Beauty Rituals From Around The World
Beauty has increasingly become a controversial topic, especially in today's society. It remains subjective with everyone's opinion of what they see as beauty; beauty within reflects personality - mind - and character, whereas, exterior beauty reflects the looks of an individual. This perception is something that develops from a young age and continuously changes as we grow and evolve as beings. An eye for beauty can also be influenced by cultures, religion, and spiritual practices. One thing that is for certain, beauty is a broad spectrum. What is beautiful to one, may be triggering for another. Universally, beauty practices are supposed to bring feelings of love, goodness, and pleasure. It's an everlasting commodity that is displayed individually or shared between us humans. So, let's celebrate it by recognizing what beauty looks like around the world!
LET'S START IN INDIA!
Turmeric, commonly referred to as Haldi in Hindi, is a staple ingredient used in Indian cooking. Turmeric has been known to promote a number of health benefits for nearly 4,000 years, dating back to Vedic culture in India. Aside from cooking, turmeric can also be used for external health and beauty practices, known to possess anti-inflammatory, healing, beautification, antiseptic, and purification properties. Haldi paste (turmeric mixed with rose water and sandalwood powder) is prepared for a beautiful pre wedding ceremony. The soon to be bride and groom will gather together with their relatives, and each family member will take a turn applying the Haldi to specific parts of the bride and groom simultaneously.
The most common areas for application are the face/neck, hands, arms, knees, and feet; this paste is typically applied with mango leaves (shown above). The Haldi wedding tradition was created for loved ones to give their blessings to the new couple hours before their wedding. So, they can continue their journey cleansed and purified with glowing skin!
Long before razors and lasers came into existence, it is said that Cleopatra, the legendary queen of Egypt, used the method of "Sugaring" to remove unwanted hair from her body. Sugaring remains a popular treatment in today's culture, catching the eye of individuals who want to take a more natural approach to removing hair. This special type of natural paste is created by mixing sugar, lemon, and water... that's it!
Sugaring has been stated to be the superior method of hair removal because of its ability to meld straight to the root of the follicle, which ultimately damages the follicle preventing blood supply; the hair will eventually become finer and can even stop growing back. Sugaring is a great option for everyone, especially those with extra sensitive skin!
Dating back to the 17th century, Japanese dance and drama performers, also known as Geisha & Kabuki girls, would wear makeup that contained heavy metals such as: lead, mercury, and arsenic; which caused their skin to become very damaged and irritated. It was said that the excrement from a Nightingale, a tiny bird with a beautiful sound, would not only repair the skins natural barrier, but also act as a fountain of youth. It quickly became an antidote to their toxic makeup applications- hence the "Geisha Facial." There was nothing glamorous about this process, except for the benefits!
This is because the droppings contain an enzyme called ‘guanine’ that’s present in our own DNA. The amino acid works as a natural bleaching agent, lightening dark circles and blemishes. Urea (a waste product excreted in urine) is also found in the droppings and, while it’s quite an unpleasant thought, it's been found to help lock moisture into the skin. Today, the Geisha Facial has become an extremely popular commodity among a-list celebrities and ones who are willing to pay a pretty penny for this service. This is because these specific bird droppings come from one farm in Japan and are incredibly difficult to import. The birds have protection laws, so when the supply is gone, it will be gone permanently.
These legendary trees (shown above), also known as, "The Tree Of Life," are native to Madagascar, mainland Africa, SW Asia and Australia. Adopting their profound name for great reason, they are actually a part of the succulent family. These glorious plants can store water in their vast trunks during the rainy season in order to flourish a powerful super-fruit known as the Baobab during the dry seasons.
The baobab is known to be one of the most nutritious superfoods on the planet! This fruit has been used as medicine both internally and externally. Remember, our skin eats what we put into it, just like our mouth eats what we put into it. In Africa, Baobab oil is a popular beauty product that is commonly massaged into the skin to help prevent dry patches, acne, wrinkles, stretch marks, and any damage. It will work to rejuvenate skin cells and restore collagen. Baobab can also be eaten in the raw form or dried in powder form (most common if you aren't native to these areas.) The fruit contains six times as much vitamin C as oranges, twice as much calcium as milk, and plenty of B vitamins, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, and antioxidants. It's truly a gift from mother nature! A little bit in a smoothie every day can keep the doctor away ;)