7 Ancient Skincare Treatments You Should Try Right Now Because If It's Good Enough For Our Ancestors, It's Probably Good Enough For Us
Before you head to a drugstore or mall for new skincare products, you really should check your own kitchen. You might find yourself completely shocked by how many ancient skincare treatments and beauty products are already waiting for you in your own pantry and fridge. Ancient beauty treatments are generally DIY-friendly and super simple to make and they don't have any scary chemicals that we've managed to slip into many of our products in the past hundred years. The best part, though? They won't break your bank. With pros like that, what's not to love?
Just like we enjoy waking up to glowing, healthy skin, our glamorous ancestors thousands of years ago were after the exact same thing. While cultural practices and geographical locations directly influenced ancient beauty rituals (Egyptians weren't exactly rubbing Japanese seaweed and rice on their faces everyday), we live in a globalized world in which products from all over the planet are completely accessible. This means we can incorporate the skincare treatments used for thousands of years by Greek, Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Japanese women (to name a handful!) without barely going so far as our local grocery stores.
Drawing from multiple countries, below are 7 of the easiest, most accessible ancient skincare treatments anyone can make in their own kitchen. None of them require more than 5 ingredients, and I'm willing to bet you really do already have most of them on hand! So go get your glow on in ancient millennial style.
1. Saffron Oil
According to Marie Claire, mega-famous Cleopatra used saffron in her beloved milk baths to get an extra glow. Dr. Siva Mohan, an ayurvedic practitioner, claims some Indian and Morrocan women still frequently apply a saffron oil-based stain to cheeks that "help balance the hormones and improves the complexion." While you can splurge on products containing the pricy spice, you can also make your own saffron-infused moisturizing and cleansing oil by adding a pinch of saffron threads into melted coconut oil. Rub the mixture on your face before washing it at night.
2. Sea Salt
While traveling through Japan, The Beauty Gypsy blogger managed to learn a few tricks of the trade from geishas. You know, those stunning women with completely flawless skin. To achieve their perfectly firm and smooth complexions, ancient geishas would combine about two tablespoons sea salt with a little whipped cream (real whipped cream, not the can full of a long list of ingredients), and massage their faces while bathing. Literally that easy (and sounds kind of delicious).
3. Green Tea
Geishas would also use green tea to keep their skin looking bright and fresh. Since green tea is loaded with polyphenols, it makes sense you'd want it both in your cup and on your face. To do as geishas do, combine 1 cup of hot green tea with 1/2 cup ground oats, 1 tablespoon mashed avocado, and juice from 1/2 a lemon. Mix the ingredients into a paste, and then spread on your face and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water and smile at your radiant self!
4. Neem & Sandalwood Oils
Step away from your zit. While popping it might seem like the better option than slathering oils on the little face intruder, 5,000 years of ayurvedic medicinal skincare treatments would beg to disagree. Manhattan-based ayurvedic spa owner, Pratima, told Teen Vogue, "Many commonly-used acne products alter the skin's natural pH and strip us of natural oils, resulting in excessive dryness which leads to an overproduction of oil and worsening acne conditions in the long run ... Neem and Sandalwood oils are nature's best antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agents—they work deep below the skin's surface to treat and prevent blemishes from occurring." You can find these oils in most health food stores, as well as order them online.
5. Rose Water
Though rose water has roots in ancient Egypt, you can locate it easily at most markets nowadays. Rose water is thought to prevent aging, and works incredibly well as a toner. In fact, professional celeb make up artist Kirin Bhatty swears by it, and told Byrdie, "To this day, I always have rosewater in my [makeup] kit, as well as in my personal makeup bag." Personal side note, rose water smells absolutely amazing.
6. Coconut Oil
Oh come on, we all knew coconut oil had to make it onto this last at some point. For years and years (and years) women in South Asian countries have been using it to achieve a moisturized scalp and gorgeous, flowing locks. Makeup artist Bhatty credits her mom for revealing coconut oil's magical secrets, and regularly applies a large spoonful to her hair, combs it through, and then sits in the sun for an hour to let it absorb. After rinsing, she's left with super shiny locks. That seems way too simple and honestly, where can you not find coconut oil these days?
7. Raw Honey
Ancient Greek women in 5000 BC relied on bee products, goat milk, herbs, and olive oil for their goddess-like complexions. Honey was specifically used to make face masks and body scrubs according to Yasou Skincare, and raw honey has additional and exceptional microbial and antibacterial properties. You can use it as a spot treatment for pimples, as well as mix with olive oil and sea salt for a luxurious and nourishing scrub.