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.
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.
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.
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