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Beauty Secrets Passed Down from Mom

Posted Nov 16 2009 10:02pm

For thousands of years Beauty secrets have been passed down from one generation to the next. In fact we still use some of these fabulous remedies today, such as, milk baths for which Cleopatra was known. So I thought I’d talk to women around the globe and find some beauty secrets from which we all can benefit.

Skincare:

  1. Sunscreen and Moisturizer: First I’d like to share a secret from my mother Betty. When I was younger she drilled the use of sunscreen and moisturizer into my head along with the ‘no frown’ policy. My mother would say, ‘If you frown you’ll end up looking that way when you get older.’ I would practice not frowning and believe it or not, it worked! Look mom no Botox!
  2. Lentils: Angai is originally from South India and her mother Swathi passed a skincare secret that can help all skin types. Angai would grind up green lentils to a powder then add some ground rice and a little water, enough to make a paste. She would then apply it, leave it on to dry and gently rinse it off to obtain an exfoliating effect.
  3. Bodybrushing: Kristen from Ohio has a Scandinavian ritual passed down from her mother Kaaren. ‘When we were kids, body brushing was a necessity before bathing’. The brushing improves circulation and exfoliates your skin.
  4. Volcanoes and Olive Oil: Lisa from Florida could not believe how young her mother Zoila looked, even at seventy. Lisa said when they would go on holiday to Costa Rica her mother would return home with containers of red volcano clay. She would mix it up with some water and use it as a mask- along with plain olive oil as a moisturizer.
  5. Baking Soda and Vaseline: Nicole C. Mullen-recording artist who resides in Tennessee – has a great way to exfoliate her face: baking soda mixed with water (enough to make a paste). She gently applies it in a circular motion and rinses. At night, Nicole uses Vaseline on her face as a moisturizer.
  6. Vitamin C: MaryEllen of Rhode Island said her parents Pat and former Governor Ed emphasized the importance of taking large doses of Vitamin C on a daily basis. It repairs the cells in your body including the skin cells.
  7. Rooibos: To fight irritated and inflamed skin, women in South Africa steep a cup of rooibos (a tealeaf that is native to the area and contains zinc and alpha hydroxy acid). Allow the cup of rooibos to cool and then topically apply the liquid to the skin with a cotton ball. The tannins in the tea sooth and relieve discomfort.

Fashion: LeAnn Albrecht, singer and songwriter, gained some fashion advice from her mother. LeAnn told me that as a minister’s daughter, there was little money growing up. LeAnn’s mother would buy her clothes from thrift stores and maybe ‘add’ to them to make the clothes look great. Her friends at school would comment on how they liked them and would ask where she got them. She would respond, ‘They’re from a ‘Boutique’. Point is…you don’t have to spend a lot of money to look fashionable!

Nails: Celia from Florida and owner of ‘The Fountains Salon’ tells us a secret passed down from her mother that she still uses today. Take a cleaned out tuna can and put it on the stove. Pour some olive oil in and add a clove of garlic. Heat it for a few minutes on low (so that it is warm but not hot). Remove it from heat and soak your nails in the can. Your nails will become harder.

Hair: Here is another quick tip from Celia: When you shower and don’t want to get your hair wet, wrap a bandana around your head and put on a shower cap. The heat of the shower will activate the natural oils in your hair and will prevent frizzing.

In addition to the above, there are some secrets from around the world that go back years…maybe even centuries:

Egypt:

  1. Youth Serum: This potion is from ancient Egypt called Fenugreek youth serum. It is made with one teaspoon of dried fenugreek seeds and 1/2 cup of sweet almond oil. Preparation: Crush the seeds lightly with a mortar and pestle and add them to the oil. Allow them to soak for thirty minutes. Strain the seeds from the oil. Gently massage the oil into your skin while thinking ‘youthful’ thoughts.
  2. Eye Depuffer: Chamomile dates back to Ancient Egypt and women would use the flowers and crush the petals of the flower to beautify and protect their skin. Here is a recipe that will help to depuff your eyes:
    • 2 thin potatoes slices
    • Chamomile tea (loose or bag)
    • Aloe Vera Gel

    Heat some water to make the Chamomile tea. Soak the potato slices for 5 to 10 minutes in the tea. Remove them and dip them into Aloe Vera gel. Lie down, place one potato slice on each eye and leave them on for 20 minutes.

Korea: In Korea, women would use the starchy milky water from soaked white rice to wash their faces. The result is lighter looking skin and a soft dewy complexion.

Beijing: In Beijing, the Empress of China would use a jade face-roller on her face. The massage effect would help to keep the blood circulation moving.

Amazon: In the Amazon, women have been known to have great skin and hair. Their secret? Brazil nuts. The Amazonians use the oil from the nut to condition their hair and protect and moisturize their skin.

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