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5 Ancient Beauty Tips That Work Better Than Photoshop

5 Ancient Beauty Tips That Work Better Than Photoshop

Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and wished you could magically change how you look with some kind of secret formula? Don´t worry, it has happened to people all over the world not only now, but for thousands of years. The good news is that contrary to what you think, you don´t need plastic surgery, cover your face with tons of makeup or spend all your savings buying the newest cosmetics treatments in order to look better. It seems that we have forgotten that there are many useful tricks and tips that were invented much earlier than Botox and concealer that actually work! And we are not talking about some strange old magic potion; most of them are the main source of inspiration for the best cosmetic products available nowadays.

If we do some research, we will find out that most of the products we use today are rooted in ancient discoveries, therefore we can still learn a lot from about beauty by looking back into history. So let´s have a look at the past for the best beauty solutions to include in your daily routine.

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1. Cleopatra´s Milk Baths

If somebody asked us to mention someone from history with the most exquisite beauty, the most probable candidate would be the Egyptian queen Cleopatra, and almost everybody has heard of the myth about her strange bathing habits. It is believed that during her reign in the first century BC, Cleopatra used to take milk baths as a skincare treatment. Maybe filling your bathtub with fresh donkey milk does not sound very appealing, nor even possible, but it has been proven that milk baths exfoliate and rejuvenate the skin. Why? Milk baths contain lactic acid and alpha hydroxyl acid, which dissolve the proteins that hold dead skin cells together, leaving your face and body extremely healthy, clean and soft. Luckily, if you are looking to get these results for yourself you don´t need to Google where to purchase gallons of donkey milk and then soak in it like a cookie. Just look for soaps and bath creams with these same components and enjoy the benefits of a modern Cleopatra.

2. Dead Sea Salts

The Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans…and later on, expert dermatologists and cosmetic professionals have found the answer to their prayers in the waters of the Dead Sea. Its salt content of 29%, compared to the 4% in the oceans makes its water extremely rich in minerals and nutrients that can work miracles on your skin. Applying Dead Sea salt to the skin has shown benefits such as a 40% reduction in the depth of wrinkling, and due to its high concentration of magnesium it can also help cure various skin problems by improving hydration and reducing inflammation. Is it too far for you to go for a swim in the Dead Sea? You can always follow King Herod’s advice and enjoy the advantages of these salts from home with certain products. For example, revive dry, tired skin with a hydrating sheet mask containing deep sea soil as an easy option. It won´t take you more than 10 minutes and your skin will definitely thank you.

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3. Middle East Body Sugaring

It seems clear that if you are looking for a healthy looking face and body, the best use of sugar is not putting it into your mouth, but applying it to your skin. You can use it as an exfoliator, creating your own DIY body scrub, or go one step further and use it for the removal of unwanted hair. A long time before wax and razors were invented, this technique to get rid of unwanted hair was used in Middle Eastern countries such as Egypt and Lebanon. The benefits? It is a natural method with no harsh chemicals, more effective and less painful than waxing, it is cheaper because you can do it at home (you only need sugar, lemon, water and patience), and while removing hair you will exfoliate your skin at the same time.

4. Mediterranean Olive Oil

Apart from the many antioxidant benefits that you will gain by incorporating olive oil into your diet you should also consider including it in your daily beauty rituals. It was the standard hair care product for ancient Greek women and its use has been gaining popularity since then. It has been proven that olive oil is able to rejuvenate damaged hair in the most effective and natural way, so if you want a quick natural repair, massage it into your hair for instant softness. In addition, olive oil is a good component to take into consideration for DIY natural skin treatments; in fact ancient Egyptians used olive oil alongside beeswax as a cleanser, moisturizer, and antibacterial agent, so do not hesitate to incorporate it into your home made masks and natural creams.

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5. Asian Tea

If there is something that we can learn by admiring the flawless skin of Asian women, it is to never underestimate the effectiveness of their natural ancient beauty rituals. It may be difficult to follow the full beauty procedure of a geisha, but there is certain knowledge that we can adopt easily when creating a new beauty routine, and one of the easiest is certainly tea. Numerous claims have been made on the health benefits of green tea based on its chemical composition, especially because this type of tea has a high concentration of beneficial polyphenols, which are believed to fight free radicals, reduce skin problems and eliminate bacteria and toxins from your pores. Considering the well-documented antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of green tea, its components will likely slow down the development of some signs of aging. Whether green tea can actually diminish wrinkles or not is uncertain yet, but using it for its other proven beneficial effects are worth a try. Drink it or apply it to your skin with a DIY cream or cosmetic product (you will find it is an ingredient in a great amount of creams and treatments).

Featured photo credit: Dennis Wong via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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