Since times immemorial, women have been subjecting themselves to crazy beauty practices to look beautiful. Some of these ancient beauty rituals are still relevant and some are gaining back their influence. We now have different products easily available at the click of a button, but back then people had to get creative.
With environmental pollution and adverse lifestyle factors affecting the health of our skin and hair, this era is sure going to need them. And since society is going back to the beauty rituals of ancient Ayurveda and we feel it it will only be informative and helpful to introduce you to some other Ancient Beauty Rituals from around the world.
Turmeric in Southern Asia
What better way to kickstart this lineup than this ancient miracle ingredient? Turmeric is an integral part of Indian beauty rituals, so much so that applying it prior to a wedding in India or Pakistan, is a celebrated ceremony. This spice is an antiseptic that can heal and repair skin, making it glow. It was and still is, used as a face pack, combined with rosewater or milk. Ancient ayurvedic beauty can never be complete without this chief component.
The classic Haldi Ubtan face mask which originated in India, over 5000 years ago, is still considered to be the first beauty product ever created. Made of turmeric, other herbs and gram flour, Ubtan is usually mixed with water or milk and then applied to the skin. Even today, many women across the Indian subcontinent use different variations of this recipe to make their own face masks to apply at home. It is known to keep acne, pigmentation, dull skin and ageing at bay and we assure you that it actually works.
Mud Baths in Napa Valley
Over thousands of years ago, the native American Wappo people of North America used nature to their advantage. Calistoga, Napa Valley, a region in Northern California has a volcanic history, and subsequent geothermal springs created an opportunity for the creation of volcanic mud baths: an overflowing relief on weary backs and muscles. Mud baths exfoliate and soften the skin.
These mud baths were created by mixing the local ashy soil with warm, mineral waters that sparkled in the springs, which softens and exfoliates the skin. Even early Americans would flock to the destination by train in the 1800s and walk down present-day Lincoln Street in their bathrobes and slippers. These mud baths were good in all possible ways for humans: for sore muscles, skin disorders, hair and for moisturizing.
Pearl Powder in China
Some historians and beauticians suggest that the concubine-turned-Empress Dowager Cixi, who ruled for 47 years in the 19th century, popularized Chinese pearl powder for its beauty benefits. She was widely recognized for her leadership as well as her beauty. The pearl powder is rubbed onto the face and is said to promote brightening, exfoliation, and anti-wrinkling. Many of these pearls are cultivated along China's river basin in the Shanghai area. After three to four years of cultivation, oysters grow to about 10 inches long and are harvested by fishermen. These pearls are ground into a powder to be used in beauty treatments. This technique is gaining status in the skincare industry.
Thanaka Powder in Myanmar
Burmese women have been using their own SPF for centuries now. Thanaka powder, which originates from grinding the wood and bark of the tropical thanaka tree. It has long been used on the face to brighten the complexion and shield the skin against free radicals, polluted air and harmful UV rays. It is also used to lighten the tanned skin. Thanaka powder is still used today in Burma: women cover cheeks, foreheads and chins with the paste and wear it throughout the day.
Mung beans in India and China
Mashed mung or moong beans were the go-to face mask for Chinese empresses. These beans were crushed and ground into a paste to soothe and heal acne, wrinkles and puffy skin. Packed with good stuff like vitamins and protein, this is a healthy and relatively inexpensive mask which is also edible.
Since these are largely cultivated in India and China, it would be pretty easy to procure, so we strongly suggest you this recipe. Just make sure you buy pesticide and shine-free, organic beans. It is also important to note that boiling the beans might sap the nutrients out of it, so use it raw and unboiled.
Saffron and milk bath across the globe
Ancient Egyptian, Indian, Greek, and Roman cultures have used saffron since the very beginning for a number of purposes. It served as a dye, medicine, perfume and beauty product. It is rumored that Cleopatra used saffron-infused water/milk for bathing. Bathing in a tub full of fermented mare's milk with honey, was one of the ways she did this. Milk is full of fats, lactic acid, and proteins, which help repair, soften and nourish the skin. The moisturizing and healing properties of honey probably added to that glow, in addition to making the bath even more luxurious and rich.
Sugaring in Egypt
Since Egyptians were obsessed with cleanliness, hair removal was a fundamental part of their grooming habits. Sugaring, a natural method of hair removal, was performed using a sugar solution made with sugar, lemon and water brought to a boil to form a gooey paste. The paste was applied to the hair, without sticking to the skin, and pulled off. It’s truly a fascinating method that still exists today and is gaining popularity among beauty gurus and the cosmetic industry.
Which ancient beauty ritual would you like to try?Let us know in the comments!