Articles/The ancient beauty techniques of Saudi women

The ancient beauty techniques of Saudi women

سر جمال المرأة السعودية منذ القِدم

08 APR 2020


Source: Abeer Al-Amoudi

Saudi women have focused on accentuating their natural beauty for centuries by using different natural ingredients that have evolved over time. Wafy breaks down the different skin care, hair care and makeup techniques used in the past by our grandmothers.


Eyeliners are an essential product for Arab women, who are distinguished by the beauty of their eyes. Since the ancient times Saudi women have exceled in decorating their eyes using a special eyeliner made with natural materials such as a type of reddish stone called Al-Afshan that is crushed into a fine powder then turned into a solution. The eyeliner, or “kohl” industry, also used to create products based on peaches grown in Al-Ahsa that are burned, crushed and softened using a black stone.

Hair care

Saudi women are also distinguished by their long thick black hair. To treat dandruff and hair loss, natural herbs such as Henna and Sidr are used. Henna is very nourishing for the hair, hands and feet and adds a natural vibrant red color. Women often use a concoction of musk, basil and rose water to perfume the hair after braiding it. 

Lip care

Women also used El-Fassi Akkar, a red-colored powder mixed with white clay and rose water to hydrate the lips. This natural material is expensive because it is extracted from the leaves of the anemone plant.

Other products are based on natural red-colored materials extracted from the Derm tree. Extraction is carried out by taking a small piece of its wood and chewing the tip until it becomes wet and thus easier to extract the red dye.

Skin care

For healthy-looking skin, women used fruit oils to treat skin wrinkles, refresh dark circles around the eyes, hydrate hand skin, nourish the skin, rejuvenate the lips, moisturize the body and even protect teeth from cavities. The Saudi woman’s beauty preparations would not be complete without adding oud, musk or amber to perfume her clothes.