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Cleopatra’s Beauty Secrets for Flawless Skin

Cleopatra’s Beauty Secrets for Flawless Skin

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Cleopatra was considered to be a standout amongst ancient female rulers and revered for her beauty secrets.  Her very name brings to mind femininity, power, and beauty. Cleopatra was the last Egyptian pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty, reigning from 51 BC to 30 BC.  There were actually six Cleopatras before her, but Cleopatra VII is the most famous ruler of the group.  She spoke at least 5 languages and was a prolific writer, authoring several books on cosmetics and fragrances including a journal on hair loss and dandruff named “Cosmetics.”

Some referred to Cleopatra as a sultry seductress because kept many romantic partners throughout the years.  Her love stories with Roman warlords Julius Caesar and Mark Antony have been the subject of numerous books and movies, including one starring Elizabeth Taylor who portrayed the Egyptian pharaoh in a 1963 film. “Cleopatra” is one of the most expensive productions of all time at $44 million–with nearly a $200,000 budget for Taylor’s costumes alone. 

Though she ruled Egypt more than 5000 years ago, we’re still intrigued by Cleopatra’s legacy and more importantly, her beauty secrets.  If pampering was an Olympic sport, Cleopatra would be a gold medalist.  She special pride in her appearance, indulging in luxurious baths and body scrubs to care for her skin. 

Cleopatra was also a pioneer in the health and wellness business.  She believed the Dead Sea possessed detoxing and healing properties and traveled there during her tenure to build the world’s first spa.

Here are a few of Cleopatra’s beauty secrets you can implement to luxuriate at home.

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Milk Baths

One of Cleopatra’s beauty secrets includes milk baths.  She was reported to bathe in donkey’s milk with lavender and fresh flowers.  Milk is an alpha hydroxy acid that leaves you with skin that is smooth, soft, and glowing.


DIY Milk Bath

2 cups of powdered cow’s milk (or goat milk)

1 cup Epsom salt

10 to 20 drops essential oil, such as rose, gardenia, vanilla, or lavender

2 cups rose petals (optional)


  1. Combine powdered milk and Epsom salt in a stainless steel or glass bowl.
  2. Fill the tub halfway.
  3. Add essential oil.
  4. Fill the tub completely and sprinkle rose petals.
  5. Relax and soak for 20 to 30 minutes.
  6. Discard rose petals before draining the basin to avoid clogging the drain.

DIY Coconut Milk Bath

1 cup coconut milk powder

10 to 20 drops of essential oil, such as rose, gardenia, vanilla or lavender

½ cup Himalayan salt

2 cups flower petals (optional)


  1. Combine coconut milk powder and Himalayan salt in a stainless steel or glass bowl.
  2. Fill the tub halfway.
  3. Add essential oil.
  4. Fill the tub completely and sprinkle rose petals.
  5. Relax and soak for 20 to 30 minutes.
  6. Discard flower petals before draining the basin to avoid clogging the drain.

Purchase It:

This coconut milk bath soak leaves your skin hydrated and soft with the smell of coconut and vanilla.

cleopatra's beauty secrets


The Egyptian sun was brutal and Cleopatra needed a way to cool herself off and calm sunburns.  She likely used rosewater for its hydration and anti-inflammatory properties.

Rosewater is a natural astringent and safe enough for those with sensitive skin.


DIY Rosewater

1 cup rose petals (or dried petals.  You can purchase dried rose petals here.)

1 cup distilled water

An 8-ounce glass or plastic bottle


  1. Place fresh rose petals in a bowl.
  2. Bring distilled water to a roiling boil and pour over rose petals. Steep for 30 minutes. 
  3. Allow water to cool, strain the petals and pour into the container. Store rosewater in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

A simple DIY rosewater facial hydrates skin and gives skin a dewy finish.   

DIY Rosewater Facial Mist

3 tablespoons rosewater, see recipe above

1 tablespoon aloe vera gel

1 tablespoon witch hazel

1 bottle distilled water

a 2.5-ounce spray bottle

3 drops of essential oils such as gardenia or lavender (optional)


  1. Combine rosewater and aloe vera gel and place in the spray bottle.
  2. Add witch hazel and essential oils.
  3. Fill the remaining bottle with distilled water and give it a good shake.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Purchase It:

This rosewater facial mist by Mario Badescu contains herbs and aloe for ultimate soothing and hydration, leaving skin fresh and rejuvenated.

Body Scrub

Cleopatra used sea salt as a body scrub.  Sea salt rids the body of dead cells and leaves skin smooth and soft.  Body scrubs cleanse and exfoliates the outer layer of the skin and improve blood circulation.


DIY Body Scrub

1/2 cup Dead Sea salt, Epsom salt, or Himalayan salt

1/4 cup olive oil

10 to 20 drops essential oil (lavender, eucalyptus, or rosemary)


  1. Combine salt and olive oil.
  2. Add essential oil.
  3. Dip a loofah sponge or a stiff brush in the body scrub.  In a circular motion, scrub the feet, legs, ankles, hands, arms, and shoulders. 
  4. Rinse off with cool water to promote blood circulation. 
  5. Pat skin dry and moisturize.  Use twice a week for best results.  Store leftover body scrub in a glass jar, preferably in a cool, dry place.

Purchase It:

This sea salt scrub kit rids the skin’s surface of dirt and oil residue.  It also helps the skin to effectively absorb moisturization products.

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