Beauty secrets of an ancient era

Every weekend I spend at least a few hours pampering myself in one way or another. A manicure, an extra long nap, or a spa day. I chose the latter for today; I could always use a good soak after a stressful day at work. My spa days are always DIY because a] I’m usually broke and b] I prefer using my own ingredients over a store bought mask. Occasionally I’ll find a product that works just as well, but for now I’m out.

So today I’ve decided to explore some centuries-old beauty secrets that still work today.

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I’ve chosen three treatments to try, though it’s more like five because two have a double-use.

The first is an exfoliation treatment for the face utilized by geisha since the 16th century. Sake contains Kojic acid, which can lighten spots and blemishes, whiten skin, and exfoliate. The rice itself has been known to tighten pores and whiten skin as well.

Sake-Rice Powder Scrub 

2 Tablespoons of Rice Powder

1-2 teaspoons of Sake [rice wine]

1 teaspoon of honey

You can make your own rice powder using the finest setting on a coffee grinder, or make a larger batch in a good food processor.  Mix the ingredients together and let the rice soak up the sake for an hour. Scrub gently onto face, and leave on for 1-2 minutes. Alcohol can be drying, so moisturize directly afterward.

Review: This worked really well to get the dead skin off. In fact, it was rolling off in clumps after I washed my face [ew]. My pores did seem a bit smaller after the mask, but I don’t suffer from large pores so I don’t know how it would work for that. Make sure you grind the rice well enough, or use store-bought pure rice flour if your skin is sensitive. If the chunks are too big, it will hurt. This mixture can be used all over your body, or you could add a cup of Sake to your bath as luxurious detox treatment.

If you have some leftover mask, let some of the sake rise to the top. It will look very milky, but that’s what you want. Apply it to your face with a cotton ball as a toning treatment with added benefits!

Though not pictured, I do an ACV rinse once a week and it has made a HUGE difference in the volume and shine in my hair. Normal shampoo doesn’t cleanse your hair of buildup and products, so turn to apple cider vinegar for some help! Ancient cultures used diluted ACV to purify the blood because it binds to fats and grease in a unique way. The vinegar would leave the body, supposedly with the buildup attached.

I’m not sure if that worked, but the hair rinse does. Mix a squirt of shampoo in with 1/2 cup ACV. Add a cup or two of hot water and pour it over your hair, working it in to get to the scalp. Follow by a conditioner or hair mask!

Third treatment is a bit of a family recipe mixed with one of the greatest foods for beauty, utilized by ancient Egyptians, Romans, an the Eastern work as well. Honey! Be careful not to get this mask in your mouth because you’ll eat it before it gets onto your hair.

Banana creme hair mask with raw honey

1 Ripe banana

1/2 cup milk or heavy cream [lactic acid increases shine, but the fats in heavy cream moisturize]

2 tablespoons coconut cream

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 avocado

Blend all together in food processor until smooth. Apply to hair and scalp, and place in a shower cap for 30 minutes. Rinse, and follow up with shampoo so your hair doesn’t end up oily from all the fats.

I love this mask, but it’s somewhat difficult because I never have the ingredients on hand. My Armenian mother used this mask minus the honey for as long as I could remember.

PLUS- This is a great moisturizing face mask. I apply to both my hair and face when I make it.

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