Beauty and Health in the Ancient City of Teotihuacan: Skin and Its Aesthetic and Therapeutic Treatments

Special Article - Cosmetics

Austin J Dermatolog. 2017; 4(1): 1071.

Beauty and Health in the Ancient City of Teotihuacan: Skin and Its Aesthetic and Therapeutic Treatments

Vázquez de Ágredos Pascual ML¹* and Manzanilla L²

¹Art History Department, Universidad de Valencia, Spain

²Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City

*Corresponding author: Vázquez de Ágredos Pascual ML, Art History Department, Universidad de Valencia, Spain, Avenida Blasco Ibáñez 28, 46022 Valencia, Spain

Received: April 26, 2017; Accepted: May 12, 2017; Published: May 29, 2017


The body colors recently discovered in the ancient Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan were analyzed by Light Microscopy (LM), Scanning Electron Microscopy-X-Ray Microanalysis (SEM-EDX), FTIR Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). The first results obtained show us complex formulations, which mixed mineral colors with organic substances of aromatic properties. These mixtures and others, also identified in this study, described these products as body colors that were used not only for beauty, but also for health. Moreover, the recipes identified allow us to establish an interesting relationship between the science and art to prepare ancient body colors in this Pre-Columbian city and the techniques that were employed for the same purposes in other ancient civilizations, such as Greece, Rome or Egypt, among others.

Keywords: Body colors; Fragrance; Teotihuacan; Antiquity; Toxicity and therapeutic properties


LM: Light Microscopy; SEM-EDX: Scanning Electron Microscopy-X-Ray Microanalysis; FTIR: FTIR Spectroscopy; GCMS: Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry; cm: centimeter; eV: electrovoltio; kV: kilovolt; min: Minutes; mL: a Milliliter; mm: Millimeter; nm: Nanometer; s: Second; μL: a Milliliter Cubic; NO: Nitrogen Monoxide; AD: Christian Era; BC before the Christian Era

The City of Teotihuacan and Its Neighborhoods

The metropolis may have been divided into four districts by the north-south Street of the Dead and the East and West Avenues, portraying the basic quadripartite characteristic of the Central Mexican capitals [1,2] (Figure 1). These divisions would have articulated the city’s main administrative structure, as well as the diversity of the population. And from these districts may have emerged the participants in the co-rulership of the Teotihuacan state, one dimension of its corporate organization [3].