Almond Oil For Smooth Skin — Maria Elena Vial from Chile
Like many women in Chile, Maria Elena uses almond oil to keep her skin smooth, applying it lavishly all over her body after a bath, or before sunbaking.
Maria Elena inherited her beautiful olive skin from her mother who used rosewater before applying face powder. Nothing else no creams, and she had very few wrinkles.
“You also can put vitamins in from the outside, by rubbing slices of tomato or cucumber on the skin,” she says.
“To tone the skin and improve the body’s circulation, I press grated carrot on my face with a gentle, slapping movement. I leave it on for about 30 minutes then wash it off with cold water.”
“Many women in Chile wash their hair in the yolks of two eggs in preference to shampoo.”
When Maria Elena finds her thick black hair is getting dry or split at the ends she uses a treatment favored by the Chilean mountain people.
“I crush an avocado pear, then mix it with two egg yolks. I massage this paste into my hair and leave it for about half an hour, then wash it. It conditions the hair and leaves it shiny.”
She has a nightly routine of figure-shaping exercises and swims as often as she can. Through the day, when she is alone. Maria Elena pulls faces, exercising her face and jaw to prevent a double chin and wrinkles.
Papaw Beauty Mask — Regina Martinez from Philippines
Regina believes that beauty comes from serenity, and that the happy, relaxed, and religious Filipino approach to life develops the inner self and shows outwardly in the face.
“In the Philippines,” she says, “women profit much from their afternoon siesta. It relaxes them so that they are not nervy, and gives them that extra sparkle for the rest of the day. Even if you just doze a bit for about half an hour it helps. Couple this with a regular sleep of about eight hours every night.”
Regina’s favorite beauty mask is mashed papaya (papaw). “I put it on my face, neck, arms, and hands, leave it until it dries, then rinse with water and pat the skin dry.”
“The papaya seems to feed the skin and close the pores at the same time. Coconut oil is superlative as a body oil as it nourishes while it lubricates.”
“Whenever I’m not doing anything I slice a cucumber and lie with it on my face for as long as I can. It bleaches and heals the skin and I think it helps to whiten freckles.”
“Cleopatra used to take a bath in milk. You don’t have to take a bath, but I often wash my face with milk. I use cold tea as an astringent.”
Regina, a secretary with an international company, has won several beauty contests and reached the finals in others.
Yogurt Nourishes Skin — Roumiana Becks from Bulgaria
Roumiana Becks, a serene-eyed Bulgarian, believes in natural beauty and rarely uses cosmetics. Sometimes at night she may wear a little lipstick.
She said Bulgarians believe that yogurt, rich in vitamin B complex, has value both as a health food and as a cosmetic. “We believe yogurt cleanses and softens the skin when it is patted on as a face mask,” she says.
Roumiana was on holiday recently at Magnetic Island. After spending all day in the sun she smothered her face and body in yogurt at night, sleeping with only a sheet over her. This was the same brand of yogurt she had eaten for lunch that day, sweetened with honey.
The yogurt dried into a powder which she washed off with a shower next morning. “Yogurt takes the heat from a suntan and nourishes the skin.” she said, “leaving it soft and elastic. You can mix the yogurt first with an egg yolk if you like.”
She likes to start every day with a glass of lemon juice, hot water and honey, because she says it keeps her complexion clear.
“I try once a week to have just a fruit or vegetable day. Then I feel terrific, like I’m born again.” Roumiana also eats a lot of honey and nuts.
Roumiana makes her own skin tonic by grinding fresh cucumbers finely. She strains them, and bottles the juice, then applies the juice to her skin with cotton wool. “This is very good for tired skin,” she says, “It refreshes it and closes the pores.”
Strawberry juice is the basis for another Bulgarian skin tonic recipe that nourishes the skin while it refreshes and refines the pores.
Crush ½ lb soft red strawberries, strain. Add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda to the juice, with three or four drops of spirit. Mix well. Add ¼ cup milk and mix well again. Leave on skin for 10 minutes daily.
Another skin tonic is made by cutting the heart of a lettuce in very small pieces, put into a porcelain dish, then pour over enough distilled water or rosewater to cover. Leave for a few hours, then bottle.
“Dab it onto your face with cotton wool and it makes the skin elastic and soft.” Roumiana says.
Roumiana also uses this oatmeal mask: Mix ½ cup hot milk with 2 teaspoons rolled oats over a stove until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and add 2 teaspoons rosewater.
“Put on your face as hot as you can stand it, but don’t burn your face.” Roumiana says. “After 20 minutes wash off with cold water.”
