Costhetics is usually focused on the most up to the minute news and information about cosmetic surgery and aesthetic enhancement.
With the coronavirus dominating the headlines, however, we’ve decided to switch gears. In this article, we look back at beauty rituals from the good old days to explore how ancient rituals are still being used today.
Greece Extends an Olive Branch to Beautiful Skin
In ancient Greece, women used olive oil to protect their skin. The practice was quickly adopted by the Phoenicians, Egyptians, and Romans. They couldn’t explain why the oil was so beneficial, but today’s scientists can. They, along with manufacturers know that:
- Olive oil is high in Vitamin A, D, E and K. (Vitamin E, in particular has shown to be beneficial as a topical treatment for psoriasis and eczema)
Olive oil has antioxidant properties and when it’s applied to the skin, it may help slow premature ageing. More importantly, a study on cancer and Vitamin E showed that:
- “Olive oil topically applied after UVB exposure can effectively reduce UVB-induced murine skin tumours (cancerous skin tumours)”
Certain conditions help ensure you will enjoy the highest concentration of olive oil’s beneficial compounds, un-degraded by heat or chemical refinement.
Just be sure your olive oil is:
- Certified organic
- Extra virgin
Costhetics says: If you love olive oil on your salad, wait until you try it on your skin!
Persian Waxing: Tales from the Hair-em
Samson loved his hair, but other ancients were not as enthusiastic about a hirsute appearance. As early as 1900 BC, Persian Waxing helped individuals rid themselves of unwanted outgrowths. The method involved using sugar as a depilatory. It is far gentler than regular waxing as it removes hair follicles from the root without sticking to or pulling at live skin cells on the surface.
Sugaring is also far less likely to lead to problems such as ingrown hairs. The ‘sugar’ is actually a gel-like paste made of sugar and lemon juice. This makes it:
Like wax, the gel paste is warmed and applied to the treatment area. The key is to
- Spread the paste in the opposite direction of hair growth
The paste hardens after a few seconds. You then pull it off, in the direction of the hair growth. The smooth to the touch benefits of this simple, at-home treatment can last up to five weeks.
A quick final note before we close the book on sugaring: it is not advised to use this technique if you:
- Use retinol of Vitamin C on your skin
- Take steroids
- Have a rash, sunburn or cold sores
- Have bruising or swelling at the treatment area
Costhetics says: Get your sugar fix with waxing.
Claying with Cleopatra
No one exemplifies the power of ancient beauty rituals better than Cleopatra. The Encyclopedia Britannica says the Egyptian Queen was described by many as “a woman of surpassing beauty” by historians of her time. More recent historians attribute her allure to her “considerable intelligence.” Costhetics doesn’t think it’s an either/or situation. She was smart and beautiful and smart enough to know how to stay that way.
Facial masks made of clay are alleged to be a Cleopatra favourite. The masks were made of mud from the Dead Sea, a source rich in over 21 minerals including:
In our modern world, Marie Claire is in favour of mud masks because they help:
- Maintain skin’s natural moisture levels
- Stimulate blood flow to the capillaries
- Improve oxygen flow to skin cells
Costhetics says: Research before you buy.
Relax & Restore Yourself with a Cucumber
Ancient cultures may have also done what you’re thinking about, but they prized cucumbers for the scientifically proven hydrating effects the vegetable has on skin.
Cucumbers are mostly comprised of water and they’re also able to retain cold. When you place cold slices on your eyes, the chilled veggie helps enlarged blood vessels constrict back to normal in the eye area to:
- Hydrate skin
- Deflate puffy eye bags
- Reduce dark shadows
Costhetics says: If too much Netflix ‘n’ chill has made your eyes puffy and you want something more than chilled cucumber slices for your eyes, look for cosmetic products that contain cucumber extract. Modern research shows highly concentrated cucumber extracts may be a potential anti-wrinkle agent in future cosmetic products.
Costhetics says: Cucumbers, not just for salad (or the bedroom) anymore.
Team Costhetics wants you to know we’re here with you for the long haul of coronavirus isolation. We plan to do our best to continue to bring you the best in everything you need to make it through.