Global Beauty: Skincare Traditions From Around the World!

English: High Atlas mountains, Morocco Françai...

English: High Atlas mountains, Morocco Français : Montagnes du Haut Atlas, Maroc (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Morocco

 

Rhassoul or ghassoul is a brown clay found only beneath the Atlas mountain range (other common names – Red Clay, Red Moroccan Clay, or Oxide Clay) it has been mined since the eighth century and has been used to maintain the supple, blemish-free complexions of local women.   Like all clays, it works by drawing out impurities as it dries, but thanks to unusually high levels of silicon, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, lithium, and trace elements it actually replenishes and nourishes the skin after it’s rinsed off. It is light gray with a hue of oxidized pink in color and it is combined with water to clean the body and has been used by Moroccan women for centuries to care for their skin and hair.

 

Today, rhassoul is used in hammams (traditional Moroccan bathhouses). Along with a glove, or “kessa”,it is used as a facial mask and poultice to the body. It is similar to a western style mud wrap. It is intended to soften the skin, reduce sebum secretion, regenerate the skin by removing dead cells, and rebalance the skin by tightening the pores.

 

Benefits:

 

  • Reduces dryness
  • Reduces flakiness
  • Improves skin clarity
  • Improves skin elasticity / firmness
  • Improves skin texture
  • Oil Control

 

 

Argan Oil – is a plant oil produced from the kernels of the argan tree (Argania spinosa L.), native to Morocco, that is valued for its nutritive, cosmetic and numerous medicinal properties.  Before modern times, the Berbers (also known as the Amazighs) of Morocco would collect undigested argan pits from the waste of goats which climb the trees to eat their fruit. The pits were then ground and pressed to make the nutty oil used in cooking and cosmetics. However, the oil used in cosmetic and culinary products available for sale today has most likely been harvested directly from the tree and processed with machines.  Argan oil contains tocopherols (vitamin E), phenols, carotenes, squalene, and fatty acids.

 

Unroasted argan oil is traditionally used as a treatment for skin diseases and as a cosmetic oil against flaking of the skin as well as for nourishing the hair. This oil has also medicinal uses against rheumatism and the healing of burns … Externally, argan oil is used … for hair as brilliantine, to fortify and … in the treatment of wrinkled or scaly dry skin

 

English: The production of argan oil by tradit...

English: The production of argan oil by traditional methods. Polski: Wytwarzanie oleju arganowego metodami tradycyjnymi. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Fatty acid Percentage
Oleic 42.8%
Linoleic 36.8%
Palmitic 12.0%
Stearic 6.0%
Linolenic <0.5%

 

Benefits:

 

 

Ireland

 

Seaweed -The Irish have a long, deep tradition of soaking in seaweed-infused baths to cure dermatological ailments and are Ireland’s only indigenous spa therapy. Originallyfor the treatment, seawater is pumped directly from the ocean into large cast iron tubs (chosen for their heat retention), and then piles of locally harvested seaweed are added in. Within a few minutes, the plants release alginic acid, a silky compound of essential oils that nourishes and heals the skin.  In the Edwardian era (1901-1910), seaweed bathhouses dotted the coastline in County Sligo and County Kerry, with people of all ages using the baths medicinally and recreationally, enjoying a pint or cocktail while they bathed and strolling along the seafront post-soak. After a drop off in popularity, the tradition has recently experienced a resurgence, as psoriasis sufferers rediscover the treatment’s healing benefits.

 

Seaweed

Seaweed (Photo credit: Mark Bridge)

 

Benefits:

 

  • Moisturise your skin, increase circulation and promote healing.
  • An initial steam treatment will open your pores to the beneficial nutrients contained within our seaweed.
  • Relax the muscles, plump up and add definition to your skin, and support skin regeneration and renewal while combating the effects of aging.
  • Helps psoriasis

 

The island nations of Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti and Vanuatu (Polyonesia)

 

Tamanu nut oil –  (as seen on Dr. Oz) found in the region’s ati trees, for its ability to promote the formation of new skin tissue and heal wounds, scars and burns (the oil was even used in the 1920’s to treat leprosy and wounds.) Tamanu kernels require several weeks of drying to release their oil, which is thick and fast-absorbing. The end product is applied topically applied.

 

 

Benefits:

 

  • Non-irritant properties, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antioxidant,and emollient.

 

  • Can help to treat scar tissue, impetigo, first aid for cuts and burns, ulcers and diabetes sores, post surgical wound, wounds,  bruises eczema, and rashes.

 

Czech Republic, Germany and Austria (Most of Europe)

 

Peat – (turf or moor) is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation. One of the most common components is Sphagnum moss, although many other plants can contribute.  Peat forms in wetland conditions, where flooding obstructs flows of oxygen from the atmosphere, reducing rates of decomposition.  Bogs are the most important source of peat, but other less common wetland types also deposit peat, including fens, pocosins, and peat swamp forests. There are many other good words for lands dominated by peat including moors, muskeg, or mires.  Peat has long history of importance since the Bronze Age (3600-600 BC)!

 

Peat is widely used in balneotherapy (the use of bathing to treat disease). Many traditional spa treatments include peat as part of peloids. Such health treatments have a very long tradition in Europe, especially in the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria. Some of these old spas go back to the 18th century, and they are still active today. The most common types of peat application in balneotherapy are peat muds, poultices, and suspension baths.

 

Falkland Islanders shoveling peat (ca 1950).

English: Peat Bank

 

 

 

Benefits:

  • Contains water, magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc and copper.
  • Improves the skin’s tonicity and is an ideal anti-aging treatment due to its content of copper and zinc and its skin healing properties it is also a good treatment for acne, psoriasis and eczema.
  • Increase blood and lymph circulation in turn helping to reduce cellulite plus the anti-inflammatory properties are excellent in treating arthritis, rheumatism and joints.

 

 

 

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