Venetian ceruse

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Pale-faced Elizabeth I of England has been thought to wear Venetian Ceruse

Venetian Ceruse, also known as Spirits of Saturn, was a 16th-century cosmetic used as a skin whitener. It was in great demand and considered the best available at that time.

The cosmetic's use of white lead as a pigment caused lead poisoning, damaging the skin and causing hair loss. Usage over an extended period could cause death.

People thought to have worn it[edit]

Elizabeth I of England is popularly imagined to have been a notable user, although critics Anna Riehl and Kate Maltby have argued that little historical evidence exists to support this claim.[1][2][3]

Ceruse was what killed Maria Coventry, Countess of Coventry, aged 27, in 1760.[citation needed] Ceruse caused blemishes, which she applied more makeup on, which in turn caused more blemishes. Eventually she died of lead poisoning.

See also[edit]

References[edit]