Venetian ceruse

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Pale faced Elizabeth I of England wearing 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 pigment of white lead caused lead poisoning, damaging the skin and causing hair loss. Usage over an extended period could cause death. 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]

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