12 Best Beauty Secrets from Around the World

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12 Best Beauty Secrets from Around the World
« on: September 29, 2010, 03:35:01 PM »

Global Travel Advisory: Take your envy meds.

Maybe it's the sleepless hours at cruising altitude. Maybeit's the fight-or-flight response that kicks in when you haveto brave Customs. But, at least in my book, certain countries arehazardous to the self-esteem. You step off the plane and the womenlook way too good. 

How on earth do they do it?  Save your miles. You can trythese international trade secrets without leaving thehouse.


* The Allure: that porcelain complexion
* Secret Ingredients: rice and seaweed

Rice Body Rub: "In the old days, rice branwas a substitute for soap," says K.C. Kang, speaking on the phone fromJapan as she launches her new skin-care line inthe U.S.. "You'd bring your little cotton pouch to thelocal bath house and fill it up with the bran. Then you'd soakand scrub your whole body, including the face. People still dothis." Beyond sloughing off the dead skin layer, rice bran oilis known for its potent vitamin E and other antioxidants thatbrighten the skin. To see for yourself, fill a pouch with ricebran, and rub your body. If you're bathing, leave the bag inthe tub and let the nutrients seep into the water.   

Kelp Face Pack: Seaweed haslong been used in Japan as a beauty aid, says Kang, whose interestin traditional remedies grew from trying to heal her own severeeczema. The best recipe for a face mask, she says, requires about 7ounces of raw seaweed (if you can't find any, reconstitute thedried kind.) Thoroughly soak the kelp to rinse out the salt; thendrain and place in a pan with 16 ounces of water, and cook at a lowheat, stirring, for 10 minutes. Next, pour it into blender and makea creamy paste, mixing in a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice once itcools. Refrigerate for three days (freeze what you won't beusing) and apply for 20 minutes.   

Sun Style: Ever consideredopera gloves for the car? "Japanese women are so picky abouttheir skin," says Kang, "aside from using the traditionalumbrella in the summer, they wear long gloves—past the elbow—whenthey're driving. They want to make sure the sun from the windowdoesn't age their hands orarms."


* The Allure: wild, luxurious hair
* Secret Ingredients: rainforest plums and desert limes

Kakadu Plum Paste:  Aussie hairstylistKevin Murphy—whose Hollywood clients have included CateBlanchett, Naomi Watts, and Selma Blair—also became obsessed withnatural beauty as a result of eczema. His favorite discovery(which he uses in his haircare line) is the kakadu plum. "The Aborigines havebeen using it medicinally for 40,000 years," he says. Thedumpy little rainforest fruit has the highest known vitamin Ccontent of any plant on the planet. And Murphy has found that itsantioxidant power saves hair from serious dye-job damage. "Youknow how after you color your hair it's all slimy andhorrible," he asks? "That's because the oxidants fromthe dye are still working and breaking the delicate fibers. If youapply kakadu plum right away, it mops those oxidants up." Tryit by mixing one part kakadu plum liquid extract—health food storessell it (or you can squeeze the liquid from gel capsules)—and fiveparts virgin olive oil. Apply the paste ASAP post-coloring, andsleep in it before washing out. 

* Desert Lime Spray: Another Down Undertreasure is the desert lime, a plant that flourishes in scorchingtemperatures. "We use it as a natural heat protectant on thehair," Murphy says. You may be able to find desert limelocally or online in an extract or tea. If so, boil it up andstrain it a few times until you get a clear liquid. Once it cools,pour into an atomizer and use it to spray your hair before you workwith a hot blow dryer or styling iron.


* The Allure: fresh-faced model appeal
* Secret Ingredients: milk, olive oil, egg white, grapes
* Milky Skin Wash: "Eastern European womenare extremely vain." That's the verdict from BellaSchneider, who lived in Ukraine, Poland, Italy, and Israelwhile working in salons with Hungarian and Bulgarian clients,before opening her LaBelle Day Spas &Salons in the San Francisco Bay Area. "Thesewomen have always taken every effort to look wonderful, even inCommunist times when so little was available and they had to relyon home remedies." A tried-and-true remedy is milk. "Weknow about Cleopatra taking milk baths," Schneider says."The reason is the lactic acid, which now, we chemically alterfor peels. But you can just use a little milk to rinse yourcleanser off and it's great for the skin." If yourcomplexion is dry, she advises, use whole milk; if oily, go for lowfat.

* Milky Skin Mask:For a more concentrated dose, boil a little milk until it gets acrusty surface. Once it cools, add a teaspoon of spoiled yogurt("leave it out until it gets that yucky look," Schneidersays) and mix into a mask you can wear for 20minutes.


* Egg White Oily Skin Lift:  Alittle egg on the face apparently makes an amazing mask for oilyskin: Beat a few whites until they're not tacky, stir in a bitof baking soda, and add some shredded lemon and grapefruit peel.Brush on the mixture and let it harden. According to Schneider,you'll feel a undeniably youthful, fresh lift.

*Olive Buff
: "Back home, women'schmear' themselves from head to toe in olive oil, andstay in it for hours," says Schneider. "When they rinseit all off, the skin is like silk." You just have to becareful because your face can break out.

*Grape Splash
: The juice of grapes (packed withantioxidants) is also great for your skin,says Schneider. "Rubit in, and if you crush the seeds, you've got a great scrub,too."


* The Allure: silky skin
* Secret Ingredients: almonds, orange peel, watermelon, extravirgin olive oil

* AlmondScrub: "My mom used to grind the soft shells ofyoung almonds into a very fine powder and mix it with coconut milkor oil," says New YorkCity dermatologist Misbah Kahn, MD, who grew up in Pakistan.
Likerice bran and grape seeds, the almonds make a good exfoliator."The home remedies really haven't been surpassed byhigh-tech microdermabrasion products," saysKahn. "In scar surgery we can even use very finesandpaper that's available at Home Depot." As for thecoconut oil, she says, "it has anti-inflammatory andanti-fungal properties and may be good for keratin, which the outerlayer of skin is made of." You can whip up your own scrub withcoconut oil and finely ground shells—if you can't find theyoung almonds, use coconut shell (soak first and shredit.)

* ScalpBalm:

 "I tell my patients with dry, itchy scalps, to rub on some extravirgin olive oil and wrap their head in a warm towel," saysKahn. "The oil is great for the hair,too."
*Crushed Orange Watermelon Mask: Another skin secretfrom her homeland: Take a dried-out orange peel and crush it into afine powder. Add a little lemon juice, water, or in the summer,mashed watermelon, and apply the mixture on your face for 20minutes before going out for the evening. "The mask hasantioxidants, and—especially if you use lemon—oh boy, forgetit!" says Kahn. "It smells good, your makeup goes oneasily, and your skin looks so nice andbright."


* The soak. From thalassotherapy in French Brittany to
the Dead Seacure,
 soaking is a universal beauty secret we often passup in favor of the rush-hour shower. "In Japan, weworship water," K.C. Kang says. "Toji is theword for bathing, and it's been a traditional therapy eversince the Samurais started fighting." Aside from the mineralsand healing qualities of certain waters, an obvious benefit isrelaxation—and we know a zen mind can translate to beamingskin. To that end, Kang suggests taking a half hour, drawing anice, warm tub, and throwing in a touch of sake. "It'sfantastic for the skin," she says, laughing. "Justdon't drink your bath!"



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Re: 12 Best Beauty Secrets from Around the World
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2010, 05:02:44 PM »
Nice - would like to add another Eastern European secret which is Bulgarian rose oil/cream for face and body - superb and cheap!