Women in every country have beauty secrets and traditions that they swear by and that have been passed down through generations. In America, most women look to pharmacies and cosmetics counters for skin and hair care solutions, but in other cultures, women often seek out beauty treatments in their cupboards.
If you’re wondering why Asian women have such clear complexions, or how Latina women get their long, lustrous locks, there’s no need to pull out your passport to find out. Check out these beauty tips and tricks from around the globe for the lowdown.
Colombia: Use avocado mask for soft, shiny hairAvocados are a super food and also a great way to keep your hair looking super smooth and healthy. Colombian women use avocado hair mask to moisturize their hair. To make your own avocado hair mask, mash avocado and combine it with two egg whites. Apply the mask to your hair, leave it in for 15 minutes, and then wash and condition your hair as usual. You’ll be amazed with the results!
China: Minimize stretch marks with camellia oil and cleanse your skin with rice water
Chinese women rub camellia oil into their skin in the morning and evening to prevent and treat stretch marks. Camellia is an evergreen shrub with rose-like flowers. Its seeds produce high quality oil that reduces trans-epidermal water loss and moisturizes the skin. Studies have also shown that camellia oil stimulates the growth of dermal fibroblast cells, which aid in collagen growth.Chinese women also use antioxidant-rich rice water to cleanse and soften their skin. Before you cook rice, you can rinse the rice, place it in a bowl, and then cover it with water. Let the rice soak for 15 minutes. Drain the rice using a colander and save the water in a clean bowl. Splash the water on your face and massage it into your skin for about a minute. Your skin will feel soft and radiant. You can store the rice water in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.
Spain: Get rid of dark under eye circles with potato slicesIn addition to being an essential ingredient in Spanish cuisine, potatoes are also effective in combating dark circles under the eyes. Spanish women put raw potato slices over their eyes for about 15 minutes to minimize the appearance of dark circles. Raw potatoes contain natural bleaching agents that make dark under eye circles disappear over time if used on a regular basis.
Brazil: Soothe sunburns with Oatmeal
Brazilian women are known the world over for their sun-kissed beach bods. But spending too much time on the beach can also lead to unsightly sunburns if one isn’t careful. Oatmeal is the remedy of choice for sunburns in Brazil because it has an anti-inflammatory effect when mixed with bath water. To make an oatmeal bath, put oatmeal in gauze, twist it up, and then tie it over the tap. Let lukewarm water flow through the bag and then bathe in the water for at least 20 minutes to soothe your sunburn.
Morocco: Moisturize your hair and skin with liquid gold, aka pure argan
Argan oil, also referred to as liquid gold, comes from the kernel of the argan tree, which is endemic to the argan forest of Morocco. The fruits of the argan tree are so nutritious that goats even climb the trees to eat the fruit. Moroccan women have taken advantage of pure argan oil’s benefits for centuries. Argan oil is rich in vitamins A and E as well as fatty acids. It eases inflammation and moisturizes the skin. The skin absorbs argan oil quickly, so it doesn’t leave an oily residue. Moroccan women also apply argan oil to their hair to make it softer, smoother, and silkier. One or two drops go a long way.
Japan: Apply matcha green tea mask for bright, acne-free skin and collagen mask for ‘red carpet’ radiance
Major beauty brands have long incorporated green tea in their formulations due to its proven ability to ward off wrinkles, acne, and age spots. Why not go straight to the source to reap the beauty benefits of green tea? To get bright skin and help treat acne, Japanese women mix matcha green tea powder with a little bit of water to create a paste and then use it as a mask. Green tea contains catechins that suppress acne-causing bacteria. It also has anti-inflammatory benefits and makes the skin moist and supple.
Another popular home skin treatment in Japan is collagen masks. Collagen facial masks are an important part of the Japanese home beauty ritual. Unlike the goop in a tube that most American women know as mask, Japanese collagen facial masks consist of a cotton sheet drenched in hydrolyzed marine collagen, hyaluronic acid, and a variety of other beneficial ingredients. Collagen facial masks instantly rejuvenate the skin and provide ‘red carpet’ radiance.
We hope you found these beauty secrets from around the world useful! They will give your skin and hair an amazing boost, yet they are hassle-free and 100% natural. Best of all, many of these treatments can be made with ingredients that are probably in your kitchen right now.
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Aging is kind of a bummer, am I right?
Even though our mothers gave us the heads-up that things are going to change, we then wake up one morning (approx. age 35 for me) and realize that 1) Things HAVE changed, along with 2) Mom was right…AGAIN . And unfortunately, our skin is usually where we see the effects of aging in our bodies first. From dryness, to volume loss and fine lines, to perhaps even the oh-so-unfair adult onset acne, time has a way of wreaking havoc on our once pristine skin.
But the great news is, we can reduce these effects by nourishing our skin from the inside, out. And as a registered dietitian, I’m here to provide a few proven nutrition tips and real-life tricks, to nourish your skin to help keep it glowing and healthy for years to come.
Protecting your skin from the sun is important, no matter what time of year it is, but it’s especially vital in the summertime. While you might want to bare your skin in the summer to achieve a beautiful, sun-kissed complexion, UVA and UVB radiation from the sun can wreak havoc on your skin and cause premature aging if you aren’t careful.
UVA rays, which account for 90 to 95 percent of the UV radiation that reaches the earth, penetrate deep layers of the skin and cause tanning. UVB radiation accounts for only 5 to 10 percent of solar radiation, but it damages the epidermis, or surface layer of the skin, causing sunburn.
UVA rays cause the collagen in your skin to break down at a higher rate than normal aging . They do this by penetrating the dermis, or middle layer of the skin, and lead to the abnormal buildup of elastin. This elastin accumulates and results in the production of enzymes that break down collagen.
The more sun exposure you get, the worse the damage becomes. UV radiation also creates free radicals, which are unstable oxygen molecules that increase the number of enzymes that break down collagen. An excessive amount of free radicals in your body can also weaken your vascular system, cause poor circulation, and lead to deteriorated eye health.