How to... Channel ancient beauty

Skin care blasts from the past

Skin care products and treatments haven't always come neatly packaged and made with ingredients that are difficult to find and pronounce. In the past, women had to look for home remedies that were readily available in their region.

Putting produce into practice

Probably not the most fragrant approach, but over the years, women have used cabbage juice to lessen the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It is believed to tighten up facial muscles, and is typically massaged into the face and then left to dry. Once the juice dries on the skin, it’s rinsed with warm water.

olive oilThe Mediterranean approach

The Romans used olive oil to cleanse, moisturize and rejuvenate the skin. After treating the skin with steam, they would douse their bodies with olive oil and use a pumice to exfoliate and clean. Because it is so high in vitamins A, D and E, olive oil can act as an antioxidant when applied to the skin and will help to diminish the effect of free radicals on the skin.

milkLook like an Egyptian

Cleopatra was known for taking milk baths, and it turns out there is something to it. Milk can be used as a nourishing cleanser and beauty aid. It softens skin and has been used historically to make skin appear firmer and brighter. Cleopatra was also reported to have used black cumin seed, or Nigella sativa, for maintaining her health and beauty — traces of black seed oil have even been found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs.

essential oilTree huggers

Juniper essential oil has been used since ancient times in alternative medicine for a number of afflictions. In addition to treating skin problems with juniper, it has also been used to treat respiratory problems, to improve memory, to relieve menstrual cramping and bloating and as an anti-inflammatory. Juniper oil is taken from the bark and berries of a juniper tree. In the middle ages, women would use this oil to treat acne and eczema, as well as to firm skin and to shrink pores.

lemon grassHerbal remedies

Women in India have used lemongrass to reduce the appearance of pores and to temporarily firm the skin. Lemongrass is an anti-bacterial herb, and women have used the essential oil of lemongrass as an astringent to boost the youthful appearance of skin, as well as to cure skin infections. A few drops of lemongrass oil in a warm bath is also said to help reduce the appearance of cellulite and to help clear up acne.

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