The Galleon - Portsmouth's Student Newspaper


Fashion & Beauty

Top 10 International Beauty Secrets

It’s intriguing how women enhance their beauty by using different homemade remedies the world around. If you’ve ever wondered why Greek women are referred to as Goddesses or why Geishas have such flawless skin, wonder no more. By collecting the best beauty tricks from 10 different countries, the secrets to perfect skin have just become that little bit less elusive.


Chinese women use rice water for toning their skin. Rice is full of antioxidants that nourish the skin and fight harmful free radicals that lead to aging. All you need to do is soak some Chinese rice in water for 20 minutes until the water looks milky. Strain out the rice and then apply the water to your face with a cotton wool pad. For a more lightened complexion, crush some fresh mint leaves into a paste and apply to the skin. Repeat these 2 tricks on a weekly basis and you’ll have skin as smooth as porcelain.


Women in Costa Rica apply the blended pulp of the cucumber as a face cleanser. Mixing the pulp with a bit of glycerine soap for a shiny complexion or using the pulp as a face mask for at least ten minutes for hydrating purposes, it’s sure to keep the skin as perfect as possible.


The African black soap has long been used to cleanse and exfoliate the skin. Black soap is made from the ash of locally harvested plants and barks such as: plantain, cocoa pods, palm tree leaves and shea tree bark. Due to its high shea butter content, the soap also offers UV protection.


There is a reason why Demeter, the Greek Goddess of agriculture, is a modern prototype of beauty and vitality. Her secret? Olive oil. In Ancient Greece, the olive tree was considered sacred because of its numerous benefits to health, skin and hair. The leaves of olive trees were crushed to make a skin-mask, which helped the young women relieve their skin from spots and acne. The mixture of olive oil and honey was also used as a cleanser in order to keep the skin smooth.


Turmeric is known for its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. When applied to the skin as a paste or a face mask, it can help in treating acne and aid the skins rejuvenation. A basic turmeric mask is the combination of some honey, Greek yoghurt and a few tablespoons of turmeric in a bowl. Mix this until it forms a smooth paste and apply on freshly washed skin. Leave the mask overnight and rinse it off the next morning. Alternatively, you can add a pinch of turmeric to your moisturiser and cleanse the next morning. This should be done twice a week to get healthy and glowing skin. For acne scars, apply a mixture of turmeric and plain water or sandalwood paste on the marks for 15 minutes.


Jamaican women drink goat’s milk to rejuvenate their skin and make it tighter. Goats’ milk contains vitamin A, which repairs damaged skin tissue, and minerals such as selenium, which can guard against the effects of the sun.


Whilst many Western brands promote oil free cleansing products, traditional Japanese skincare heavily relies on natural oils. Geishas use facial oils, such as Camelia oil, for removing makeup and moisturising. The explanation as to why oil cleanses skin is that oil dissolves oil; allowing makeup, sebum and sunscreen to easily melt away.


Women in Nicaragua apply volcanic clay to their skin during purification rituals because it exfoliates, nourishes and detoxifies the skin and body. Clay can be also ingested due to its antioxidant properties.


Change your pillowcase every week or more often if you have oily skin and acne problems. Fat and dust from the skin transfer extremely easy to the pillowcase. So, before blaming chocolate for the few pimples on the cheeks, make sure you wash your pillowcases weekly. If you’ve done that and still have pimples do not, under any circumstances, squeeze them. Squeezing pimples can result in inflammation of the area, the spread of infection on the face and worsen the appearance of spots or scars. Romanian women treat pimples with toothpaste and salt. Apply toothpaste combined with an equal amount of salt on the inflammation and gently rub the area. Rinse with warm water. The trick is also great for getting rid of blackheads.


Many Thai women use papaya for beautiful skin since it contains the papain enzyme which works as an exfoliator and thus removes dead cells. Scoop out the flesh of the fruit, mix it with a little bit of fresh lemon and apply to your face. Leave on for about 15 minutes and wash it off.

These beauty tips really are that easy. Careful, though. Before applying any of the facial masks and concoctions presented above, remember to clean your skin from all cosmetics. Start with a nice hot shower or steam bath. This will open up pores nicely and make the masks more effective.

With skincare, it’s always about doing what works best for you. All skin is different and, even though everybody wants to look their best, it’s more important to feel your best. Beauty is a feeling as much as an aesthetic.

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