Cosmetics Recipes

This page contains links to  recipes which we selected from Caterina Sforza’s Experimenti (all the translations are by by Jackie Spicer, with additional help from Anna Canning and Jill Burke). We include photographs of the recipes we made up on the cosmetics day, plus Anna’s notes about any problems interpreting individual recipes, potential efficacy of ingredients and so on.

Skin (whiteners, rouge, anti-aging creams)

Hair (growth inc. baldness cures, removal, dying)

Teeth (whiteners, mouthwashes, toothpaste)

We made up all our recipes with the help and advice of a trained medical herbalist. Whilst many of these recipes use everyday ingredients and are not harmful to try, some are definitely not to be tried out at home! Renaissance recipes can include ingredients that are now known to be highly toxic. Others include ingredients that will stain the skin or hair, and can take quite several days or more to wash out. If we have tried a recipe that is safe to experiment with, we have indicated this in our notes.

Anna Canning leads classes where she can show groups how to make some of the renaissance cosmetics discussed here. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Anna via the Floramedica website.