Women have been passing down beauty secrets from one generation to the next from the dawn of time. From Cleopatra's milk bath habit to Aboriginal tribes using berries as a lip stain, different nations have cultivated beauty secrets based on their cultural values and natural resources. However, they all have one thing in common: Women swear by them. We researched those obscure global beauty secrets women have relied on for generations, and the modern-day product that will get you the same results. Whether it's glossy hair from the Mediterranean or perfect skin from Japan, these are the beauty secrets that have been keeping women beautiful for centuries.
Skin as Smooth as a Japanese Geisha
After working in rice paddies, Japanese farmers noticed an unexpected but welcome benefit of submerging their hands in rice water all day -- extraordinarily soft and youthful-looking skin. For centuries, Geisha have used the rice water leftover from cooking to wash their face for smooth, soft skin. Rich in vitamin E, rice water is chock full of antioxidants that will help protect your face from free radicals -- you know, those pesky cells that speed up aging and damage your skin in the process.
Try this: Fresh Rice Sake Bath, $82. If your diet doesn't include three helpings of rice a day, fresh rice water is a little more inconvenient to come by. This detoxifying soak will leave skin silky smooth, and TotalBeauty.com reviewers say it also soothes aches and pains.
The Most Alluring Eyes From India
Indian women have lined their eyes with kajal (kohl) for centuries. Originally, it was to deflect sun glare in the desert, according to historians, but these days well-lined eyes are an iconic Indian beauty ideal. Indian women blend ashes with oil to create an ultra-dark, smudgy liner that goes on super smooth.
Try this: Makeup For Ever Kohl Pencil, $18. Formulated with jojoba, mango seed and cottonseed oils, this liner applies smoothly and comes in a glittering gunmetal shade.
Glossy Hair From the Philippines
Filipina women are known for having the kind of hair every woman dreams of: beautiful, long, shiny and healthy-looking. While they are blessed with great hair genes, they also take care of it to keep it strong. Their hair salve of choice? The aloe vera plant. They massage the juice into their scalps and rinse it. Besides adding shine, aloe vera juice contains anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve an itchy scalp and reduce dandruff.
Washing yourself with black soap seems counterintuitive, but it's a beauty regimen African women (and men) have relied on for ages. Black soap is made with the ash of cocoa pods, plantain skin and palm leaves, and then mixed with palm oil, coconut oil and shea butter. The formula is specifically for oily skin and is used for treating acne, eczema and psoriasis. It also contains high levels of skin-loving ingredients vitamin A, vitamin E and iron, which help nourish skin and fight against free radicals.
Try This: Shea Moisture African Black Soap, $4.99. This natural organic soap clears up acne and some report it helps with skin conditions like keratosis pilaris and rosacea.