If there’s one thing that women across the world have in common it’s being beautiful. From the far east to the shores of the west – women from all races and cultures have their own individual beauty. Although the methods and the ingredients may differ, the concept is always the same. Women want to look and feel beautiful. That’s not a cliche statement, nor is it sexist. Every culture has its beauty secrets; which makes them so unique.
I’ve recently been getting into a lot of natural beauty products lately. Very unlike me really as I’m not much of a purist, but I find the potency of natural ingredients far more beneficial than a store-bought product. I wouldn’t go as far as to throw out all of my off-the-shelf beauty products, but you can’t really compare the two.
Taking inspiration from this, I’ve decided to round up natural beauty secrets from around world in today’s blog post. I research a lot into exotic oils and foods; which are indigenous to certain countries, but also beneficial for the skin, hair and nails. Today, I share with you some of the ingredients that I’ve tried out myself or will be planning to try.
Here’s what women across the globe use to get glamourous…
China – Crushed Pearl Powder
Used for thousands and thousands of years, crushed pearls have been a part of Chinese healing medication as well as beauty regimes across China. The powder is as glamorous as the name suggests. Its velvety-light texture and off-white hue makes it a luxurious treat as well as a fantastic skin saviour.
Pearl powder contains a very high source of amino acid, protein, calcium and vitamins. It’s perfect for all skin types and helps with easing inflammation as well as promoting healing, enhancing skin’s elasticity and luminosity. Crushed pearl powder also helps with absorbing oil, skin impurities, filtering out UV rays and helps to prevent hyperpigmentation by slowing down the melanin production in the skin. The antimicrobial properties are also known to remove blotches, acne, scarring, dry patches and rosacea as well as sun damage.
Mix it in with your favourite lotion, add it to your next DIY face mask or do as the Chinese do and apply dabs of the powder to your cleansed skin before bed. It won’t clog and your pores, but it will leave you feeling super glamorous.
India – Turmeric
There’s no secret that turmeric, or rather, turmeric powder is used and loved around the world. India calls it their golden spice and it’s not hard to see why.
Turmeric is AMAZING for your skin, hair and overall health. It contains many antibacterial properties as well as antioxidants; which makes it fantastic for beauty in general. I have a whole blog post on my love for Turmeric; which you can check out for more details.
Indian women love mixing together a paste of turmeric and milk to apply directly to their bodies as well as their face for enviable, pigment-free skin. Well they do say that Indian women are some of the most beautiful women in the world. Not that I’m biased…of course.
Greece – Olive Oil
Organic oil, in any form, is fantastic for skin, hair and nails. In Greece, olive oil is in abundance and the women have declared it their secret to eternal youth.
Olive oil is very rich in vitamins, minerals and natural fatty acids. It’s suitable for sensitive as well as parched, dry skin. Olive oil is normally the key ingredient to many anti-ageing skincare products as it’s rich in antioxidants, prevents skin ageing, reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and not forgetting nourishes, rejuvenates and protects the skin. It’s rich in vitamin E and A as well as promoting youth, hydration, elasticity and texture.
My favourite way to use olive oil is to add dashes of its golden wonder to a warm bath, as an oil-based makeup remover on my face or as a cuticle oil. It’s cheap as chips, but make sure it’s virgin olive oil if you do decided to try this one!
French Polynesian – Monoi Oil
If there’s one oil in the world that I just had to keep it would be monoi oil. I can’t get enough of this stuff; which is probably a bad habit to keep as it’s not that easy to source in the shops, nor is it as cheap as olive oil. However, if I imagined Hawaii in a bottle, this would be it; which makes it totally worth the bother (in my eyes).
Monoi oil has been a Polynesian secret for thousands of years. Women would slather it all over their bodies to protect themselves from sun damage, harsh elements of the beach (totally 1st world problems if you ask me), maintain an even skin tone, but more importantly…add a beautiful fragrance to their entire body (including hair); which also offers intense moisturisation. All round winner in my books!
Monoi oil is completely natural and is made from a combination of my ever-favourite coconut oil as well as the essence of Tiare flowers (Tahitian Gardenias). Only pure, virgin coconut oil is used; which means that coconuts which have fallen naturally from their palm are the only ones used to infuse the beautiful Tiare flower petals.
