Ointments, perfumes, cosmetics and drugs have always played an important role for both therapeutic and cosmetic properties, both for their ritual significance, social or aesthetic. Based on ancient documents and modern cosmetology, one can assume that since Roman times plant extracts were key ingredients in the recipes of creams, ointments and medicines.

Rome for the first three centuries A.D. was the center of the world in science, literature and even in the cosmetics industry was very distinguished. The Romans knew the powder, hair dryers, scissors to cut the unwanted hair, razors for shaving. They used false hair and false teeth. Their vanity was so great that they used the tongue scrapers, perhaps due to much wine, and libations which produced an unpleasant mixing on the tongue.

In wealthy families all cosmetics were prepared at home and applied with appropriate ceremonies by slave girls or cosmos educated and guided by a more experienced woman who was the rouge.

The ancient Roman women were very conscious of their skin problems and used natural cosmetic products to keep it pretty much as possible and delay aging. Ovid himself encouraged them "Learn women the care that makes the face beauty and how to preserve your beauty." (Ovid, Medicamina-1, 2)

Barley, vetch, narcissus bulbs, wheat flour and honey from Tuscany: these are the ingredients needed to achieve one of the beauty creams that the Latin poet Ovid (43 BC - 17 AD) proposes in his operetta Medicamina facie femineae (Remedies for the woman's face). Dosing and mixing carefully these components, some of which must first be crushed and filtered, you get a cream that, according to the poet, had the power to make any skin smoother and brighter than a mirror.

The formula of the oldest cream that is known is that of a night cream, nourishing moisturizer described and recommended by Galen. It was an emulsion W / O known as "Ceratum Umidum Galeni". It was made by mixing one part beeswax purified in 3-4 parts olive oil and add rose water to the limit of stability (Method medendi Galen, 8). Surely the matrons felt a pleasant sensation of coolness after application.

Fragrances (used by men and women such as creams), were extracted from flowers, macerated and pressed. Vesuvian Archaeology has revealed the fundamental issues of interdisciplinary nature concerning the content of glass containers in the contexts of the excavation of Pompeii and Herculaneum: in Campania since the second century BC are certified in specialty crops and flower plants for the production of aromatic essences cosmetic, medicinal and balsamic.

Not knowing the soap, they used bean curd as a detergent. After the bath, they smeared their body with olive oil, believing that it is conducive to health and protect from chills. Therefore, oils and ointments were effective detergents used for hygienic reasons, through the action of many antibacterial essential oils.

To cover the smell of oil were used ingredients as rose, jasmine, nard etc.

The use of these ingredients was abundant and occurred after a bath and during the banquet. The ointments were on the market liquid (Olea) and solids (odores).

According to Suetonius during the funeral of Poppea, Nero used more scent than Arabia could produce in 10 years. Gradually, the other aesthetic habits were absorbed from Greece, especially from southern Italy where Greeks had settled.The use of makeup was also very developed until, in some cases, truly bizarre, as were sometimes extravagant costumes general. In the house of Nero, called the Golden House, there were dining rooms with ceilings studded with ivory and silver pipes which sprayed perfume reviewers. The Romans also developed all kinds of beautiful containers for perfumes and ointments. Cosmetics in Rome were essentially of three types: solid unguents (called hedysmata), ointments liquid (called stymmata) and perfume powders (called diapasmata). It was the Romans who developed the bathroom to the point that those in public buildings became the social clubs, such as the Baths of Caracalla. The scientific literature of the time reinforced the links between medicine and cosmetics: Celsus, a physician, became interested in skin conditions and hair in his books, Dioscorides and Pliny the Elder wrote of cosmetics as well as chemistry and biology, and Galen, who wrote on many branches of pharmacy and medicine is remembered for having made the ceratum refrigerans literally wax refreshing "cold cream".