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8 Beauty Treatments From Around the World

Avatar • Oct 12, 2011

turmeric

I loved this interesting piece on the Huffington Post about various beauty treatments from around the world! There are quite a few that are popular in the natural hair world 🙂 Check it out!
Via HuffingtonPost.com

From Cleopatra’s milk bath to the ancient Roman habit of using ground oyster shell as a skin lightener, beauty rituals have abounded through generations and geographies.

But we’ve come a very long way since the days of using lead as a face mask and sheep sweat as night cream. Time has perfected our rituals — we know what works and what doesn’t. There’s much to be learned, then, from the at-home beauty tips of women around the world. “Beauty rituals are as ancient as time. When I travel across the world, I see all sorts of natural remedies. And now, many of those products are being used in Western cosmetics,” says beauty expert and HuffPost blogger, Carmindy.

1. Avocado

With their high fat and vitamin E content, avocados are both delicious and good for you. South American women use the fruit to nourish their skin and hair.

Virtually all parts of the avocado can be used in beauty treatments,” says Jessica Harris in the “World Beauty Book.” Take the peels and rub the interior on your face. The slightly grainy texture of the inside of the avocado peel is exfoliating, and the peel itself is rich with avocado oil. The combination is great for those with problem skin.”

Carmindy recommends a face mask made of avocados and honey. “Honey has anti-inflammatory properties and avocado hydrates the skin.”

2. Nightingale Droppings

This might sound unappealing, but uguiso no fun or nightingale droppings have long been used in Japan to clear sun-spots, acne marks and pigmentation.

The bird excrement — rich in proteins and a whitening enzyme — is sterilized, ground into a powder and sometimes mixed with rice bran. The powder is then applied to the face and washed off with water. It’s the beauty treatment of geishas and Buddhist monks alike.

3. Shea Butter

Shea butter — now the stuff of drugstore moisturizers — comes from the nut of the karite tree of West Africa. In addition to its hydrating properties, it’s known for its ability to protect skin from free radicals and prevent wrinkles. “In parts of West Africa … Pregnant women give their expanding bodies a daily gentle rub with the vegetable butter. Many of my friends there have assured me that this daily routine prevents stretch marks,” writes Jessica Harris in “The World Beauty Book.”

4. Argan Oil

Argan oil has been long known in Africa as a miracle of nature, and it’s now becoming famous in the West too.

Produced exclusively by Berbere women in Morocco, the oil — extracted from the nut of the Argan tree — is high in vitamin E and other fatty acids. It has anti-aging properties, is an excellent moisturizer and is believed to help everything from acne to wrinkles. “Moroccan woman have beautiful hair because they’ve been pouring argan oil on it forever,” says Carmindy.

5. Monoi Oil

An infusion of Tahitian gardenias and coconut oil, Monoi oil is used by Tahitian women to soothe and protect their hair and skin. It’s both an emollient and a natural perfume. “I’ve never seen women who had such beautiful hair and skin who also smelled so great. I shipped back boxes and boxes of it for myself,” says Carmindy.

6. Camellia Nut Oil

According to beauty expert Shalini Vadhera, camellia nut oil or tea seed oil is used by Japanese women as an antioxidant, to nourish and moisturize skin, treat burns, stretch marks and strengthen nails. It’s high in vitamin E, antioxidants and oleic acid. “Two drops of camellia oil mixed with a tablespoon of sake is all it takes for clearer, smoother skin,” writes Vadhera in “Passport To Beauty.”

7. Turmeric

Turmeric — the herb that gives a curry its distinctive yellow color — is also an antiseptic with anti-inflammatory properties. In India, it’s common tradition for brides and grooms to apply a paste of turmeric and chickpea flour before their big day. In addition to turmeric’s bacteria-killing powers, chickpea flour is an exfoliant and a moisture-absorber.

The herb is also used by brides in Indonesia. “(The traditional ceremony) begins with a lular scrub combining all the benefits of turmeric, rice, jasmine flowers, ginger and other herbs to energize the body,” writes beauty expert Shalini Vadhera in her book “Passport To Beauty.”

8. Pawpaw

Pawpaw ointment, made from pawpaw or papaya, is commonly used as a cure-all in Australia. “It helps sunburn, bites, rashes and dry cracked skin and lips. I always have it in my medicine cabinet. I frequently put it on my cuticles,” says beauty expert and HuffPost blogger Carmindy.

