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.
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.
Ceruse was what killed the Countess of Coventry, aged 27, during the Tudor times. Ceruse caused blemishes, which she applied more makeup on, which in turn caused more blemishes. Eventually she died of lead poisoning.