From Colin's Beauty Pages:
The first person to write on the science of beauty was an eleventh century Italian woman called Trotula di Ruggiero (often called just Trotula of Salerno – a bit easier to spell and remember). She worked in Salerno in one of the earliest medical schools. She is most famous as the first person to write about women’s medical problems in De Passionibus Mulierum Curandarum. But her De Ornatu Mulierum (about women’s cosmetics) is just as interesting.
Salerno at the time must have been a fascinating place to operate in. The medical school consciously drew on the traditions of the Arabs, the Jews and the Greeks as well as the local knowledge of herbal beauty treatments. It was also a place where women seem to have played a major role in developing knowledge. The local produce and the sophisticated Mediterranean trade routes also provided a rich variety of raw materials.