From beer baths in Germany to sugar scrubs in Egypt, it can be fascinating to learn about how communities around the world practice their beauty routines.
Over time, some beauty practices have become popular here in the US and elsewhere. Let’s get to know the beauty ingredients, skincare secrets, and other cosmetic rituals that are practiced around the world - maybe they’ll give you some inspiration too.
Shea Butter in Uganda
Shea butter is a rich, hydrating ingredient used in many skincare products across the globe today. This much-loved beauty staple originated in Uganda, hailed as the ultimate skin saviour. If you ever visit this fascinating country, you’ll notice that Ugandan women tend to have beautifully plump, bright, and youthful skin – even though many spend plenty of time under the hot African sun.
East African shea butter is otherwise known as nilotica butter in Uganda. Originally, women would press wild nuts grown in the Nile Valley, applying it to their faces to improve their complexions.
Shea butter is rich in vitamins A and E and is known to restore skin’s elasticity. It’s the most popular beauty ingredient in Uganda by far. Plus, shea butter is known to be so safe and natural that it’s edible.
As well as moisturizing the skin, shea butter in Uganda can be used for various other purposes, such as replacing cooking oil or as an infant massage cream.
Mud Baths in Napa Valley, United States
Over thousands of years ago, the native American Wappo people of North America used mud as a beauty practice. Calistoga is a region in Northern California with a volcanic history and geothermal springs. This landscape created the perfect conditions for volcanic mud baths, which the Wappo community made good use of.
These mud baths were created by combining the local ashy soil with warm mineral waters found in the springs. They were used to exfoliate and soften the skin and help with everything from sore muscles to skin conditions to dry skin.
Even early Americans would visit the region by train in the 1800s to enjoy the benefits of the famous mud baths.
Today, many beauty products embrace the skincare benefits mud offers. For example, clay masks are very popular for detoxifying the skin.
While there are many clay masks on the market, we love the Tuel Detox Clay Mask . The mask helps to purge pores and treat spots with its mineral-rich formula.
The kaolin clay and sulfur combine wonderfully to absorb oil and sebum while targeting blemishes caused by bacteria. Meanwhile, zinc oxide boosts healing, while aloe and vitamin E soothes and conditions the skin.
Another great option is the Revision Pore Purifying Clay Mask, which leaves skin feeling clean and smooth after working deep into pores to remove excess sebum and other toxins.
Sugaring in Egypt
The ancient Egyptians were obsessed with cleanliness, so hair removal was essential to their grooming routine. Sugaring is a natural method of hair removal, and traditionally ancient Egyptians concocted a sugar solution made with sugar, lemon, and water. This mixture was brought to a boil to create a gooey paste.
This sticky paste was applied to the hair. The paste would then be pulled off, removing the hairs without harming the skin (though it may sting just a bit). Sugaring still exists today and is loved by many beauty gurus in the cosmetic industry.
While it doesn’t remove hair, BABOR’s Sugar Oil Peeling formula helps to remove dead skin cells and refine the look of the skin. The sugar and oil exfoliator boasts a warm, woody scent and is packed full of sweet almond, argan, and macadamia nut oil to deliver goodness to your skin, leaving it soft and supple.
Beer Baths in Germany
Who needs a pub when you can bathe in beer instead? In German spas, relaxing and unwinding in a tub filled with beer is popular. While the ritual is strangely comforting, it also benefits the skin.
The yeast present in beer has antioxidant properties, calming inflammation and cleansing the skin.
Olive Oil in Italy
We all know that Italians love olive oil in their food. But did you know that locals often use olive oil as a beauty staple too?
Olive oil is well-known for its moisturizing properties. Some Italians like to smother olive oil all over their body for smooth, soft, supple skin. The oil is rich in vitamin E, which strengthens the skin’s moisture barrier and softens dry complexions.
You can even use olive oil to hydrate dry, dull hair or cracked lips.
Do you want more skincare advice? Learn about sleeping on a silk pillowcase for beautiful skin here .