Once exclusively the preserve and privilege of the aristocracy, royalty, and the upper classes, exquisite beauty rituals have grown and evolved, marking their place in history across the centuries, and leaving behind a rewarding and rich heritage in modern times. Across the globe today, women everywhere employ ritualised acts of skincare; those glorious moments of step-by-step routines and regimes, carefully curated to boost rejuvenation and beautification, while offering solace, indulgence, and sheer luxury as they do so.
In order to value these beauty rituals more deeply, we must recognise their origins in the history of regality and the special treatments afforded only by the uppermost echalons of society. However, diving into the history of beauty rituals isn't merely a way of understanding and appreciating the indulgences of the past. It's also a way to enhance our insight into the rise of skincare and beauty rituals today - those precious moments of rejuvenation, which bring finesse to the beginnings and endings of each and every day.
Throughout much of history, the luxury and indulgece of ritualised beauty, which interwove alchemy, skilful uses of precious, rare, and nourishing natural ingredients, was almost solely the preserve of the absolute elites. This is no secret, and the historical records reveals a great many wondrous examples of beauty rituals which leave the mind reeling with their decadence.
Cleopatra is said to have bathed in milk infused with saffron and honey, before taking her rest beneath a mask of pure gold - thought to rejuvenate the skin, prolong life, and preserve her supposed exquisite beauty. Catherine the Great, when resting from her tireless travails, blended pure Siberian ice with essential oils, to be smooth across her skin as an elaborate toner. The Chinese Empress, Dowager Cixi, made use of pearl powder, which brought lustre to her visage, and even the quasi-mythical Helen of Troy, the beauty whose face launched a thousand ships, was believed to engage in elaborate beauty rituals of rare and refined natural treasures.
These ritualised approaches to beauty regimes were not merely a process of defying aging. They played a far more important role as gestures of luxury and power, and as demonstrations of an appreciation for prestige and artistry. Perhaps just as importantly, they provided all-important moments of decadence and indulgence, and allowed these powerful women precious respite from the pressures of their age and their position. They also acted as a comfort; Marie Antoinette, to give a further example, had custom perfumes made for her by Jean-Louis Fargeon, the most beloved of which brought to mind the aroma of the gardens of Trianon. As such, the queen could luxuriate in the memory of her home as part of her daily beauty rituals, and the perfumes allowed her to carry the scent of her treasured gardens wherever she went. In this sense, the ritual becomes more than just about beautification, as it provided relief from homesickness and strife, something even the most powerful are not immune from.
There's little doubt about the fact that beauty rituals have formed our approach to skincare in the modern world, and continue to offer moments of decadence just as they did across centuries past. The myriad practices and ritualised approaches to purifying and cleansing the skin, pioneered by the rich and powerful women of history, have long since seeped into our everyday lives. Indeed, we have inherited a glorious royal mandate of luxury, and the indulgences of the past have prompted a timeless search for the rarest, most precious, and most innovative discoveries in the realm of beauty, in order to relieve stress and defy aging today in ways hitherto unimaginable.
The beauty rituals of today range from the relatively austere and simple, to the gloriously sophisticated, meticulous, and all-encompassing. The everyday ceremony of the British philosophy of skincare (one which has been taken up by much of the western world) that involves a daily three-stage process of cleansing, toning, and hydrating the skin, is as simple as it is effective, and yet its roots remain deeply entwined with its royal origins. It is arguable that a significant aspect of the British skincare ritual's success comes from the fact that, despite the everyday nature of the routine, it remains nonetheless very much a ritual; one which combines regularity and reliability with a stress-relieving dynamic, alongside a moment, no matter how brief, of valued self-care and conscientious indulgence.
Looking eastwards to Korea, we find contemporary skincare rituals that sit at the other end of the balance, luxuriating in a ten-step ritual that combines contemporary skincare knowledge with a proud and complex history of beauty. For the women of Korea, ritualised beauty regimes form a foundation on which beautiful skin is maintained, alongside the essence of psychological wellbeing. The Korean 10-step ritual of skincare is a daily ritual that allows women to indulge in meticulous self-care, as well as acting as an investment into youthfulness and vitality for years to come.
These eastern skincare rituals, just like all beauty rituals, bring about effects which linger long after we step back from the mirror and go about our daily lives. Such mindful actions offer results not just in the form of glowing, healthy, and youthful skin, but also in the quintessence of timeless luxury. In this sense, they form a key link in an unbroken chain, which can be traced back to the decadent glories of the past.
IRIS, the innovative and potent elixir and serum from CHRISTIAN BERLIN, has been formulated with ritualised beauty regimes at its heart. By making daily use of this nourishing serum, which features several treasured natural ingredients, you're allowing your skin to be imbued with collagen, CoQ10, and hyaluronic acid; each of which is proven to bring impressive and lasting rejuvenation.
The IRIS elixir is one of the most powerful and effective items in your beauty ritual arsenal, bursting with exclusively curated ingredients which allow your inner glow to shine through your skin. By taking one elegant vial of IRIS elixir per day for sixty consecutive days, your beauty ritual will be taken to the absolute zenith of luxury, indulgence, and radiance.