Maximus Factor aka Ancient Avon

Jocelyn Selim in Discover Magazine:

RomancreamA Roman-era container of white cosmetic cream, found during an archaeological dig in London, offers a glimpse at vanity 2,000 years ago, when a pale, even complexion apparently was the rage.

Richard Evershed, a chemist at the University of Bristol, analyzed the cream’s ingredients and recreated the ancient recipe, which consisted mainly of rendered animal fat and starch that was probably obtained from boiling grains. “It shows a surprising degree of technological sophistication,” he says, noting that the color came from a white tin oxide which was almost certainly synthetic.

More here.