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One of the fundamentals of healthy living is maintaining proper hygiene by taking a bath and washing ourselves regularly. Not only does this simple process keep germs and diseases away, it also imparts a sense of wellbeing to a person.

It comes as a surprise than the earliest evidence of soap goes back to just 2800 BC in Babylon. The Babylonians, Egyptians, Phoenicians and Celts mixed animal and vegetable oils with ash or alkaline salts to make soap. A formula for soap consisting of water, alkali, and cassia oil was written on a Babylonian clay tablet around 2200 BC. The Greeks cleaned their bodies with blocks of clay, sand, pumice and ashes, then anointed themselves with oil, and scraped off the oil and dirt with a metal instrument known as a strigil. As the Roman civilization advanced, large community baths were set up and bathing was a very popular activity. By the second century A.D., the Greek physician, Galen, recommended soap for both medicinal and cleansing purposes. Daily bathing was common practice in India, Japan and many south east Asian countries. The Indians had always been a meticulous crowd regarding personal hygiene. The ancients used a mixture of fuller⢂™s earth or multani mitti and products like reetha to create the foaming surfactant effect. In Modern times, the Tata industries is credited with producing the first soap, made with coconut oil on a mass production basis.

Cosmetic usage throughout history can be indicative of a civilization's practical concerns, such as protection from the sun; class system; or of its conventions of beauty. The Egyptians were the pioneer of the cosmetic industry. The earliest precursor of make-up was red or ochre body paint used in rituals over 100000 years ago in African Middle Stone Age. Cosmetics were not always the monopoly of ladies but were used by men too. Men and women in Egypt use scented oils and ointments regularly to clean and soften their skin, mask body odour and protection against the Egyptian sun and dry winds. Myrrh, thyme, marjoram, chamomile, lavender, lily, peppermint, rosemary, cedar, rose, aloe, olive oil, sesame oil, and almond oil provide the basic ingredients of most perfumes that Egyptians use in religious rituals. Women applied galena mesdemet and malachite to their faces for colour and definition. They made a combination of burnt almonds, oxidized copper, different-coloured coppers ores, lead, ash, and ochre -- together called kohl -- to adorn the eyes in an almond shape. By 3000 BC the Chinese people began to stain their fingernails with gum Arabic, gelatine, beeswax, and egg. The Chou dynasty wore gold or silver make up and the rest of the aristocracy wore black or red. Lower classes are forbidden to wear bright colours on their nails. Henna was and is still used in India as a hair dye and in mehndi, an art form in which complex designs are painted on to the hands and feet, especially before a Hindu wedding.

Today both bath and beauty products flood the market and there are exclusive sections for hair care, skin care, nail care etc. Cosmetics have spread out their wings rapidly too and there are a wide variety of products available from the conventional kajal, lipstick, rouge, powder and lotions to the more modern concealer, foundation, bronzers, make up brushes, chap sticks, nail and hair extensions etc. With new products rising every day, one has to constantly be on the lookout for the perfect product, suited to their skin type, colour, medical condition, etc. With monsoons here, invest in water-proof make up and beauty products that will keep you going for the entire day. Bath products used during the rains should be made of natural extracts. Choose from our monsoon collection to keep your skin glowing and young. At Craftsvilla we offer you these products and more from leading manufacturers from around the world. Log in today to buy all your bath and beauty products online and avail many discounts. Pampering yourself has never been easier.

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