Beauty is a revered quality around the world, and has an entire industry, worth over $500 billion according to Forbes, dedicated to it to prove it. The beauty industry as we know it today is an amalgamation of new innovations as well as practices and disciplines from around the world, which have been passed down from generation to generation. With the world becoming more globalized each day we have the privilege to experience and appreciate all the different cultures that have contributed to the industry.
Below I am going to go through 8 different beauty rituals, and who knows? they could become a permanent fixture in your routines.
Japan: Anti-aging with Azuki Beans
Like many of its other neighboring countries, China and Korea, Japan holds skincare to a high regard. Exfoliating is an important step in Japanese skincare as it is believed to be the key to maintain smooth and glowing skin. One Japanese beauty secret is to use Azuki beans to use an azuki bean scrub. Not only are azuki beans great for your diet they remedy issues such as fine lines, acne, and blackheads. The beans are rich in antioxidants and contain saponin. Saponin is a foaming agent which has many uses and one of them is in making soap. The saponin helps to clean pores, promote blood circulation, remove dead skin, and unclog pores. The scrub is made simply grinding up the beans into a semi-fine powder and storing it in your fridge. After a couple of hours,the powder is ready to use. Simply take a bit and add a couple of drops of water. Adding water agitates the saponin and creates a thick foamy paste. Spread this over your wet face and allow to sit for a couple of minutes and then rinse off. Do this 2- 3 times a week and your Consistent use will reap benefits.
India: Body Hair-removal with Besan
Say goodbye to that pesky peach fuzz and unwanted body hair with the use of Besan. Besan, also known as gram flour, is cited in various ayurvedic beauty recipes for hair removal. Gram flour dries very quickly on the skin and works as a great exfoliator to thin the hair follicles. Coupled with other ingredients such as turmeric and tea tree oil, it acts as an inhibitor. Using gram flour is a very slow process, however when the hair eventually does come off it takes longer to grow back and, in some people, does not grow back at all! It is best in conjunction with other hair removal methods.
- A simple recipe is:
- 1 tbsp gram flour
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tbsp lemon juice
After shaving or waxing apply this mask let sit for 15 mins and rinse off, making sure to moisturize after.
Zambia: Silky Skin and Hair with Mongongo Nuts
Mongongo or Manketti trees are native to southern Africa and grow along the Zambezi River valley. Oil is extracted from these nuts, and it is used as a hair and body oil, especially in the colder months. The oil from these nuts contains lots of vitamin E and C, as well as magnesium and zinc helping to moisten, soften and repair damaged skin and frizzy hair. Mongongo oil also consists of a unique composition of fats:
- Linoleic acid: Restores skin barrier function
- Eleostearic acid: Has anti- cancer properties and acts as a natural “sunscreen” when it
- polymerizes when exposed UV Rays to form protective barrier.
- Oleic acid: Increases the skins ability to absorb moisture and nutrients
- Palmitic Acid: Cleanses, softens and keeps moisture in the skin
- Mongongo oil can be mixed into your moisturisers, shampoos, and body butters.
Saudi Arabia: Overnight acne remedy with mint leaves
This is a beauty secret that I found that excited me the most as now I can put my mint plant to more uses. We all associate mint with our oral hygiene, but it has facial benefits as well. Mint contains salicylic acid is a BHA (which you can read more about here.)The salicylic acid works to soothe and calm inflammation, making it the perfect remedy for that troublesome zit. The mint can be grinded up into a paste and then applied to the affected area or can be added to your face mask. Mint leaves are antimicrobial and contain antioxidants that inhibit acne causing bacteria.
North America: Hair Growth with Yucca
Yuccas are grown mainly as ornamental or decorative plants in gardens as an accent in landscape design. However, these plants have more use that just looking pretty. The roots of these plants are used by native Americans to encourage hair growth and prevent baldness. The roots are rich in saponins and so were used as a hair wash. To make the wash the roots were crushed and soaked in water. This was then rubbed into the hair and the scalp.
Hawaii: Radiant Skin with Pineapple
Pineapples are great for many things, they make lovely prints on clothes, delicious juices and, I do not care what anyone says, Pineapples are great on pizza. According to Hawaiian women pineapples are also great for your skin, and they are right. Pineapples are rich in vitamin c and AHAs which helps to tone your complexion. Pineapple also contains the enzyme bromelain which has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-bacterial properties. It should be noted that pineapple is very acidic and may cause irritation if applied topically. It is advised that pineapple extracts should be used instead. These are more effective as they contain higher concentrations of bromelain and are less likely to cause irritation.
Dominican Republic: Long Healthy Nails with Garlic
This may be a well-known secret but anything that helps us grow long and healthy nails deserves to be repeated. If you have weak and fragile nails, probably from those acrylic nails that we love so much but know are not so good for us, then garlic might just be the solution. Garlic is an antioxidant and an antiseptic meaning that it will keep your nail-bed clean and healthy whilst killing bacteria and fungi. Garlic also contains selenium which helps in strengthening the nails. Chopped garlic is added to clear nail polish and left for a couple of days. After a few days, the garlic odour is masked by the nail polish and is ready for use.
Greece: Detoxify Skin with a Tea Bath
Finally, we have herbal tea baths from Greece. Herbal tea baths are an old health practices that makes use of herbal tea flowers to cool, soothe and detoxify the skin. Apart from the physical benefits, tea baths can help stimulate the mind, reduce stress, and even improve sleep. As the teas have their own unique properties and benefits you can mix and match and tailor one specific to your needs. My personal favourite are green tea and chamomile. Not only are these baths therapeutic they make for insta-worthy content.