The Dead Sea is a destination of mythical proportions. For centuries, emperors, travelers, and scholars all traveled to the lowest point on earth to discover the place where individuals had only dreamed of- the place where fish could not thrive in the waters, but where you could float on water with ease and emerge rejuvenated and renewed. While nothing could live in the waters, flora and fauna flourished around the surface area where bees took their home and built hives and hives of colonies. Now, hordes of tourists flock to this Mediterranean destination to enjoy the splendors and wonders that the Dead Sea has to offer.
Most famously, perhaps, is the one woman who coveted the Dead Sea. Reigning over Ancient Egypt and being a close ally to the leaders of the Roman Empire, Famed Pharaoh Cleopatra VII fiercely believed that the Dead Sea had mystical healing powers. She built the world’s first spas off the shore of the sea and reportedly made various attempts to purchase and acquire the sea for Egypt. She attributed her famed and acclaimed beauty to the secrets of the sea and all it had to offer. Her beauty routines in particular are still talked about, centuries and a millennia after her fall.
Cleopatra was known to spare no expense in order to maintain her beauty. One of the most famous treatments she gave to herself was a bath of donkey’s milk, almond milk, and honey- resources that were expensive and limited at the time. These elixirs would brighten her complexion and soften her skin to a silky texture.
From the Dead Sea itself, the salts and black mud of the Dead Sea were not overlooked. The salts in particular, while not realized at the time, have always held a composition that is astronomically concentrated in calcium, iodine, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and bromide. The salts themselves acted as an exfoliating agent for a multitude of Cleopatra’s wondrous and legendary skin treatments. All Cleopatra would need to do was rub it along her skin (paying attention to any roughness of her feet, elbows, or knees) and the wash it away after the concentration of the salts penetrated her skin.
The black mud of the Dead Sea also has a famed reputation thanks to Cleopatra. The black mud itself has a high mineral composition, but it’s known to be highly penetrative to the skin. Today, travelers to the Dead Sea take a dip into the waters and then slather themselves with mud so they can reap the benefits. Now, the same individuals can take the mud with them in a more refined formula to treat their skin. The black mud has amazing properties, as it is known to have therapeutic abilities. Users of the mud often express that ailments of eczema, psoriasis, arthritics, and other illnesses can be alleviated with a treatment of the amazing mud. The mud can be applied to the joints and then all over the body. It isn’t known if Cleopatra needed to use the mud to rid herself of any joint paints or skin disorders, but it did help her retain her youthful appearance. When warm, the mud can help to stimulate blood flow. An active blood flow close to the skin can help to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin so skin stays firm and young-looking. Any sagging that could occur would stop dead in its tracks or even reverse itself. Cleopatra was spared of any signs that she aged well into her later life, so we can only assume that she may have found a way to keep herself looking young with the marvelous Dead Sea mud.
Flora and fauna were not ignored in Cleopatra’ s beauty regimen. Cold-pressed oils from the finest botanicals were used to treat Cleopatra’s skin and her hair. The plants along the Dead Sea are remarkable as they surround and thrive around the hostile Dead Sea. The same botanicals are used today, but are kept a much better secret. The Alpine Rose in particular is a coveted plant that can give a supple feel to skin.
Cleopatra’s reign sparked a reputation that reached every end of the globe. She conquered much and acquired everything, and the Dead Sea was top of her list. Perhaps her liaisons with the heads of the Roman Empire were all so she could take the Dead Sea for herself. If so, the price truly knew no number when it came to how stunning, radiate, and renowned she is still known to have been.