For centuries, women have been using the natural ingredients surrounding them to fix their beauty problems. Nowadays we spent hundreds of dollars on hair and skin products filled with chemicals that may or may not cause us problems at some point in our lives. Here we will explore 12 ingredients from Mexico to Australia and see how women in each country use these items to their advantage.
Countries Around the World
Castor Oil for Hair: Mexico
Extracted from castor beans, this oil can be a miracle worker when it comes to hair growth. However, make sure that you use natural and not industrial castor oil. This can be found in most pharmacies or in natural foods stores. For long dense lashes, apply the oil to your upper eyelash rim every night using a Q-tip or a clean mascara brush. It can also be used on thinning eyebrows and hair. Massage the oil on your scalp, put your hair in a shower cap, and allow the oil to be absorbed for a few hours before you wash it. Massaging your scalp has the added benefit of increase blood circulation in your scalp and also helping with hair growth. Do this once or twice a week, but be patient. The new growth may take a few months for you to notice, but once you notice the difference it makes, you’ll always have a bottle of castor oil somewhere at home.
Carrot Juice for Skin: Brazil
Brazilians are well-known for their glowing bronze skin. Yet, their secret isn’t just the sunny weather. Raw carrot juice will give your skin a glowing, almost tan look. Carrots also have many added benefits such as anti-aging properties, clearing acne, and getting rid of scars. However, don’t go overboard or your skin may start to give off an orangey look. A half cup of carrot juice per day is all you need.
Grapes for Skin: Chile
Grapes are another great source of antioxidants. Chile’s beauty secret is to use them to help get rid of the look of fatigued skin. Make a mask using crushed red grapes and a few tablespoons of flour. Apply the paste onto your face and leave it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing with warm water. It should leave your skin feeling rejuvenated!
Peaches for Skin: USA
The state of Georgia is famous for its delicious peaches, but this fruit is more than just a low calorie tasty snack. Peaches’ antioxidant properties help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and firm the skin. Simply use a peach slice, rub it on your face and leave the juice on there for 15-20 minutes before washing it off with warm water. For an even more effective mask, whisk the peach juice with egg white and watch it tighten your skin while minimizing your pores.
Cranberry Juice for Hair: Spain
Originally harvested by Native Americans, cranberries were brought to Europe and are now used by Spanish women as a natural hair color dye. The juice works great with red or brown hair to bring out a red hue. Simply use it as a final rinse after washing your hair. While you’re at it, you should also drink a glass of the juice which is filled with Vitamin A and C, preventing hair loss and promoting growth. For blonde hair, use chamomile tea as your final rinse and watch it naturally lighten over time.
Rooibos for Skin and Hair: South Africa
This plant, commonly used as an herbal drink, is a rival to green tea with its many health and beauty benefits. The best part is you can drink it however you like: hot or cold, sweetened or not, with milk or without. Along with the usual anti-aging and weight loss properties of green tea, it also helps reduce hair loss and gray hairs. You can even apply it to your face to help fight acne.
Baobab Oil for Hair: Senegal
Although baobab oil is found all over the African continent, its production peaks in Senegal and the women there have discovered its amazing moisturizing features. The oil, which is extracted from seeds of the Adansonia tree, helps protect hair, especially from harsh dry hot weather. Use it as an intense hair treatment by massaging it into your hair and letting it be absorbed for a few hours. If you typically have an oily scalp, only cover the dry and damaged sections of your hair with the oil, especially the ends of your hair.
Henna for Skin and Hair: North Africa, Middle East and South Asia
This list would not be complete without mentioning henna and its numerous uses. From being a cooling agent that can be used to treat burns or as beautiful skin decoration and art, henna is found being used all over Africa and Asia. Yet, its most effective use is more nourishing hair. Henna typically is bought in the form of powdered leaves, which you can mix with water, oil or eggs to make a paste. Use this paste as a deep hair mask. Note that henna gives of a red-orangey color and the longer you leave it in, the more it will change your hair color. For those with light hair, do a strand test before apply it to your whole head.
Rosewater for Skin: Iran
Rosewater is widely used throughout Europe and Asia and therefore its anti-septic, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties are also known in the region. However, this trick was passed down personally from my grandmother to me. Use a cotton pad dipped in rose water, apply it to your face, and leave it on for about 20 minutes before washing it off. Continue to do this daily for a few weeks and watch as your dark spots and blemishes disappear.
Turmeric for Skin: India/Pakistan
Turmeric, used in many Indian and Pakistani dishes, is also widely used by women in these countries as a wonder spice for skin problems. It can treat burns, reduce wrinkles and stretch marks, and work as an exfoliator. To use it as a facial mask, mix it with water or olive oil. You can add egg white or yogurt depending on your skin type and needs. Turmeric’s other secret treatment use is for cracked heels. Mix turmeric with coconut oil and apply it to your heels, leaving it there for 10-15 minutes.
Rice water for Skin: China
Most of us boil our rice and throw the water down the drain. But the Chinese secret is to keep a bit of that water, allow it to cool and then use it as a toner. It is moisturizing and filled with vitamins that will reduce aging and pigmentation of the skin. Rice water can also be used as a hair rinse to achieve luscious shiny locks. However, the water should not be kept for more than a few days and is always best used when freshly made.
Tea Tree Oil for Hair: Australia
For hundreds of years, the Aboriginal people of Australia have used this oil for antiseptic and antifungal treatment. It is so effective at killing bacteria and fungus that it can be used to treat a variety of problems such as acne, dandruff, hangnails and toenail fungus. However, the oil is too strong to be applied straight to the skin. Dilute it with water before applying it to your blemishes or add a few drops into your shampoo bottle when using it on your scalp.
- With any new treatment, always test a small area before applying to your whole skin or hair