Beauty inspired by
The Beautiful Chemistry Project joins historians and scientists at the University of Auckland in studying and recreating popular Renaissance recipes for cosmetics, skincare and haircare in the modern lab.
In our quest to understand Renaissance formulas and their efficacy, we combine textual with chemical analysis, remaking and testing. By searching for the secrets of the past and using the latest technology, we are rediscovering the power of natural ingredients and discovering potent new compounds.
Garden to bottle
Plants are the most widely used ingredients in Renaissance beauty recipes. Many of these recipes were made in the home, using ingredients from the kitchen garden.
Our lab-based analysis sheds light on active ingredients that can be used in commercial products and also ones that can be incorporated into homemade beauty recipes. We embrace a ‘garden to bottle’ approach with a strong focus on natural ingredients and their traditional usage in cosmetics and personal care and their lab-tested potency.
Based at the University of Auckland, our team is comprised of experts from this research hub. The recipes are originals from Renaissance manuscripts, and are thoroughly recreated and tested to give the best results. Learn more about our exciting research.