Ancient Spa Rituals from Egypt
Ancient Egyptians had several beauty secrets and remedies to advance their skin and beauty. In fact, Egypt has a one of the most intriguing idols of beauty as their Queen. Queen Cleopatra, the last Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, was known as a notorious beauty. She was known for her obsession of taking care of her skin and beautifying her features with makeup, ornate jewels and intriguing beauty rituals. Here are several common beauty spa rituals used by Ancient Egyptians and have stood the test of time in today’s spas and beauty products.
Milk & Honey Bath
Cleopatra was known foremost as taking baths in milk and honey to keep her skin soft and supple. Milk hydrates, replenishes, shrink pores, heals irritations, cleanses and brightens the skin. The lactic acid within milk assists with lightening skin, including those unsightly brown spots.
When selecting milk, the best milk comes from a goat. Goat’s milk has a pH level that’s very close to the human skin’s natural level. The next best thing is cow’s milk. Also, rice, soy and almond milk are good options as well. Use buttermilk or sour cream if you are looking to shrink your pores.
Just remember to that the thicker and creamer the milk, the better it will be at hydrating your skin with it’s natural vitamins. Also, buy organic milk as conventional milk contains antibiotics and growth hormones for the cows health and not necessarily elements that you should rub into your skin.
Honey is another amazing element with several benefits to the skin. It not only moisturizes skin but it’s also an antioxidant and anti-fungal. If you have issues with Acne, honey will assist with acne prevention. It also enables the pores to open for proper cleansing. Honey has specific enzymes of which the skin will absorb.
Just as with milk, select organic products because processed honey will not have the same enzymes or results.
- Take a milk bath by adding 1-3 quarts of milk or 2 cups of powder milk into a bath and rest in the milk for 20 to 30 minutes. Add in two tbsps of honey to the bath for an extra benefit.
- Develop a Milk Mask by mixing a couple tablespoons of milk with two tablespoons of honey. If you want to exfoliate, add in baking soda or oak meal. Or if you want to maximize the lightening aspect, add in lime or lemon juice. Apply it to your face, neck and hands for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
- For an exfoliation, place ¼ cup of almonds in a cup of milk overnight or for at least 8 hours. Then grind up the almonds within the milk in a blender. Allow the mix to dry on the face for 15 minutes then gently scrub the mixture on the face to exfoliate the face.
- Another exfoliation treatment with honey can be made with one part Baking soda and two parts honey. Allow the mixture to dry on the face and then scrub gently to exfoliate the face. Rinse gently with warm water.
- For dark patches on your skin, apply milk directly to the brown spot and leave on overnight. Use a cotton ball and band-aid to make sure the milk stays on the spot for at least 8 hours.
- For acne, place a small amount of honey on the spot overnight. For an extra boost, add in a drop of tea tree oil
Always remember to rinse gently with warm water, pat the skin to dry and apply moisturizer immediately to maintain the moisture level.
Dead Sea Salt Body Scrub and Bath
The Egyptians also utilized salt from the Dead Sea to exfoliate their skin and for its general therapeutic results. The minerals contained with the Dead Sea restores balance to the outer and inner layers of the skin. The minerals work together to relax, build the immunity, luster, detox and soften the skin. It’s an amazing rejuvenating regime to add into your weekly beauty regime.
The Dead Sea water is unique in that its elements contain 27% of various salts rather than typical 3% other seawaters. It also contains several minerals including magnesium, potassium, calcium, chloride, bromides, iodine and zinc. Each of these minerals has wonderful skin and health benefits.
- Magnesium assists with stress, fluid retention and cell metabolism. It calms the nervous system. It promotes quick healing of skin tissue and provides the skin’s surface with anti-allergic elements.
- Calcium assists with preventing water retention, increases circulation, and strengthens bones, hair and nails.
- Potassium will energize the body, regulates the nervous system and balance moisture in the skin.
- Bromide assists with relaxes the muscles and soothes the skin.
- Sodium balances the lymphatic fluid, which is important to the immune system. It also detox’s the skin cells.
- Iodine assists with body’s metabolic and thyroid processes.
- Zinc protects the skin against sun damage and boosts the immune system.
Studies have proven that taking at least 3 or more baths per week with 10% salt concentration in bath water can experience improvements with skin irritations, skin scaling from psoriasis, eczema, arthritis and tendinitis.
