Cleopatra’s Weird Beauty Rituals that Sound Normal Today

Dec 22, 2022 | Articles, History, Lifestyle, People

Cleopatra appeared in dozens of Hollywood movies. You can read about her in million books. There are biographies and historical novels, but also some science fiction. One thing is constant. Cleopatra is always beautiful and exotic. Women all around the world are trying to achieve her immortal beauty.

Cleopatra proved that women are more than capable of ruling nations. She did it with intelligence, grace, and rarely brutality. Women nowadays are mostly interested in her beauty secrets. Well, this might come as a surprise, but many of the beauty trends nowadays are inspired by Cleopatra. Let’s take a look.

Donkey Milk

Cleopatra tried vigorously to stay young and avoid getting older. Back then, she didn’t have anti-wrinkle cream rich with antioxidants. And plastic surgery was nowhere to be found.

So, without Botox, anti-wrinkle cream, and plastic surgery, Cleopatra had to find other ways. What she did was a daily bath with 700 lactating donkeys.

Nowadays, donkey milk is one of the most expensive ingredients you can find. And many women during ancient times used donkey milk to keep their skin pale and wrinkles at bay.

It takes 15 donkeys to produce a gallon of milk. And today, you will pay $1,000 per pound of donkey milk.

Donkey milk contains powerful anti-ageing and healing properties thanks to the richness of essential fatty acids. These acids flatten the face and remove fine lines sand wrinkles. They also help regenerate damaged skin.

Eye Makeup

Any depiction of Cleopatra nowadays includes the trademark eye makeup. That is the black kohl that lined the eyes and sometimes continued down the side of the face. The goal was to form decorative spirals.

Cleopatra didn’t fully understood the medicinal properties of kohl. But like many Egyptians, she thought it was magic. Nowadays, kohl can be found in many skin products. It provides antibacterial properties and prevents skin infections.

Her Own Perfume Factory

Cleopatra had a huge interest in alchemy. But she also understood basic and advanced chemistry. The Egyptian Queen believed in the power of fragrance as a tool of persuasion. She always packed her ships with perfume before sailing to another country.

Cleopatra also owned a perfume factory. The factory also operated as a daily spa. Nowadays, spas are everywhere around us. And we also understand the power of seduction a perfume has.

Dead Sea Salt

Look at most products for skin exfoliation. Check the label and ingredients. More often than not, you will find Dead Sea salt on the ingredients list. Cleopatra knew the healing properties of the sand long before we stared using it.

She famously used Dead Sea salt for its natural healing properties. Nowadays, we know it helps replenish essential minerals on our skin.


Henna is now a common and popular decorative and ceremonial ingredient for hands, arms and faces. People in the Middle East and Asia love Henna. Cleopatra used it as an early form of nail polish.

She dyed her fingernails using henna. But she also used the ingredient to condition and protect the nails.

Weird Cleopatra Facts

Now that we know some of her beauty secrets, let’s take a look at some weird Cleopatra facts. These help us understand the genius of the Egyptian Queen.

  • She was a shrewd diplomat, but also a student of medicine, alchemy, economics, history, mathematics, geography, and more
  • She could speak the same language as the people she ruled. Cleopatra spoke Greek, the native language of the Ptolemaic dynasty, but also the language of the Jews, Parthians, Ethiopians, Arabs, Medes, Syrians, and more
  • Cleopatra killed three of her siblings, including the two she was married to
  • The Egyptian Queen and Mark Antony formed their own drinking club, titled Inimitable Livers

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Thomas B.