Personal care and hygiene is very important and luckily it has improved a lot since the earliest days in history. Plumbing and medical advances have proved our ability to adapt to any condition but when it comes to embarrassing personal care practices in history, we’re shook.
Down below you have 8 personal care practices in history that will leave you thinking how on earth could anyone get by before the advent of modern innovation. Check them out and let us know what you think in the comments. Enjoy!
Not every household had a bathroom, in fact the private bathroom started to become a thing around the 19th century. In Venice during the Renaissance, people used chamber pots under their beds. When the pots were full, they just dumped them out of the window. While public washrooms/bathhouses were popular in 18th century too and still remain popular in countries outside of the western world.
In Europe, any attempts at halting birth were considered a mortal sin but still, people had to come up with their own ways to stop the seed. The earliest recorded notions of birth control were recorded in ancient Egypt where a women placed honey, herbs and mud inside of their vagina to prevent semen from entering the uterus.
The earliest condoms in Europe, China and the Middle East consisted of goat or sheep intestine, or a device made of tortoise shell or animal horn to act as a “phallic buffer” when pursuing coitus. Well, thank God for modern medicine here.
3. Brushing your teeth
The toothbrush we use these days wasn’t invented until the late 18th century when Doctor’s published a medical journal about “teeth worms” known as gingivitis.
They simply would yank your teeth out if they had a cavity or other problem. So, before the toothbrush, people wiped the plaque of their teeth using a cloth or plants.
The first toothbrushes were used from royalty only so some time passed until everyone could use them.
The corset is known around the world as a garment invented to help shape the body to desired shape. Hopefully, the society will move forward and accept body diversity but we can’t help but wonder how these women wrapped their bodies in such way.
Many of them resulted in permanent damage to their ribcage and their internal organs.
The first deodorant was invented in the late 19th century by Edna Murphey from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Before it was invented, everybody just smelled. Some people took one bath a week only so if you wanted to get intimate with another person, people would put flowers in their armpits or herbs to smell better.
6. Jiggling Machines
Jiggle machines became popular in the late 1940s and early 1450s. People thought they helped with weight loss but they ended being just ridiculous ways to pass the time.
Thankfully, modern medicine taught us that body health is a science rather than a sideshow of jiggle machines.
7. Wig maintenance
For almost 2 centuries, people called wigs “Perukes”. They were born due to the symptoms of syphilis that included patchy hair or baldness. The larger your Peruke was, the greater your status symbol was in society. Anyways, people shaved their heads to get rid of lice or would send their Peruke’s to be boiled in hot water to destroy the nits. By the 18th century, the famed wigs lost their popularity after a tax on hair powder was levied.
8. Deadly makeup
A lot of women and men who desired to powder their face or cover with makeup would do very extreme chemicals like lead or mercury. Some women even dyed their hair with lye that resulted in dangerous poisoning that could lead to death too.