Outside of pharmacies, drug stores, and department stores, women around the world have for generations used what is most readily available to them for their beauty routines.  Below are snapshots of how women across the world care for their skin and hair.

The Italian Woman’s Beauty Secrets

monicabellucciMoisturizer:  Italian women, for generations, have applied virgin olive oil to their faces, legs and arms.  Olive oil is an excellent moisturizer and when combined with kosher salt, makes an excellent exfoliator.  Any virgin olive oil will do; however, it is recommended to use the highest quality available.
Facial Mask:  To firm and moisturize skin, Italian women apply yogurt liberally to their faces.  Yogurt hydrates and soothes skin; for women with age spots or inflammations, they apply fresh tomato juice over the yogurt and relax for 10 minutes.  The tomatoes help to reduce skin inflammation and irritations and act as an astringent leaving skin smooth and tight.

Body Scrub:  The Mediterranean climate produces some of the world’s best fruits and vegetables.  Oranges are plentiful and make excellent body scrubs.  After enjoying an orange, dry the peels for a couple of days and process in a food processor until coarse.  Mix with milk or olive oil to scrub on the skin; it helps to reduce blemishes and even out skin.

The Middle Eastern Woman’s Skin Care Regimen

iranian-beautyDead Sea Salt:  Many people believe that the Dead Sea has magical healing and beauty qualities.  Women have long combined the salts from the Dead Sea (as well as the mud) with natural oils to create a refreshing and healing body scrub.  Ahava offers a wide array of beauty products made from the mud and salt of the Dead Sea.

Facial Cleansing:  Women in the Middle East keep their skin clear and blemish free by using plant-based oils and essential oils instead of harsh cleansers.  Natural oils can effectively remove makeup and dirt without stripping the skin of natural oils that help keep it smooth and wrinkle free.

Moisturizing the Face & Body:  Natural oils including olive, almond, coconut, and others are used to moisturize the body and face.

Hair & Scalp Treatments:  Henna has been used for thousands of years on skin and hair.  For hair and scalp, it is an effective moisturizer that makes hair shiny and strong.  It is also ideal for giving reddish highlights to dark hair.

Hair Removal:  Sugaring is the process of mixing sugar, water and lemon juice into a paste to remove unwanted hair, much like waxing.  The benefit is that unlike waxing, heating is not required.  It is less harsh on the skin and provides the same level of hair removal.

Acne:  Turmeric is an strong natural antiseptic that also has anti-inflammatory properties.  Women make a paste with water and dot on to blemishes.

Africa’s Two Hidden Beauty Tips

african-beautyHydrating Skin & Hair:  Shea butter has been used for thousands of years on the Africa continent as a moisturizer and hydrator for skin, hair and nails.  It is rich in essential fatty acids that work to restore a healthy balance in hair and skin.

Argan Oil:  High in Vitamin E, Argan oil is becoming the rage in skin and hair beauty treatments.  It is used to hydrate skin and hair, treat blemishes and prevent the signs of aging. Moroccan Argan oil is available from many organic cosmetic and beauty companies.


Japanese Skin & Eye Routines

japanese-womanSkin Cleansing & Refresher:  Rice flour is an excellent cleanser and skin balancer that helps to fight oily skin and breakouts.  When mixed with milk, it effectively cleanses skin and creates an even porcelain complexion.

Dark Circles:  Japanese women make ice cubes from green tea to soothe dark circles.  Upon rising, gently rub ice cubes over dark circles to eliminate dark circles and refresh the skin.

Other Beauty Secrets From Around The World

Sunburns are treated in Australia with papaya.

In regions where coconuts are plentiful (including Belize, Costa Rica, India, Singapore, Tahiti, and more), women use the pulp, water, milk and oil as a cleanser, moisturizer, and to treat skin blemishes and wrinkles.

Papaya or PawPaw has healing powers and strong antifungal and antibacterial properties.  Women use the pulp, leaves, seeds and skins in their beauty routines.

Sources & Further Reading


Kathleen McCoy is professional beauty, education and healthcare analyst and writer. A University of Maryland graduate, Kathleen has traveled and studied extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America covering skin care and natural beauty techniques from around the globe.

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