In Louis’s day, people thought a good, thick, grimy layer of filth would keep you healthy and strong! They believed water spread diseases by penetrating the pores of the skin and then infecting the bloodstream. Most people didn’t bathe more than once a year. The wealthy did change thier linen thoughout the day because they believed that the linen wicked away sweat and dirt, but they still stunk. To combat the smells, the men and ladies in Louis's court would douse themselves with perfumes and powders.
Ironically, Louis was so clean that he was almost fussy about it. He often bathed in a big Turkish bath in his palace at Versailles. When not in his bath, he rubbed spirits or alcohol on his skin (perfume gave him headaches), which acted as a disinfectant. And, as if that were not enough, he changed his undies three times a day! All of this cleanliness must have paid off, because Louis lived to the ripe old age of seventy-seven and was king for seventy-two years, longer than any other French monarch in history.
In Louis’s day, both women and men wore a heavy white makeup consisting of mercury, lead, egg whites, and vinegar.
Unfortunately, this beauty concoction was poisonous and caused ugly scars and blemishes. To hide the scars, it became fashionable for men and women to wear patches cut into shapes of stars, moons, and diamonds.
To improve their complexions, wealthy men and women would rub the urine from a puppy on their face. Queen Elizabeth even used urine on her teeth to whiten them. Yummy!
And if these beauty routines didn't leave you feeling fresh and clean then you could always try the The Blood Sucking Body Wrap or The Squirrel Cheeks Wax Lift, or a court favorite....The Boil Butt Beautifier. But we can't give aways all the 17th century beauty secrets. Read the book to find out the hidden ingredients in these beauty routines >>