Milk Works Wonders — Mrs. Jeeti Sehti from India
Milk is the greatest beauty aid of all, said Mrs. Jeeti Sehti.
“For softening and cleansing the skin, nothing is better than the skin from boiled milk rubbed well into the face and body, left on for 10 to 20 minutes, then washed off. It works wonders.”
Mrs. Sehti said the beauty and elegance of Indian women has been praised by poets for five thousand years, and this has made Indian women very beauty conscious.
“Indian women combine Western beauty aids with centuries old Indian recipes, often with spectacular results.”
Mud packs are still common in India (the mud of certain rivers is considered especially good), but Mrs. Sehti has never used this beauty treatment.
Sometimes she mixes the skin of boiled milk with dried pea flour (pea flour can be bought easily, or you can powder dried peas yourself), and uses it both as a cleanser and a softener.
“In Gujarat state, the skin on boiled milk (malai) is mixed with coconut oil and sometimes with powdered red lentils and used as a skin softener.”
“Malai is a great favorite for a bride’s beauty preparations before her wedding. A favorite recipe is for pea flour, malai, rosewater, and turmeric to be mixed together and used regularly on the face for seven days before a wedding.”
Mrs. Sehti said that oils, especially apricot and almond oils, are widely used in Indian beauty recipes.
Cucumber Face Mask — Mrs. Nadia Younis from Lebanon
Nadia combines the best of modern French beauty treatments with the ancient Middle Eastern secrets learned from her mother and grandmother.
She says milk is one of the best skin treatments available and uses it to wash her face, using no soap, and rinsing afterwards with clean water.
She often goes without cosmetics but when her face is made up, she cleanses it with conventional creams.
Nadia’s olive skin is typical of women from the Middle East. Contrary to many women throughout the world, the Lebanese usually prefer to have a whiter skin. Milk is thought to lighten the skin tone.
“Mashed cucumber makes a very good face mask, as do raw potatoes, sliced and placed on your face while you rest. Your skin feels tight and clean after both these treatments,” Nadia says.
Seaweed for Vitamins — Mrs. Masako Endo from Japan
Japanese women believe that beauty comes through calmness and serenity. Mrs. Masako Endo is a delightful example of Japanese beauty and femininity.
According to Mrs. Masako Endo, they are trained in this through the ritualistic tea ceremony, through brush writing, and through ikebana (flower arrangement).
Today’s ideas blend easily with ancient cultures, Mrs. Endo’s makeup routines are modern but her skin care treatments are often those used by Japanese women for centuries.
She washes her face with rice bran (available from Japanese shops here), sewn into small sachets and used as a soap. She keeps the juice of a cucumber in the refrigerator and uses it as a refreshing astringent.
“And, of course, every day we eat a lot of seaweed,” she said, “It is full of vitamins, and it helps to stop hair thinning.”
She said many Japanese people put the peel of two or three oranges into their bath water. “Orange contains vitamin C. We do a similar thing with lily of the valley leaves. We tie together a bunch of leaves and put them in the bath. It tones the skin beautifully ”
Avoid Wind and Sun — Mrs. Veronica O’Young from Hong Kong
Hong Kong women are very conscious of protecting their skin. They rarely go in the sun without the protective shade of an umbrella, not even to cross the street.
That is why, said Mrs. Veronica O’Young, their skin often stays soft, unlined, and young-looking until old age.
“Many Chinese go to the beach, and expose their faces to the sun. The one time I sunbaked, my skin dried up and I came out in freckles,” she said. “Now I won’t go to the beach or into strong sunshine if I can help it”
“Chinese always use a very thin washer on the face, as they believe a coarse textured cloth pulls and damages the skin.”
“In Hong Kong after giving birth to a baby, the mother rest and eats very well for one month and doesn’t go out of the house. The family helps with housework, and if there is no family, the woman will look after the baby herself, but keep housework to a minimum.”
“After a month of rest, with no wind or harsh sunshine, she comes out looking beautiful and refreshed.”
“In the old days when there were no moisturizers, Chinese women used orange or mandarin juice on their faces.”
“A very popular treatment still today is to massage the face with a hard-boiled egg. Shell the egg and remove the white film from the skin, then rub it over the face like a rubber ball. Then you can break the egg, take out the yolk, and massage the skin with the inside of the egg white. The skin will feel tight, as if you’ve been using a beauty mask. Then pat on orange juice.”
“Diet is important. Chinese people believe you must eat lots of vegetables, and that you must always cook in vegetable or peanut oils, not animal fats. We eat very few sweets, only on special occasions like the August Moon Festival or Chinese New Year.”