Learn about the exotic foods that smooth, strengthen and revitalize, and discover new ways to use everyday items to pamper your body.
Hawaii: Noni Juice for Youthful Skin
This pungent juice has powerful anti-aging properties to make you look and feel younger. Collected from noni fruit that is left to rot and ferment, the juice helps to lower inflammation and boost immunity. It’s now taken for medicinal purposes and is available as a supplement or juice in health food stores.
Australia: Macadamia Nut Oil to Moisturize Your Scalp
Macadamia nuts are high in palmitoleic acid, a naturally occurring fat found in your skin. When rubbed into the scalp, macadamia nut oil gives your scalp the moisture it needs. Available in health food stores.
Turkey: Purslane for Rejuvenated Skin
An Oz family favorite is purslane. Though it’s used in America to treat arthritis in horses, it’s a popular vegetable in Turkey! Purslane is loaded with vitamins A, C, E and Coenzyme Q10. This strong antioxidant cocktail helps to protect the skin against environmental damage. Try it the Oz-family way by mixing it with yogurt and garlic.
Ireland: Irish Moss to Remove Dark Lines
This salty seaweed is a type of brown algae and is packed with vitamin K, an important vitamin for healthy skin. Soak the dried form in water to rehydrate it and cut the salt. Try it in a smoothie for vitamin K on the go.
Hawaii: Sea Asparagus to Repair Skin
Despite the name, sea asparagus is actually a distant relative of beets and spinach. The vitamin A and folic acid found in this tasty plant are essential for skin repair. Sea asparagus is readily available in specialty stores, but make sure it’s ethically collected and has no added preservatives. Try it sautéed in a stir-fry for a delicious and healthy meal.
Mexico: Dragon Fruit to Reverse Skin Damage
This sweet and vibrant succulent grows on cacti and contains lycopene, a red pigment also found in tomatoes. Lycopene is known for helping to reduce damage to the skin when exposed to the sun. Dragon fruit are also rich in cartenoids, another excellent antioxidant.
Japan: Sea Cucumber for Healthy Skin
Eaten in Japan for younger-looking skin, this animal belongs to a group of creatures called echinoderms, which means “spiny skin.” Sea cucumbers are packed with vitamin A and proteins that are wonderful for skin health. If bought in a dried form, rehydrate it by soaking in water and add to a stir-fry.
Dominican Republic: Club Soda for Smooth Hair
Club soda can be used as an anti-frizz elixir. The sodium bicarbonate found in the carbonated water helps to strip hair of built-up residue, such as from styling agents or certain shampoos. Use this is as a final rinse for beautifully soft and smooth hair.
Italy: Grapes for Vibrant Skin
Grapes, found in abundance in Italy, contain resveratrol in their skin. The disease-fighting benefits of resveratrol are vast, but when used topically, it can also do wonders for your skin. Crush up grapes to make a skin-rejuvenating scrub. The grapes help to pull out toxins in the skin while the seeds scrub away dry, dull skin. It’s a quick way to help your skin glow.
Florida: Citrus Fruits for Soft Feet
Year-round sunshine and warmth allow Florida to produce delicious citrus fruits, like oranges and grapefruits. Research has shown that orange acids actually have a calming effect on the skin.The Florida citrus foot bath soothes and restores dry, callused feet. Combine cut-up lemons and oranges with essential oils in a basin of water to help calm the skin. Then, to imitate the softening effects of a walk by the ocean, add sea salt to exfoliate the skin. Finally, add some lemon-scented lotion for extra moisture.
New York: Threading for Hair Removal
New York City is famous for its beautiful, stylish and international women. A hair-removal technique from the Middle East and India is popular in salons in the Big Apple. It’s called threading and uses no chemicals. The technique involves creating a loop with thread and pulling out the hair from the root. It’s gentler on your skin than waxing and the results last longer than tweezing. Best of all, it only costs about $10.
