Beyond the fascination exercised from deepest Antiquity by this gem highly prized for its purity and its mysterious origins, the pearl has been worshipped throughout time. Pearl powder was the favourite ingredient of the Empress CiXi (1835 – 1908), the last Empress of China during the Qing dynasty. She took it as an anti-inflammatory medical remedy or applied it to the skin to preserve its health and youthfulness. In Korea, women mixed pearl powder with milk and applied the mixture as a mask to their skin to eliminate imperfections and give the skin a sheen. In India, the pearl was mainly used as face powder to increase the lustre of the complexion.
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