Back in the Elizabethan times women and men strove to achieve a pale white skin. This was considered a sign of beauty and social position. Those who could afford applied white lead – a paste made from vinegar and white lead -. To his face, neck and chest
For the woman who was also fashionable have the cheeks blush and crimson lips. They use dyes from roots of plants and animals in her cheeks, but her lips red for more than a pigment from red mercury sulfide. Mercury is also used to wash the face, which acts as a chemical peel to make the skin soft and fresh.
Of course, we now know that about the effects of lead and mercury poisoning in the body, so it is not surprising that these practices caused serious damage to the skin including skin blemishes and acne , but also a thinning of the outer layer of the skin. In severe cases the skin may even turn a bluish gray.