International Beauty: Regiments from Around The World
What do roses, sake and cacao have in common? Other than being the makings to one truly magical date night, these three enticing ingredients all boast powerful skin-enhancing essentials like vitamins and amino acids.
Some of the world’s most effective and time-tested beauty practices derive from humble, natural beginnings. That flat beer in your fridge? Take a page from the Germans and give “shower beer” a new meaning by rinsing your hair with its hoppy, protein-packed goodness. Those oats in your pantry? They’re full of anti-inflammatory compounds that can be steeped in a bath to soothe dry, itchy skin, just like the ancient Greeks and Romans used to do.
Though exact recipes vary by region, anago soap is made from locally gathered plants — typically plantain skins and leaves, cocoa pods, palm tree leaves and shea tree bark — that have been sun-dried and slow roasted, giving the soap its signature dark brown, ashen color. Water, coconut and palm oils, and shea and cocoa butter are added to the ash mix, which is then shaped and left to cure. The result is a dark brown, semi-firm bar soap particularly helpful for oily, acne-prone skin.
2. Egypt– Milk Baths
Milk baths have remained popular since the Egyptians introduced them thousands of years ago, embracing their power to soften and moisturize skin. Legend has it that Cleopatra — envied for her radiant beauty and skin — took a milk bath routinely, and there’s science behind why it works.
Milk baths are traditionally taken with full-fat milk or powdered milk, which are chock full of skin essentials like calcium, phosphorus, vitamins A and D, and proteins like whey and casein. Whey, or the watery portion that separates from yogurt and curds, contains lactic acid, which is the secret to Cleopatra’s legendary skin.
3. Bulgaria- Rose oil
Though it might seem counterintuitive to dab your skin with oil to prevent inflammation and breakouts, compounds in rose oil boast antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-aging properties. You can massage a small amount of the oil directly into the skin, mix it with your favorite creams or lotions, or add a few drops to distilled water to create a refreshing rose oil mist.