Back to Beautiful: Beauty Treatments from the Past
It was back in the late 16th century when Shakespeare immortalised the tragic heroine Juliet. When she spoke of “Thou know’st the mask of night is on my face,” Juliet wasn’t referring to her bedtime beauty routine, of course. However, when it comes to yours, you can travel back in time and glean secrets from the past, and blend the past with the present.
The Native American Indians knew of witch hazel’s magical properties as soothing balm and a cleanser. A few drops of it in warm water or on your facial sponge can work wonders for your skin. Other natural remedies for skin cleansing and facials include snail gel — currently flying off the shelves fast enough to make snails jealous!
Okay, the face of a snail probably isn’t that much to look at — except perhaps to other snails — yet Chilean snail farmers have long known about the healing effects of snail gel itself, particularly of the Helix Aspersa breed (the common garden snail). Rich in collagen, elastin, glycolic acid and vitamins A, C and E, people who have used snail gel twice a day as part of a facial beauty routine have reported it to leave a softer, silkier complexion, lessen the appearance of scars and acne, smoothen out wrinkles and rejuvenate the overall feel of the skin.
Naturally, this doesn’t mean you should dash out into your back garden and rub a snail all over your face (and just imagine if your partner were to walk in you doing that!). The shops sell plenty of facial masks with which you can pamper your skin, but if you want to try a few natural methods to better skin and get in touch with the deeper you, here are some suggestions:
For a refreshing facial steam add one teaspoon of lavender buds, a teaspoon of jasmine green tea, a teaspoon of camomile flowers and three rosebuds to a bowl containing 400 millilitres of boiling water. Place your head over the bowl, cover with a towel and steam for five minutes. Do this once a week.
Mix a tablespoon of plain yogurt, a tablespoon of cooked oatmeal and one egg together. Mix into a paste, smooth onto your face and relax for 10 minutes. This can help energize your face and take away that run-down feeling the pace of modern life can sometimes give you.
For softer skin, mix one egg yolk with one tablespoon of milk and two tablespoons of honey. Smooth into a paste and apply as above. For red or troubled skin add five drops of lavender. For acne-prone skin add a drop of camphor, bergamot, tea tree oil and two drops of lavender.
Of course, whether you travel back in time to observe your skincare routine or live in the now and let the snails live to fight another day, you should still drink plenty of water and eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. There are just some things that snails can’t argue with!
Julie Wellingworth is a life coach with a passion for beauty and something of a romantic. She loves looking good, travel and the novels of Jack Kerouac.