Many of the beauty treatments from Biblical times have been used for centuries or have been rediscovered as anti-aging treatments. Certain fruits were consumed for their anti-aging properties, while various oils were used to cleanse, heal and perfume the body. Dairy products were also used, such as milk baths.
Nuts are mentioned in the Bible for internal and external beauty uses. The staff of Moses' brother Aaron bursts into blooms with ripe almonds in an Old Testament story. Almonds are a source of vitamin E which protects the skin from wrinkles, photo damage and may improve skin texture. Pistachios were used for skin treatments and as food during Biblical times and are believed to have been part of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Pistachios contain carotenoids, a phytonutrient that helps protect the skin from sunlight-induced inflammation, according to "Beauty Secrets of the Bible."
Fruits mentioned in the Bible include the apricot, mentioned in Proverbs 25:11. Apricots are rich in carotene, a phytonutrient that protects the skin from UV damage. Pomegranates were brought back by spies of Moses to give to the hungry Israelites during the Exodus. They contain more antioxidants than red wine and green tea. Pomegranates contain polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that protect the skin from aging. Pomegranates are now used in skin creams, in addition to being eaten.
Oils used in Biblical beauty treatments include myrrh, an oil given to baby Jesus by the Wise Men and later used to anoint his dead body. Esther received a six-month myrrh oil beauty treatment in preparation of her marriage to King Ahasuerus (Esther 2:12). Myrrh moisturizes and heals the skin. Myrrh and other oils, such as cassis oil and frankincense, were also used as perfume at that time. Olive oil was another ancient beauty treatment used for its moisturizing and anti-aging properties.
Milk baths were another beauty staple of the ancient world. Cleopatra, who ruled before the birth of Christ, was one of the first women on record to have utilized this treatment, though she used camel's milk. Milk contains vitamins D and A, which keep skin strong yet soft, as well as beta hydroxy acids, which slough dead skin from the body. Milk's ingredients also soothe and hydrate newly revealed skin. It may also be used as a hair treatment as it removes the small scales on hair follicles that make hair look dull.