I pick up bottles of the ever famous Hei Poa Monoi oil from Amazon for a fair price, plus there’s lots of different infusions to try out if you’re in the mood for something different.
Egypt – Milk Baths
Known for her euphoric sex appeal and womanly charms, anything that Cleopatra (supposedly) did, I naturally want to try out too. I mean – if the delight of a rose petal infused milk bath doesn’t excite you, you’re reading the wrong blog!
It’s no secret that Cleopatra had a thing about milk baths, but what’s the big deal about them? Well it’s not just about sticking a bit of Cravendale in the tub and calling it a day, Cleopatra believed in unpasteurised, thick and creamy natural milk (with a dash of honey) to soothe and nourish her irrisistable skin.
The lactic acid in milk works as an exfoliator for dead skin as well as promoting an even, glowing complexion. I’ve tried it before and although it’s very relaxing and nourishing, I wouldn’t give up my favourite body scrub for exfoliation.
Japan – Rice
When it comes to beauty secrets, there’s no one better to take lead from than the Japanese. The beauty industry in Japan is on FIRE and their products are hard to compete with. Just like their beauty products, the Japanese diet is one of the most healthiest in the world and rice is at the forefront of that diet.
Other than nutritional benefits, rice has been used for thousands of years as a beauty secret. Rice farmers would boil rice, separate the water and use it to bathe with for healthy skin. Geishas soon picked up on this trick and would use boiled-down rice water to keep their skin bright, fair and smooth.
Compounds found in rice bran have been widely used in many beauty products on the shelf as it contains antioxidants, phytic acid and exfoliating properties to increase blood flow to the skin.
You can create your own bath soaks by placing some white rice in a muslin cloth and run under a warm tap, however, reaching into beauty products which contain rice bran is just as beneficial. Try out the Tatcha skincare range for some great products; which contains rice bran as their integral ingredient.
Morocco – Argan Oil
Argan oil to Moroccans is what olive oil is to the Greeks. Moroccans use argan oil for everything, including beauty. The western world have already experienced the love for argan oil with the explosion of MoroccanOil on the market. Although I’ve always been a fan of their products, since getting a bottle of the real stuff during my travels to Marrakech, I could never go back.
Argan oil contains antioxidants, vitamin E, essential fatty acids and intense moisturisation. It really is a superfood for your skin as well as hair an nails. It’s great for anti-ageing, hydration, hair smoothing and skin regeneration.
After styling, I love running argan oil through my hair to smooth away flyaways and well as using pure argan oil on my face at night before going to bed. If you’re unable to source the traditional stuff, try the Josie Maran Pure Argan Oil as a fantastic alternative.
Singapore – Papaya
Christopher Columbus dubbed papaya the ‘Fruit of the Angels’ after discovering its tropical taste and butter-like consistency. Papaya has been a treasured fruit for many years, but rather than a tropical inclusion in a fruit salad, it’s a wonderful ingredient to use for beauty regimes.
Rich in vitamins A, C, E and K, papaya has antioxidant properties as well as natural enzymes. It contains magnesium, potassium, niacin, carotene, protein and fibre. Not just the fruit, the seeds found within papaya are also highly beneficial.
The enzymes in papaya make it highly beneficial for exfoliating and skin whitening. I’m certainly not talking about changing the colour of your skin, I think products like that are DISGUSTING! I’m talking about lightening skin discolouration and hyper pigmentation.
I use pure papaya soap; which contains natural papaya seeds when my skin needs a good clean. Check out Amazon for loads of different papaya soaps.
West Africa – Shea Butter
It’s no secret that I love a bit of shea butter. I have a whole blog post on my DIY whipped body butter; which includes the use of shea butter.
Shea butter, like argan oil, is a natural superfood for the skin. The butter is made from the seeds of Karite trees; which is rich in vitamins A, E and F. It offers UV protection, collagen production and intense nourishment. Women in West Africa have been using this natural ingredient for years to feed their skin and hair with essential fatty acids and rich nutrients.
Shea butter is a little hard to apply to the skin and hair on it’s own so I do suggest a product with shea butter as its main ingredient or, if you’re feeling productive, try out my DIY whipped body butter. It’s the best thing you will ever put on your body, particularly if you’re a mama in waiting and you’re looking to rid yourself of those pesky stretch marks.