils giving them deep dark eyes that represented purity and innocence. However this magic recipe brought on a lot of collateral damage. Many women were diagnosed with strabismus, a visual inability to concentrate, heart palpitations and even a risk of blindness.
4/ Lead makeup, Great Britain
Although our beauty norms have changed nowadays, in the 16th and 17th century, all women seemed to want to look like Elizabeth I. Just like the queen women would apply thick white make up made with white lead and vinegar. The aim was to make their skin very pale just like the queen. She used this concoction to hide scars left by small pox. Unfortunately this beauty tip gradually poisoned these fashion conscious ladies. It caused notorious side effects like dry skin, constipation, gray hair, paralysis or organ failure. Should the cost the be beautiful be your life?