Ladies, have you tried any of these treatments? What were the results?

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ZindziZenani
ZindziZenani
9 years ago

I’ve tried shea (of course), argan oil, monoi oil, and paw paw. I tell ya, that paw paw KILLS ashiness. Just DECIMATES it. I’ve never tried tumeric as a beauty treatment, but it show tastes delicious when added to anything!

ZindziZenani
ZindziZenani
9 years ago
Reply to  ZindziZenani

Oh, and avocado as well! Love the way it made my hair feel, but I prefer to eat them.

Nia/Chic Working Mom
9 years ago
Reply to  ZindziZenani

I prefer to eat them too. I tried to do a deep treatment with it and it was a major fail. I may try avocado oil or butter next time. lol

Caroline Akwi
Caroline Akwi
4 years ago
Reply to  ZindziZenani

lol! If your skin and hair are not damaged, its okay to eat them but if you are on the edge direct application will leave you praising.
I use avocado and honey on my skin and love the results. Its wonderful on hair too, though honey leaves my hair looking pale…

Carla
Carla
9 years ago
Reply to  ZindziZenani

Where do you buy paw paw? (Hopefully online).

loveprosterity
loveprosterity
9 years ago
Reply to  Carla

You’ll find paw paw (popularly known in the US as Papaya) in the produce section of any grocery store. Costco has them for intance.

Viv
Viv
9 years ago

I’ve tried shea butter, argan oil, and monoi oil. All work and I will continue to use whatever’s cheapest at the time I need them.

BTW, I LOOOOOOOVE sistergirl’s hair in that pic!

Classychassis
Classychassis
9 years ago
Reply to  Viv

+1 😉

MotorCityMoxie
9 years ago

Bird droppings huh?! Well I’ve tried q***hie cream on my scalp. At least this is more natural…lol.

EG
EG
9 years ago

Ok, where did you find monio and paw paw oil?

Res
Res
9 years ago

A former colleague’s husband was from Ghana. They visited frequently and she would always pick up a tub of shea butter for me. That stuff is the truth when it comes to dry skin like mine! Because my first experience was with pure shea butter straight from Ghana, I rarely buy the stuff here because I wonder whether it’s the same. I do use shea-based products though.

A friend from France turned me on to Argan oil recently. They sell it at Sephora, but it’s a bit pricey for just a small amount.

maantwiwaa
maantwiwaa
9 years ago
Reply to  Res

Am from Ghana,and my shea from Ghana feel soft n moist from the one i bought here which is dry n hard.

Matlhodi
9 years ago
Reply to  maantwiwaa

Hi ladies, is there a way you can ship some real shea butter to me? It’s very scarce here in South Africa & I unfortunately know no-one from Ghana.

Pretty pleaaaase.…*pulls puppy face*

Caroline Akwi
Caroline Akwi
4 years ago
Reply to  Matlhodi

Shea butter is in Northern Uganda too but does not look like what I see online. This one is not yellow and not hard.

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Ashley
Ashley
9 years ago

Yay thanks for posting this article, I just got some monoi oil and shea butter off amazon, I can’t wait to try it.

Latoya
Latoya
9 years ago

i really want to try the monoi oil… how much is it?

Angela
Angela
9 years ago

I use shea butter daily on some scars I have on my legs which were caused by a playful/hostile kitten. The scars have lightened significantly since I started doing this treatment in the spring. I also make a deep conditioner by melting shea butter and cocoa butter and adding it to my cheap Suave conditioner. I also put in a bunch of other stuff like aloe vera juice, vitamin e, jojoba oil etc.

OnceUponaTime
OnceUponaTime
9 years ago

The mention nightingale poop, but forgot henna.

Inas
Inas
7 years ago

I really like shea butter, but I am really a fan of turmeric. I use it in my food, rice, baked chicken, its great. Also it is great as a face mask, mixed with rose water. If you have darker skin it will leave you with this nice bright glow when you wash it all off. It has many good health benefits too, great stuff!

adult tutus
7 years ago

A large percentage of of the things you state happens to be supprisingly appropriate and that makes me wonder the reason why I hadn’t looked at this with this light previously. Your piece really did turn the light on for me as far as this subject goes.

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