9 Beauty secrets from around the world

9 Beauty secrets from around the world

Here’s a quick world tour, sans passports, on beauty secrets that women around the world use to enhance their features.

Always envied the porcelain skin on your Japanese neighbour? Or the thick, lustrous hair Filipinos sport without a fraction of frizz? What are their hidden beauty secrets? 

Common knowledge in the country of origin, the secret behind some of these physical attributes has been passed down from generation to generation - much like your Grandma’s special recipe!

Here’s a quick world tour, sans passports, on beauty secrets that women around the world use to enhance their features.

Easy to buy, we can see them becoming staples on your shopping lists too! 

1. Greece and Italy : Olive Oil

While other countries use butter, margarine or vegetable oil to cook, the Greeks and Italians figured out the right oil to use many centuries ago. Part of their regular diet, Olive Oil is known to have the power to clean inside out.

An antioxidant filled with vitamins, you can easily replace your choice of cooking medium with this potent oil that has been known to reduce cholesterol and associated heart disease. What you might not know is that it makes for a great face wash too! Use Olive Oil much like a cleansing gel and wipe with a wet warm towel after to get surprisingly fresh skin, every time!

olive-oil

2. Brazil : Sand!

If Gisele is your definition of beauty, don't assume that she was born with perfect skin! In fact, like most Brazilians, she probably worked at it right from her younger years. Little did we know that sand, from the famous (or infamous) Brazilian beaches is an active element of home beauty rituals. A natural exfoliant, rubbing sand on your skin increases circulation. What is more, keeping at it for longer can help decrease cellulite too!

sand

3. France: Lemon Juice

Stains on nails don't make a pretty picture! Women in France have been doing their own manicures for years and have worked out how to keep nail stains at bay.  Just soak your fingers (or toes!) in lemon juice for ten minutes, and most of those stains will go away.  Who thought it could be this simple and quick!

lemon

4. China : Jade Rollers

This ancient practice is at the heart of traditional Chinese beauty. Jade rollers are the reason Chinese women have perfect complexions and a far superior skincare routine. The cool stone on Jade rollers smoothens out puffiness and helps maintain younger looking skin. This ritual initially was reserved for only the elite Chinese ladies (Jade is expensive!) but these rollers are now making an appearance at luxury retailers across the world.

jaderoller

5. The Philippines: Aloe

How do Filipino women get their hair so shiny despite the humidity in Singapore?  It turns out the secret is aloe. Easily accessible in their home countries, all you need is an aloe leaf. Break it into half to get the juice and then run it into your hair and scalp like a conditioner. If you don't have access to an aloe plant, you can easily buy the gel from a pharmacy store here. Aloe is also great for your skin! A saviour from sunburn, its inflammatory properties make it an excellent salve for any type of irritated skin.

aloe

6. Australia: Yarrow extract

Pregnancy and several weight loss journeys later, stretch marks are a part and parcel of our existence! Once these unsightly marks show up they are hard to get rid of, however this super root from Australia has been known to clear up stretch marks for centuries. Yarrow extract contains anti-inflammatory compounds, moisturizes your skin and was often used by Australian Aboriginal women for generations. If this is too natural a cure for you, just hunt for a stretch mark cream that contains yarrow root extract for an effective end to those stretch marks!

yarrow

7. Japan : Sake

Enjoy your occasional glass of sake? How about soaking in a bath full of it instead? First discovered by geishas, sake is an age old beauty ingredient that helps make your skin beautiful inside out. Rich in enzymes and 20 amino acids, sake gently exfoliates layers of skin and the minerals and vitamins help keep your skin youthful. An excellent skin toner, all it takes is a little dab before you start the rest of your beauty routine. Also known to reduce the appearance of age spots and discoloration from the sun, this is not a well kept secret; even Daiso has its own Sake toner!

sake

8. Africa : Cocoa pods and Shea Butter

It may sound unusual but black soap made of ash from cocoa pods and then mixed with coconut oil and Shea butter is a secret acne cure popular in the African continent. A beauty regimen that African women and men rely heavily on, this concoction is perfect for oily skin and relieves edema and psoriasis too. The Vitamin A and E are just bonus extras that help nourish your skin further. No need to go hunting for cocoa pods yet as many pharmacy brand products now contain both cocoa and shea butter, making the ingredients accessible to all those in need.

blacksoap

9. Indonesia : Jamu

We swear by the power of Jamu for post pregnancy binds however did you know that this is another herb that promised to cure from the inside out. Jamu, a well known Indonesian healer, keeps your skin youthful and helps regulate your hormones. You can buy Jamu herbs in capsule form and take them like any regular supplement but of course as always, check with your doctor first!

jamu

ALSO READ: The best beauty calendar for busy mums

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Written by

Natasha Tulsi

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