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Cosmetics in history

A toxic tour

Beauty with wisdom

A small note

Shop, Intro
Precious gifts



Lust for Life...


The urge to decorate ourselves is one of the most fundamental and universal instincts in human nature?

The wish to look attractive is of all the times. Men and woman, anywhere and anytime on earth, played around with colours and used scents in order to enhance their look.

But not only humans.... just look at your cat, see the birds... somehow the whole thing is quite important. Hair and feathers have to look shiny... as if there is a genetical determination to take care for that...


From an evolutionary point of view it makes sense.

Shiny hair... a healthy skin radiates vitality and strength...

Attractive beings have better chances.

They find better partners...

antique jars and tools for cosmetics

The ancient Egyptians already used cosmetics as far as 4000 years BC. But there is archeologigal evidence for the use of cosmetics by most of all the other ancient civilisations on Earth.

The Egyptians added a mysterious dark glow to their eyes with 'kool', a mixture of malachite and fine powdered charcoal.

Henna, a colorant made of the plant Lawsonia inermis was used extensively throughout Africa, the Middle East and India. Still, henna is one of the most widely used cosmetics in the world.

Scents and oils derived from plants and animals, pigments and minerals from the earth were used to make cosmetics. Even the use of toxic substances is not something new. The Romans added mercury to their care products in order to make them more 'radiant'.

Antique jars and tools for cosmetics.

© Smyrna museum, Izmir

Henna paintings on hands

Today, a small number of big multinationals like Max Factor, Estèe Lauder, Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubinstein and Revlon dominate the worldmarket for cosmetics and toiletries.


A toxic tour...

The majority of modern cosmetics and care products are highly complex mixtures of industrially produced, synthetic chemicals.

But some ingredients used in this formulations may be highly surprising to those who use them:

Beauty with wisdom-logo

Many of the chemicals found in a huge variety of cosmetics - including phthalates, acrylamide, formaldehyde and ethylene oxide - are known to be carcinogenic or toxic for our reproductive organs. So called 'phthalates', a group of industrial chemicals are linked to permanent birth defects and feminization of boys. The stuff is a basic component of PVC products and it is found in seventy percent of all the tested cosmetics in the US and Europe. (2003)

Study, research and testresults. 'Pretty nasty' (pdf) 'Not so pretty'(pdf) (Campaign For Safe Cosmetics) With an impressive list of brandnames to avoid...

Join this two cute ladies and take a toxic tour into your bathroom cabinet.

Meanwhile, the European Union has banned the use of a few of the most harmful chemical agents in cosmetics that are known or strongly suspected of causing cancer, mutation or birth defects. (Cosmetics Directive (76/768/EEC)

Not bad! But still, we 're too far away from less dangerous cosmetics. A cocktail of other unwanted chemicals, some of them (parabens) mimic the working of hormons, are still part of the game. On the other hand, body lotions and creams without any preservatives tend to be a perfect feeding ground for all sorts of germs... (See 'small note' on the bottom of this page)


Beauty with wisdom.


Today, some of the very best manufacturers of personal care products and cosmetics go back to the sources of nature.

They turn away from synthetic chemicals, or try to minimize the use of it, using natural substances and less harmful ingredients for their products.

Meanwhile there is a broad range of these care products available and they belong to the best on the market.

This products you'll find on the shelves of 'Health Quest by Joyce'

absolute beauty-alqvimia

Any type of skin is different. Any hair is different. Each human being is a unique personality.

We listen to you. We look at you. We ask. We try to explain and to advise what will work best on your particular type of hair or skin.

There are mirrors, there are testers. You can try out creams and balms, you can smell perfumes and scents, you can test a new colour on your lips or a blush on your cheeks, just take your time and find out what fits best to you.

You leave our place as a Queen....


Small note.

Cosmetics with less or no preservatives don't stay fresh forever. After a while, bacteria will grow in your anti-ageing cream, oils in balms and lipgloss turn rancid at some point.

Absolutely non-toxic cosmetics (or whatever else) is an illusion. Even pure drinking water is toxic and will kill you if used in big amounts. (10 liters) And 'non-toxic' because it's 'all-natural' is an illusion too. Nature is full with pretty nasty toxins as well...

With less preservatives, manufacturers and users will have to look for new ways to keep products free of germs. Especially body lotions, creams and balms will attract all sorts of pathogenic bacterias and funghi. Maybe we never can ban preservative agents for 100 % but we can minimize the use of it. Research has to be done to replace toxic agents by less toxis ones, and, we, the consumers have to get used to the fact that cosmetic products need, like food, proper care.

Some ingredients really don't like air, warmth and sunlight. Sticking your finger in the product will contaminate it. Use a spatula. Wash hands before, close tubes, jars and containers after use, keep them in a dark and cool place. (cabinet)
(For some very sensitive products, the refrigerator is a good place)

Health Quest by Joyce....Spiegelgracht 4.....1017 JR Amsterdam.....T:+31(0)20-421 82 06 .....Mailto: