Middle Eastern Origins of Some Popular Beauty Trends

Popular Beauty Trends

From scented oils to eye cosmetics, painted or dyed nails, [henna], and lip painting [rouge], the Middle East has always been the hub of beauty trends. Surprisingly, many current trends can be directly or indirectly traced to a Mid-Eastern country or two. In this article, we will be walking down memory lane and tracing the history of some popular beauty trends in the Middle East.

Clean Beauty Trend

Also called ethical beauty, clean beauty uses organic and cruelty-free products to enable sustainability. The origin of this trend can be traced to ancient Egyptians, who frequently explored flora and fauna to discover beauty products. However, the modern-day notion of clean beauty can be directly traced to the United States several years ago. From there on, it went down to the Middle East, where it became a huge sensation. Companies are now more aware of the importance of using environmentally sustainable materials for their products, particularly given the peculiar materials needed for most beauty products.

Skincare Beauty Trend

Historians believe that the origin of skincare and beauty, like many other trends, can be traced to the ancient Neolithic period in Egypt. It is widespread knowledge that in 3000 BCE, the ancient Egyptians used natural items like dough, ostrich eggs, and olive oil to produce skin care herbs and plants. Although, other discourses have opined that Ancient Rome developed the modern notions of skincare routine. Regardless of where it must have begun, skincare has grown to become one of the most-talked-about trends in the Middle East.

Perfumes and Oils

The Arabs take credit for developing fragrances, perfumes, and oils. It is primarily believed that the discovery of the distillation of scents by the Arabs led to the widespread commercial use of the products. Some have also credited the Persians for the refinery of fragrances and oil. The ancient Arabs fondly derived inspiration from woody scents and barks of trees commonly found in the region. Interestingly, this discovery has remained to date as many perfumes, such as Oud, draw primarily from trees and barks.


Rouges can be said to be the ancestor of what is known as a fine red powder, or blush, in today’s cosmetic arena. Like many other fashion trends, it can be traced to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Women fondly adorned their lips with rogue after crushing precious stones. They also blend fat with red Ochre to create a red stain to act as a stainer on the cheeks. Developing rouge through this process was considered safer and more effective than the red Lead, which was used by the ancient Romans and was the cause of several life-threatening maladies.


The Middle East is indeed the birthplace of beauty. These trends above are just some of the several beauty trends that the Middle East developed. Today, the Middle East distinguishes itself as a place for culture and tourism and modern trends drawn from the past. Thus, establishing its position as a cradle for modern civilization and movements.


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