Wellness Expert /
Women have been passing down their beauty rituals from one generation to the next since the dawn of time. From Cleopatra’s milk bath to Aboriginal tribes using berries as a lip stain, different nations have cultivated beauty secrets based on their cultural values and natural resources. However, they all have one thing in common: women swear by them. From antioxidant-laden botanicals to anti-ageing serums, skincare has come a long way. But after centuries of beauty advancements, we’re left wondering if our ancestors deserve more credit than we’ve given them. After all, many cosmetic ingredients used a thousand years ago are still just as effective today. So, we researched those global beauty secrets women have relied on for generations, and the modern-day product that will get you the same results. Whether it’s glossy hair from the Mediterranean or perfect skin from Japan, here are the products that women old and new have relied on…
In all of her regal beauty Cleopatra used to soak in a decadent mixture of milk, honey and essential oils. Used to promote radiant and supple skin, these luxurious baths were said to give the Egyptian ruler glowing, revitalised skin. Rich in lactic acid, sulphur, calcium and amino acids, milk harnesses properties that are essential for healing skin.
Bursting with nourishing vitamins that work to feed the skin, the Elemis Skin Nourishing Milk Bath captures the essence of Cleopatra’s ancient bathing ritual in one unique formula. Highly acclaimed, this innovative product is rich in nourishing vitamins, amino acids and minerals that work to promote radiant and supple skin. Natural plant collagen from Oat Extract and Japanese Camellia Oil work to feed the skin whilst simultaneously promoting a youthful glow.
Adorned by Japanese Geishas for centuries, rice water is bursting with vitamins and minerals ideal for boosting the appearance of skin, keeping it bright and fair. Proven to help skin with elasticity, rice water works to even tone and smooth texture, gradually lightening complexions for an overall brighter appearance.
Formulated with pure ‘living waters’ extracted directly from the plant, the Rice Plant & Rosemary BioAffinity Toner from Pai helps to calm, re-balance and de-congest skin. Naturally rich in a multitude of hydro-soluble compounds, plants absorb nutrients from the earth, inheriting a unique combination of amino acids, vitamins and trace mineral elements. Harnessing the exact pH level and resistivity balance of healthy skin, this unique blend gives unparalleled skin affinity while simultaneously improving tone and texture.
While the antioxidant properties of red grapes are widely known (vino, anyone?) it may be a little more surprising that Chilean women used to create a paste out of this mashed up-berry and apply it to their faces as a mask. Rich in proanthocyanidins and resveratrol, it has long been said that when absorbed into the skin, grapes help to promote suppleness, even out skin tone, strengthen skin tissue and promote flexibility.
Utilising a blend of Glycolic, lactic and citrus acids derived from grape, pineapple, passiongruit and lemon this unique face mask effortlessly dissolves dead skin cells, banishes blackheads and decongests clogged pores to reveal a softer, cleaner and fresher complexion. Omega’s 3 and 7 deliver intense nourishment and soothes redness to leave skin both looking and feeling radiant, restored and revitalised.
It has long been said that Dead Sea Mud holds a plethora of healing properties for skin. Containing a high percentage of salt and therefore a higher level of nourishing minerals, the mud local to the Dead Sea is said to promote healthier, nourished skin.
Suitable for all skin types, this Israeli-inspired product utilises mud, salt and mineral extracts from the Dead Sea to soothe and revitalise skin whilst simultaneously providing UVA and UVB protection to shield against sun damage. Deeply hydrating yet light-weight, this soothing formula has been developed to nourish, protect and replenish skin.
Dating back to Ancient Greece, Yarrow has long been used for wound-cleaning and blood-clotting properties. In the 1960’s, researchers found salicylic acid in the plant which can be used to treat fevers, reduce pain and alleviate toothaches. Adopted by the Aboriginal women of Australia, Yarrow was later used for cosmetic purposes including moisturising and alleviating stretch marks.
Today, Yarrow still provides an intensely nourishing treatment in a plethora of beauty products. This intensive plant-based cuticle cream from Eve Lom works to keep nails in a pristine condition and encourage healthy nail growth. Sweet Almond Oil and Chamomile work to soothe and heal skin while Yarrow oil softens and smooths.
Originating in France, it was once believed that this well-known candy could soothe stomach ulcers, skin diseases and reduce inflammation. Formulated from the licorice root, licorice extract harnesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that work to boost micro-circulation, soothe skin, brighten skin tone and disguise imperfections.
Formulated with a blend of licorice extract and silk proteins to lock in moisture, Alpha-H Liquid Gold can be used as a toner, exfoliator, serum or moisturiser. Working as an overnight facial to boost radiance and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, this unique product promises a youthful-looking, luminous complexion. Enriched with Glycolic Acid to remove dead skin cells and reduce pigmentation, skin will be left supply soft and de-congested.
Back in the age of Chinese dynasties, emperors and empresses would consume pearl powder to actively lighten dark spots. Milled from fresh-water pearls, the powder was also used as an anti-inflammatory agent to combat irritation and swelling.
A cult favourite among editors and beauty fanatics alike, the Pixi Quick Fix Powder harnesses the power of pearl powder to create a velvet matte on your skin, giving the ultimate air-brushed effect. Containing Aloe Vera and cucumber to soothe the skin, and grape extract that acts as an antioxidant, this beauty must-have will help you achieve the perfect finish to your make-up.
Indigenous to many African areas, Shea Butter is formulated from the nut of the shea or karite tree. In western countries such as Ghana, it has long been used as a sunblock to prevent skin damage from UV rays.
Today, Shea Butter can be found in many beauty products. The Skin Balancing Face Oil from Jurlique combines this with avocado oil, safflower oil, macadamia seed oil and rose hip oil to protect your skin from the damage that can be caused by environmental factors. It’s light yet effective solution will keep your complexion nourished and in optimal condition for a natural glow.
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