Beauty has come a long way since homemade butter soaps of yore. From botanically laden anti-aging serums to blue light face masks and motorised cleansing systems, there’s no doubt the modern day woman has a world of high-tech primping at her fingertips. But despite centuries of medical advancements and beauty fads, we're left wondering if our ancestors deserve more credit than we've given them. After all, many cosmetic ingredients and techniques used a thousand years ago are still just as effective today. Below, we break down a few of our favourite ancient beauty rituals that to this day, continue to deliver genius solutions to everyday beauty woes.
CLEOPATRA’S MILK BATH
Place of Origin: Egypt
Legend has it that Cleopatra—the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt—was smart and fierce (sounds like our kind of woman). She also bathed in milk, and that's also the stuff of legend since she was known for her beautiful skin. Cleopatra reportedly used donkey milk for her baths, and it's believed she also added honey and lavender to the milk, with scattered rose petals. Dreamy. Today, you don’t need to use donkey milk (though no judgement if you do!), but we highly recommend taking a dip in some kind of milky goodness part of your weekly body care routine. Add some essentials oils, rose petals and whatever other botanical delights you wish, for serious skin nourishment and total blissed out vibes.
TURMERIC FACE MASK
Place of Origin: India
Not just fabulous in a latter, turmeric – a bright yellow root – has been used for over 4,500 years in traditional Ayurvedic practices – infused in milk or added to food for its medicinal properties. And modern research is revealing its magic when it comes to our beauty products, too. Its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial properties pack a punch when it comes to combating acne-causing bacteria and taking the gunk out of clogged pores. A traditional recipe that’s been passed down through generations for centuries is none other than the Turmeric Face Mask. Mix together less than a quarter teaspoon of turmeric powder mixed with half a spoon of gram flour and a drizzle of olive oil to a clear glass bowl – you might also want to add a small dollop of aloe vera oil. Apply this homemade concoction once a week, and leave it for around 15 minutes at a time, for a fresher, brighter and clearer complexion.
GUA SHA & JADE FACIAL ROLLING
Place of Origin: China
Dating back to ancient Chinese Culture, Chinese Empresses were said to use gua sha and jade crystal stones in their beauty routines. So, while this tool is trending now, it has been such a valuable part of culture throughout history and we think it’s here to stay. These mystical creations are meant to be used in a skin care routine with a facial oil, moisturiser, or serum when you feel like you need a refreshing pick me up or relaxing moment of pause. The shape of the jade and rose quartz facial roller is intended to provide a cooling facial massage, particularly on the under eye area, leaving skin feeling refreshed, depuffed, and radiant as can be.
Place of Origin: Greece
Ancient Greeks used their native olive tree for everything, and we mean everything. From hydrating skin to moisturising hair, Olive Oil was considered ‘liquid gold’ in ancient Greece, thanks to its natural source of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants. Our take on the ‘oil’ trend involves our beloved Detoxing Body Oil, which contains a light medley of botanical oils that won’t clog pores, including sunflower oil, grapeseed oil and skin-loving essential oils. These help nourish the skin deeply while also locking in moisture, preventing transepidermal water loss and restoring elasticity to maintain youthful skin that is instantly hydrated, refreshed, and softened. Our second favourite way to use oils in our beauty routine, is with our Lavender Hair Oil Treatment. Again, a much lighter alternative to olive oil, it utilises grapeseed oil and castor seed oil to stimulate healthy hair growth, stop hair breakage, condition and repair split ends and make your hair feel darn amazing.