New research from the American Chemical Society has found the alluring eye makeup using in Ancient Egypt may have been for more than its looks — it may have doubled as an infection-fighter to help prevent or treat eye disease.
Investigators reportedly analyzed 52 samples of ancient Egyptian makeup containers preserved in the Louvre museum in Paris, and found four different lead-based substances in the cosmetics that boost production of nitric oxide by up to 240 percent in cultured human skin cells. According to researchers, as eye infections caused by bacteria can be a serious issue in tropical marshy areas such as the Nile during floods, they believe the Egyptians used these substances to help prevent or treat eye disease.
This research was recently published in the journal Analytical Chemistry.
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Source: American Chemical Society