Ancient Beauty Secrets: Unveiling Traditional Beauty Rituals From Around The World

Makeup, skincare and beauty regimens are not new to this world. Be it Cleopatra’s eyeliner or turmeric in South Asia, makeup and skincare have always been part of women’s lives to beautify their looks.

Due to advancements in research and technology, not every ancient beauty secret is safe to use today. However, some beauty rituals still carry on the legacy of your ancestors and are uncontested in proving beneficial for your skin.

These beauty rituals are passed down to generations and are still an important part of several women’s daily routines.

Let’s start collecting these beauty secrets from all over the world and put them in your beauty regimen.

Sugaring From Egypt

Did you know that hair removal using sugaring began in Egypt? This natural method of mixing a sugar solution with water, lemon and sugar to make a paste and wax it off, is still used all over the world.

Egyptians were particular about cleanliness. Removing hair was an essential part of their grooming and beauty routines. It is very fascinating that this technique of hair removal is still popular worldwide despite there being many modern alternatives such as depilatory creams and laser hair removal.

Turmeric From South Asia

The use of turmeric powder for giving the skin a natural glow is still popular in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Turmeric powder is used to make the Haldi Ubtan face mask which is thought to be one of the first beauty products created over 5,000 years ago.

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The face mask includes herbs, milk or rosewater and gram flour alongside turmeric to turn into a paste. It softens the skin, adds glow, and works as an antiseptic to treat acne and repair skin.

It has been preserved over centuries in a tradition. Brides from this area apply the Haldi Ubtan before their weddings. It is celebrated ceremoniously as the Haldi (in India) or Mayoun (in Pakistan) occasion.

Argan Oil From Morocco

Argan Oil is gaining popularity recently but it has been around in Morocco since 12 BC. This oil is rich in antioxidants, fatty acids and Vitamin E. When applied to the body, it treats eczema, scars, and psoriasis and reduces wrinkles.

In fact, by applying the Argan Oil, the Berban women in southern Morocco gained the reputation of being exotic beauties. The secret of their glowing face, body, hair and nails was always the argan oil.

Olive Oil From Greece

The wild olive tree is thought to have originated from Greece. Though olive oil itself is also believed to have come from the Mediterranean Basin, its use was common in ancient Greece.

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Olive oil was used alongside honey in face masks to brighten the skin and lighten the appearance as well as promote a clear complexion. Also, women rubbed the oil on their skin for protection from environmental stressors. Honey and olive oil are still popular ingredients in skincare since their benefits were found years ago from the ancient Greek civilizations.

Thermal Baths From Italy

Like Egyptians and Greeks, it is hard to leave Romans out of a discussion about beauty rituals. Around 100 AD, The Roman bathhouses gave tough competition to modern-day spas.

The bathhouses were decorated with mosaics and paintings while the people bathing were immersed in therapeutic healing and contrast bathing therapy.

The alternative to scrub or loofa, the strigil was used to clean off the body, getting rid of the dirt and sweat. The sweating in the bath was considered as a way to release impurities and toxins while it gave way to a healthy body and glowing skin.

Pearl Powder From China

The Pearl Powder is not as old as other products mentioned here but it recently gained popularity again in the mainstream beauty industry. Originating from China in the 19th Century, the pearl powder comes from crushing original pearls.

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These pearls come from China’s river basin around the Shanghai area where they are cultivated for three to four years. The fishermen harvest the oysters once they are up to 10 inches long and attain around 10 pearls from each.

The low-quality pearls are crushed to make the pearl powder. It is then applied to the skin to give a brightening effect. Pearl powder is also good for exfoliation and anti-aging.

Milk and Saffron Bath

Saffron is a popular spice that has been used for various reasons across the globe over the years. It served as a beauty product, dye, spice, perfume and medicine in India, Egypt, ancient Rome and Greece.

Cleopatra was known to bathe in a saffron-infused mare’s milk bath. The milk bath consisted of another ingredient honey that gave the skin a natural glow. The milk with saffron also consists of lactic acid, proteins and fats that can nourish the skin, repair it and soften it even further. Given its benefits, this luxurious bath may have been used in various parts of the world by the rich in ancient times.

Lemon Myrtle From Australia

Native Australian Lemon Myrtle has been a staple beauty and well-being item for Aboriginal Australians. The Lemon Myrtle is a flowering plant that smells like lemons.

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It is through to revive body and spirit while its antiseptic, antiviral and antioxidant properties have helped women to treat sores and skin conditions.

Green Tea From Costa Rica

The indigenous people in Costa Rica found out that green tea had several benefits for the skin years before it was as widely known as today.

The tannins and antioxidants in green tea reduce puffy eyes and improve the appearance of dark circles. Besides that, it also heals scars, reduces inflammation and flushes out toxins.


These ancient beauty rituals are still as effective today. Natural ingredients truly work wonders for the skin. Maybe that’s why they have been passed down generations.

Today’s beauty industry is still cashing up on these ingredients to provide you with makeup and skincare solutions. So next time you want to fix a skin problem, it is better to consult your grandmother before trying costly products.

Filed under: Beauty, Tips and Myths

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