Here’s a recipe for a Sea Salt bath taken from a medical papyri of the Egyptians:
- 1 part honey
- 1 part Natron (or baking soda)
- 1 part Lower Egyptian salt (Dead Sea Salt)
Mix each part together and gently rub onto the body. Let the mixture sit on the skin for 15-20 minutes before gently rinsing with warm water.
Avocado Face Mask
Egyptians also utilized the avocado to reduce eye puffiness and moisturizer the skin. Avocados contain over 20 essential vitamins and minerals. Including Vitamin K, C, B5, B6, E, Folate and Potassium. It contains a small amount of Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin). Avocados have great antioxidants that help repair damaged skin and can penetrate its moisture into the deeper layers of the skin.
Vitamin K is now believed to help skin heal, especially after laser treatments or skin burns. It also helps with reducing dark under eye circles with daily usage of at least 8 weeks. Avocado also has a high level of Vitamin C that assists with the production of collagen. Collagen production is essential to maintain the skin’s elasticity. As you age, collagen process breaks down and wrinkles begin to develop on the outer layers of the skin. Vitamin C is also helps with sun damage and age spots. It’s not an SPF but it will correct previous effects of skin damage. When looking for products with Vitamin C, make sure the products that contain between 3% and 10% of vitamin C and include the active ingredient ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid. Avocados traditionally have approximately 2.6 mg of ascorbic acid in every avocado. Folate helps produce and maintain new cells. And Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid is essential for cellular growth. Another key Vitamin is B6 or Pyridoxine. It helps the body to make antibodies (to fight many diseases), maintains nerve function, and regulates hemoglobin (hemoglobin carries oxygen in the red blood cells to the tissues), which is essential to the healing and growth of collegians process.
Take a ripen Avocado and slice into cube. Place the cubs in a bowl and mask the cubes with your hands. The warmth of your hands will allow the Avocado to become soft enough to spread evenly over the face, neck and hands. Leave on for 20 minutes for best results. Rinse with warm water and apply a moisturizer after treatment to seal in the benefits of the mask.
Aloe Vera Mask
Egyptians also utilized Aloe Vera gel as it consists of over 75 nutrients, 20 minerals, 12 vitamins, 18 amino acids and 200 active enzymes. An application of Aloe Vera was used to help smooth and moisturize the skin. It also helped to heal minor cuts and burns.
Aloe Vera is full of antioxidants that are natural immunity enhancers. These antioxidants assist with the fighting free radicals in the body, which can cause advanced aging in the skin. Aloe Vera helps to reduce inflammation through its plant steroids and salicylic acid to destroy bacteria. It’s also anti-allergic for most people and beneficial with those with super sensitive skin including eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, acne and sunburned skin.
To apply an Aloe Vera Mask, mix 1 tbsp of Aloe Vera with ½ tbsp. of milk. Allow the mask to dry for at least 20 minutes, then wash gently with warm water. Following with a moisturizer to seal the benefits of the mask into the skin.
Almond Oil with fragrances
Following a milk and honey bath, Egyptians sealed the moisture with an application of almond oil, fragranced with Frankincense and Myrrh. These were used to prevent dry skin, aging and long lasting fragrance.
Almond Oil is made through cold press process to preserve all the natural compounds within the oil. It is rich in vitamins E, A and D with oleic and linoleic acids. It is highly emollient with fatty acids so it’s absorbs well into the skin. The emollient helps lock the moisture into the skin like a protective barrier. Even though it’s an oil product, it can help with acne because almond oil assists with dissolving the sebum that can cause pores to clog. Another benefit is it helps remove dead skin cells and repairs damaged cells such as sun damage.
The Egyptians commonly mixed almond oil with fragrances to retain the scent on the skin for longer durations. Egyptians used Frankincense and Myrrh as their common fragrance oils.
Rose water toner
Rose water was used as a cleanser and toner to remove make-up, dirt, and oils from the skin. Rose water is commonly known to prevent aging by reducing wrinkles and tightening skin pores.
It’s clear the Ancient Egyptians understood how to the essential ingredients of milk, honey, Aloe Vera, avocado, almond oil and rose water could transform skin to supple, soft, smooth and beautiful. Hygiene and personal appearance was essential to the culture, as they tended to bath a number of times a day due to the hot climate. It is no wonder that Queen Cleopatra continues to allure us as one of the most famous iconic beauties in ancient history. And even centuries later, Ancient Egyptian beauty regimes continue to influence todays advanced beauty products and remedies.
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