Beauty treatments here in the states tend to center around manufactured corporate products that are sold to us via glamorous ads and expensive promises. And while there’s a strong natural product movement here, we realize it’s been going stronger for, um, eons everywhere else.
Globally, the secret to shiny hair and glowing skin often includes beauty rituals and DIY methods, many using natural ingredients and even a few, um, live animals. Intrigued? So were we and that’s why we rounded up seven beauty treatments from different cultures. Some you might want to try at home and others you might just want to shelve for a trip to the actual country. It’s totally up to you.
Indian women tend to have insanely gorgeous hair and unbelievably alluring kohl-rimmed gazes. While you’ll find no end of “kohl” black eyeliners at Sephora, the real stuff that inspired them is still made by hand today. The recipe goes back to ancient times. While we don’t have an exact recipe, Women’s Health magazine tells us it’s a matter of mixing ashes with an oil, such as almond butter. Apparently, the ritual was once worn by both sexes and began as a way to protect eyes from the glare of the sun.
Ridhima Sapre is an assistant beauty editor at Elle India. She told Elle‘s U.S. site that women use a sandalwood mask to clear pores and cool inflamed skin. It’s a matter of acquiring sandalwood in powdered form and mixing it with your choice of liquid, from water to yogurt.
Oprah’s site reports that in Oman, women rinse their hair with rose water. They make it themselves by boiling dried rose petals, draining and then pouring over their locks. Forget spritzing synthetic perfumes in there and adding more chemicals to your body, rose water infuses tresses with a natural botanical smell that can become any woman’s signature.
Both Korean and Chinese women use rice water in their skin regimen because they say it makes skin smoother and silkier. Wash rice twice and drain. Use the second leftover water to either bathe or wash your face.
An egg white rinse for hair has long been known to the world of DIY beauty enthusiasts. According to Giovanni Giuliano, a Los Angeles hair stylist and a native of Naples, it’s an Italian thing. He says to whip two egg whites into a “frothy” mousse, apply to wet hair for 10 minutes and then shampoo out with lukewarm water.
You might have heard of this one spa treatment that hails from Turkey. Become Gorgeous reminds us it’s the one where tiny, dead-skin-eating fish are dumped into a public pool along with patrons who pay for the privilege of getting the fishes to nibble off their unwanted skin flakes. You can find this treatment at a few places here in the states, too. In some cases, it’s just your feet that get the treatment, while the rest of you stays nice and dry.
In Sweden, dry saunas are popular to keep warm during frigid winters, but also to boost skin circulation, which skincare experts say is part of having a glowing, healthy complexion.