Since pallor was associated with beauty, many women in the 17th and 18th centuries painted their faces with white lead, an unfortunate practice that resulted in mutilated skin or even death.

The best complexion "milks" or remedies at that time were those made of simple herbal or floral mixtures, says E.E. Dickinson Witch Hazel Co.Today, herbs and flowers still form the basis of many natural skin remedies.