Eye makeup has long been criticised for its negative health effects, especially on young skin, but a recent revelation has shown that it actually had health benefits when used over 4,000 years ago.
Famously used by Egyptians such as Cleopatra, ancient eye makeup had lead salts in which helped protect the wearers from eye disease, French researchers say.
A study published in the Analytical Chemistry journal claims that at very low levels, the salts produce nitric oxide which boosts the immune system and helps stave off diseases.
Philippe Walter, lead researcher, said: "In stimulating non-specific immunological defences, one may argue that these lead compounds were deliberately manufactured and used in ancient Egyptian formulations to prevent and treat eye illnesses by promoting the action of immune cells."
A recent study by the Environmental Working Group in America suggested that the chemicals in modern eye makeup such as mascara, eye shadow and foundation can cause conditions such as cancer, infertility and hormone imbalance in young women.
by Emily Tait