California: Wine for Youthful Skin
California is famous for many things, including the state's fine wines. Enjoyed in moderation, wine can actually be good for you, by helping increase good cholesterol, reduce heart disease and some cancers. It also turns out that the polyphenols that give red grapes their dark color can also help reverse the signs of aging. Eating red grapes helps the elastic properties of the skin by strengthening the cross-linking of collagen, thereby reducing wrinkles. Bring the secrets of California into your home with a Red Wine Facial. Combine a cup of yogurt, 2 spoonfuls of honey, and 4-5 tablespoons of wine for a powerful anti-aging mask.
South Africa: Honey for Beautiful Hair
Honey is a powerful humectant that grabs onto and holds water. For a traditional South African hair mask, combine a little bit of olive oil, 1 egg yoke and honey. Coat your hair with the mixture and leave on for 30 minutes. Rinse away for soft and shiny hair.
Egypt: Almonds for Soft Skin
Exfoliate away rough patches with the Egyptian secret to soft skin: almonds. Almonds are a natural antioxidant and almond oil is one of the most rapidly absorbed oils. In a food processor, grind together almonds and milk until it forms a paste. Rub it on your body to slough off dead skin and wash it off for incredible looking skin.
Japan: Chili Peppers for Revitalized Feet
Soak tired tootsies with chili peppers to stimulate circulation. Togarashi peppers, a type of Japanese chili pepper, contain a chemical that actually induces warmth. Mix them with warm water and soak your feet for 10 minutes to awaken and revitalize feet.
Belize: Coconut Oil for Healthy Skin
The women of Belize swear by the powerful anti-aging properties of coconut oil. Used in many countries around the world, coconut oil contains strong antioxidants that help to soften the appearance of fine lines. Though it doesn’t replace the need for SPF, it’s also a natural sunscreen and a wonderful way to reverse any type of skin damage from the sun. Simply rub this rich oil on for softer skin.
Chile: Grapes and Flour for Brighter Skin
In Chile, women pair grapes with a bit of flour to brighten their skin. The grapes in this mask help revitalize fatigued skin. Crush grapes and combine with a couple of tablespoons of flour. Rub onto face and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse and enjoy amazing looking skin.
Spain: Cranberry Juice for Shiny Hair
Cranberry juice gives the women of Spain their shiny hair. Fruit acids are known to lighten dark spots on skin. The acid in cranberries does the same to hair, but it also leaves behind a red tint; be sure to use lemon juice instead on blonde hair to avoid pink tresses.
Dominican Republic: Garlic for Strong Nails
For strong nails, women of the Dominican Republic swear by garlic. Simply take some chopped garlic and add it to a bottle of clear nail polish. Let it “stew” for 7 to 10 days and then paint onto nails. This fortifying polish will make your nails super strong.
Mexico: Lemon and Sugar for Young Hands
Women in Mexico know that the hands are one of the first areas of the body to show the signs of aging, so they’ve developed a powerful scrub. Create a thick paste by mixing sugar with a little lemon juice. Rub into hands. (Be sure there are no cuts on your skin or the lemon will sting.) The citric acid from the lemon helps to lighten dark spots on the skin, and the sugar sloughs away dull, dehydrated skin to reveal glowing, younger-looking hands. This scrub is also great for your elbows and knees.
Greece: Olive Oil and Olive Pits for Glowing Skin
The health benefits of eating olive oil are well-known, but for centuries, the women of Greece have been using olives topically to enjoy gorgeous skin. Grind olive pits and combine with a bit of olive oil to make a strong body scrub. The essential fatty-acids from the olive oil are very healing to the skin while the ground olive pits help to gently exfoliate. The olive oil also seals in moisture. In a pinch, olive oil can also double as the perfect lip gloss for your lips.
China: Green Tea Powder and White Tea for Smooth Skin
This potent combination of green and white tea helps the women of China achieve beautifully smooth skin. White tea is one of the most powerful antioxidants in the world and heals the effects of damaging free radicals to prevent premature aging. Meanwhile, green tea contains catechins, which appear to have cancer-fighting and other health-promoting properties. Brew white tea and mix together with green tea powder and a bit of lemon to create a paste. This anti-aging mask will help to prevent fine lines and wrinkles.