Let’s unveil the forgotten meaning of real beauty by encompassing the origin and benefits of some key beauty ingredients
Beauty is anything that adds to me and helps me become more of who I am already or wish to be. It is what syncs my mind, body and spirit, so that I exude peace not just through my soul but also through my skin.
During ancient times people made time for relaxing, for treating themselves to various bathing rituals in order to rejuvenate and carry on with life. It is in these ancient rituals that we in the modern day can find deep wisdom.
Let’s explore five pearls of beauty hidden in the remnants of the past, and unbox them for us to draw some precious inspiration.
Water – from Greek and Roman Spa
Greeks considered water to be a panacea, attributing all physical ailments related to an imbalance of fluids in the body. The Romans adopted this idea to create ‘Thermae’ which were large imperial bath complexes. Anointment was done with oils and massages, which was then followed by scrubbing. The regard for water treatment is seen till modern day in Europe, wherein people restore themselves in natural spring water.
Minerals- from Onsen and Hamam
While Europe indulged in Hydrotherapy, Japan and Turkey came up with alternative forms of bathing rituals. In Japan, till date people practice Onsen which is bathing in mineral rich hot spring water, to replenish and rejuvenate the skin. In Turkey, the ritual of Hamam involves wrapping one’s body and hair with the mineral rich Rhassoul clay, sourced from the Atlas mountains of Morocco. It helped in more effective rejuvenation, relaxation and was better for skin or hair health overall.
Herbs- From the East
The Indians pioneered the tradition in ancient medicine through Ayurveda. It uses a blend of local medicinal herbs and oil to restore physical, mental and spiritual health. Till day China and India continue to influence herbal treatments around the world. In Myanmar, Thanaka is a rare ingredient, whereas in Bali, the Lulur that is crafted with local herbs is used as a body wrap in the local spa industry.
Oil and natural dyes – from The Middle East
The Egyptian Queen Cleopatra was herself is an innovator of many significant beauty heirlooms. The usage of Argan and olive oil too was made popular, after its wide usage in this region. Henna was used in Egypt and is an extremely popular in local rituals today in the Arabian, and the Indian subcontinent.
Relaxation through specialised massage techniques
A good massage is all one needs for a relaxed mind and body to radiate completely. Japan gave the world Shiatsu which involves massage with acupuncture technique. China gave the world Tuina which focuses on the flow of Qi (energy). Greece gave the world Unani which uses the massage technique of Dalak to detox the body, whereas Thailand, Sweden and Bali added to the list of special massage techniques for complete physical relaxation and continue to enjoy popularity in many modern day spa houses till date.
With changing lifestyle, I hope we do not lose sense of the fact that beauty is not a result of what we do, it is in the process of how we do. It is easy to groom oneself and look perfect but beauty is not about looking as much as it is about feeling perfect first. The ritual of daily personal care, is ultimately the true beauty secret that any culture in the world teaches us.
Aishwarya Sawarna Nir, Founder, Global Beauty Secrets LPP