For centuries, human bodies have been preserved through various natural and artificial techniques, such as mummification of the ancient Egyptians, embalming, and more recently, plastination and cryonics. A similar phenomenon is the occurrence of bog bodies, in which human cadavers dating as far back as 9000 BCE have survived inside peat bogs.
The bog bodies are not preserved through human practices, but are naturally mummified as a result of several unique features, including low temperature, underground water containing high concentrations of tannic acids and a somewhat anaerobic environment, of the surrounding bog area. Over the years, archaeologists have excavated thousands of ancient bog bodies, mainly from the peat bogs of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands.
Although the degree of preservation varies greatly with differences in soil conditions, a majority of the recovered bodies possess almost perfectly conserved, albeit heavily tanned, skin with minute details, like forehead lines and even smile wrinkles. What’s more, these impressive skin-protection properties of the peat soil are being exploited by the cosmetic industry to manufacture skin products that promise youthful, supple skin. For instance, Tullamore-based brand Ógra has released a luxury skincare range made from locally sourced peat. Peat, also known as turf, is a kind of mineral-rich dead plant residue that, the company claims, is capable of reversing skin damage by collagen production. Bill Kenny, founder of the cosmetic brand, actually lives close to the 14-acre Croghan Hill bog, where the famous Iron Age ‘Old Croghan Man’ was unearthed back in 2003.
Inspired by the immaculately-preserved skin of the 3,000 years old body, Bill Kenny launched Ógra, which in Irish literally means ‘youth’. Researchers at Glasgow University analysed the peat retrieved from this County Offaly bog to find that it was nearly 9000 years old. The concentration of antioxidants in the peat soil was also found to be the highest in the entire world.
The peat contains 98 to 99 percent of organic matter such as antiseptics, with trolox being the main antioxidant. Apart from that, it also possesses trace amounts of minerals like zinc, copper, magnesium, manganese, iron and molybdenum, all of which are believed to facilitate skin rejuvenation.
Ógra Skincare claims that the peat-based products have strong astringent, detoxifying and pH balancing effects. The products are already commercially available, with the 100% Peat Face and Body Mask being sold for a retail price of $66.
To know more about its products, kindly check the company’s website.
Image credits: Zoe Farrell
Via: Daily Mail