Helen Keller once said, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”
That’s so true, but living in this beauty-conscious world where an impossible size 0 is the ideal body type and where being white is the perfect skin color, it’s hard to look past physical appearance.
First impressions make it tough to get to know a person first to find out if they’re beautiful inside. This explains why most women care so much about appearance and are even willing to alter certain portions of their body to make them look more acceptable.
With the advent of technology, it’s now easier to get access to various beauty treatments. Apparently, beauty and skin secrets are not an invention of the modern world. Ancient people have been using herbs and plants to make them look better, sans the scalpel, knife or surgery. Surprisingly, these skin secrets are still very much alive today.
Here are the top ancient, yet ageless beauty and skin whitening secrets.
1. African Black Soap
Also known as “Ose Dudu” in Nigeria or “Anago Soap” in Ghana, the African black soap came from Western Africa. It’s known for its natural black color, hence the name.
It’s made of peels of plantain, which is famous for its anti-inflammatory properties in the skin, unrefined shea butter, coconut oil and palm oil.
The African black soap helps soothe skin irritation, eczema, acne, and even psoriasis. Babies can also benefit from black soap because of its gentle nature. At the same time, it helps retain certain antioxidants, such as carotenoids and cinnamic acid, which can help prevent auto-oxidation of skin cells.
African black soap is available at health and beauty stores, or you can buy it online.
Okay, this one has always been a crowd pleaser. Google the words, “natural skin care techniques,” and you won’t surely find an article that doesn’t contain lemon in it.
It turns out that the partnership between lemon and skin care ingredients date back to the ancient times.
In ancient Greece, women squeeze lemon juice on their hair and let the sun shine on them to help bring out the natural blonde hues. Fast forward to today, and you can also speed up the process of bringing out your hair’s natural color by adding salt water and sun to it. Aside from the hair, lemon has also been a staple natural skin care ingredient, which can help whiten the skin.
The good news is lemon can be bought anywhere, including your local grocery.
Did you know that Persephone, Goddess of the Underworld, ate pomegranate seeds while trapped in Hades’ world? At least that was according to stories.
Going back to reality, pomegranate has been a favorite of many cosmetics manufacturers because of its vitamin C content and ability to increase the potency of sunscreen.
At the same time, pomegranate is hydrating, period. Since cell membranes get thinner over time, the antioxidants in pomegranate can help the cells in your body attract water. In return, it targets dryness, wrinkles, brown spots and sun damage that are visible on your skin.
The pomegranate fruit is available in grocery stores. There are a number of products, such as juice and even candies that contain this fruit, which can also be beneficial to your skin.
Africa is truly a place of secrets. Aside from the African black soap, there is another beauty secret found in the mountains near Cape Town in South Africa. Say hello to Rooibos.
You might know Rooibos as a tea with many benefits. Did you know it is a common ingredient in many beauty and skincare products, too? This is because rooibos has anti-allergen and potent antioxidant properties that help minimize any skin allergies.
It helps other various skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema and rashes. At the same time, it protects your skin against free radicals and toxins to make sure it’s healthy.
In fact, the women of ancient Khoikhoi tribe grind this herb to achieve flawless complexions. What do you think? Not bad for a herb, right? It keeps your skin healthy, too.
5. Rose Water
The Persians are one of the first elite cultures in the ancient world. Therefore, it won’t come as a surprise to find out how much they have contributed to today’s modern society.
When it comes to beauty and skin care, they will always be known for their rose water.
Did you know that the rose is a symbol of beauty, healing and nourishment in Persian culture?
Rose water, which contains 10 to 50 percent rose oil, is an effective toner to soften your skin. At the same time, it hydrates, cleanses and packed with vitamins A and E that helps nourish your skin to keep it smooth and healthy.
There are many products that include rose water among its ingredients. If you want to go natural, replace your morning cleanser with rose water. Just dab it on your face to get rid of the residue from last night’s bedtime treatment. It also cleanses your skin without removing its natural oils to make sure it remains protected and well hydrated.
You have to thank the Chinese and Japanese for introducing the tea culture in today’s world. If you noticed, most Asians have soft, baby-like complexions and slim figures, thanks to green tea, and many other teas.
The tea cultivation started in China during the 10th century BC. Teas such as green tea, jasmine, oolong and white tea among others help treat various health issues, including skin conditions.
Green tea is perhaps the most popular variant in the tea family. It is rich in antioxidants and protects your body against free radicals, which are associated with disease and aging. Aside from this, researchers also found out that green tea is capable of reviving dry skin cells and eventually nourish your skin. It also helps manage your weight and keeps your skin younger and more radiant.
Start your day by drinking green tea to enjoy these benefits. This will help dilate blood vessels and reduce headaches. Or if you’re not very fond of drinking tea, there are many skin care ingredients that contain this, so you can still benefit from it.
Watermelon is a favorite in many tropical countries. Aside from its sweet flavor, it is also more than 90 percent water, which can offer hydration, especially during the summer.
Aside from providing hydration, watermelon also helped treat fevers during ancient times. Ancient Egyptians also collected its juice and mixed it with sugar and rose water.
So, what makes watermelon extra special? This fruit has amino acids that are the building blocks of collagen, a component needed by your skin. At the same time, it has antioxidants, such as carotenoids, lycopene and vitamin C, which targets dryness and wrinkles on the skin, aside from keeping your skin hydrated, of course.
If you are looking for a sweet way to hydrate your skin, then go for watermelon. You can also check out skin care products with watermelon ingredients to enjoy all of these benefits.
No, it is not a Roman or Greek god. Persimmon is a Japanese fruit that has tons of benefits, which explains why Japanese people live a long life and still have an excellent skin.
Persimmon has tons of microelements and vitamins such as phosphorus, calcium, iron and magnesium to promote better health. Because of its contents, geishas and ancient women have always used this Japanese fruit as a skin mask and a skin tonic.
Making a face mask is easy. Puree persimmon, and then add two teaspoons of whipped cream. Mix it well and apply it on your face for 10 minutes. Rinse it with warm water after.
You might heard of saffron in its sauce form. Fine, it tastes really good. Aside from adding flavor to dishes, saffron is also excellent in skin care, dating back to the ancient times.
In fact, history says that Cleopatra added saffron to her milk bath, while Moroccan and Indian women use saffron oil
and apply it on their cheeks as their form of makeup. It is also believed that these bright orange stamens can improve the complexion, and balance hormones.
Recently, an Iranian study showed that saffron is also a natural sunscreen. It contains high levels of protective antioxidants and firming glycans, making it effective for protection against the sun.
10. Seawater And Sea Salt
If you go to a beauty store and check out the products there, you will notice that one or two of the products have the label “sea water” or “sea salt” in them.
An ancient Japanese beauty secret, seawater and sea salt, were used as part of ancient Japanese skin care routines.
In fact, seawater and whipped cream can be used as a body scrub. Also, sea salt, which is often used as a body scrub, can also help break down fats and make your skin more smooth and firm simply by massaging it on your body. This explains why Japanese women have perfect-looking skin.
What do you think? Does your favorite skin care product have any of these ancient ingredients?