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The use in China of pearl powder, both as medicine and as cosmetic, dates back at least to 320 AD. Pearl powder was an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), in the treatment of eye diseases, tuberculosis and to prevent heart attacks. Pearl powder is widely believed to help improve the appearance of the skin, and is used as a cosmetic by royal families in Asia. It is also used as a treatment for acne. The empress Wu Ze Tian (625 AD – 705 AD) used pearl powder internally and on her skin. Pearl powder was also used as a skin whitener by women in Europe during the nineteenth century.

The medical book Bencao Gangmu of the Ming dynasty claimed that pearl can stimulate new skin growth and healing, release toxins, and remove sun damage and age spots. Some studies have claimed that pearl powder can stimulate the skin’s fibroblasts, help regenerate collagen, and accelerate healing of certain skin conditions, wounds and burns.

Adapted from wikipedia