Beauty techniques are constantly developing in new, and sometimes unusual, ways. The beauty industry has always been a creative and innovative field, with different cultures experimenting with their own unique practices. It can be worthwhile to study these techniques and see how we can learn from them. Here are some exciting beauty treatments from around the world and their claimed benefits.
Cryotherapy is a treatment for sore muscles that work wonders for the skin. You immerse your body in ice-cold water or get in a cryotherapy chamber cooled to about -200° Fahrenheit by liquid nitrogen and electricity. Cryochambers started in Japan around 1978 to treat rheumatoid arthritis. In ancient Greece, they used cold water therapy, snow and ice for pain.
There are a few types of cryotherapy, but they have similar benefits. Therapeutic cryotherapy may relieve chronic pain and skin conditions, and boost muscle recovery and sleep. Cold therapy was trending on social media for quite some time as the benefits gained traction. Apparently, it can help with stress disorders like PTSD, along with the physical benefits it offers.
2. Natural Ingredients
Many beauty treatments around the world incorporate natural ingredients into their regimens. In Japan, many believe rice powder reduces wrinkles and pimples. Milk baths are commonly known to improve complexion dating back to Cleopatra. You can use myriad natural ingredients on the skin, so you don’t have to worry about unclean beauty products.
Many regimens use rose water to brighten and improve the skin’s appearance, which some believe started in Persia. For an excellent toner, you can make fresh rose water by simmering rose petals for 20–30 minutes over medium to low heat. Other than roses, coconut oil and avocado make excellent hair masks. Combining baking soda and strawberry also makes a great teeth whitener.
3. Cupping Therapy
Cupping therapy is an ancient healing practice Traditional Chinese Medicine widely practices. The procedure uses cups to create suction on the back, arms, stomach or other body parts. Cupping is used to restore balance within the body, increase blood circulation and improve range of motion and mobility.
Cupping therapy can promote cell repair, relieve pain and muscle tension and reduce inflammation. It may help remove toxins from the body by stimulating the immune response. This therapy is often called hot cupping since heat creates suction between the cups and the skin. You can provide flash cupping, dry cupping, running cupping or bleeding cupping.
4. Blood Injections
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections use blood from the arms to inject into the face. These blood injections boost the skin’s elasticity and collagen production. PRP treatments are also known as the vampire facial since it uses the blood to improve skin's appearance. Vampire facials are believed to enhance skin texture, minimize scars and wrinkles and plump up the skin.
About two to four tablespoons of blood is drawn to achieve younger-looking skin. Then, the blood is separated into layers in a lab and reinjected into the face. It takes a few weeks to a month to see results from PRP injections — typically about three treatments. The results can last up to 18 months, though!
5. Fish Spa Treatment
Fish spa treatments are popular in Greece, where you immerse feet in fish-filled water. The fish attack the feet and chew away at dead skin cells. They reveal soft and silky skin under the calluses they remove. Fish pedicures soften or remove calluses, increase circulation, and can lighten cuticles.
The fish biting off dead skin doesn’t hurt, but it does tickle. However, with many health hazards involved, these treatments are banned in 10 U.S. states and some of Europe and Mexico. The health risks include nail trauma and potential infections. Fish spa treatments are also an environmental concern because these often aren’t native fish to the places offering them.
6. Seaweed Bath
Seaweed baths are traditional in Ireland and have been for centuries. There are many health benefits of seaweed baths, ranging from nourishing skin to treating skin irritations. Seawater and human plasma are similar in their proteins and mineral salt composition. The water absorbs vitamins and minerals like omega, magnesium and zinc from the sea, which soak into the skin during a seaweed bath.
Seaweed baths merge seaweed with seawater to create an infusion of vitamins and minerals. Athletes love these baths because of their ability to relieve sore muscles and release tension from the body. Seaweed bathing can reduce stress and alleviate symptoms of psoriasis, eczema and circulatory issues. They can also remove toxins from the body and provides the benefits of magnesium.
7. Bee Venom Facial
A bee sting facial involves using bee sting venom as its main ingredient. This facial has anti-aging properties that can transform skin’s appearance. Once the facial is applied to the face, the skin reacts like it’s been stung. The venom stimulates skin elasticity and collagen and promotes blood flow.
Bee sting facials may have originated from the idea of apitherapy, which is an alternative medicine that uses products like honey bee venom and pollen. The therapy treats scars and wounds, immune and neurological conditions and improves oral hygiene. So, bees are beneficial for much more than pollination.
Interesting Beauty Treatments and Their Benefits
Every culture has their own views on health and beauty. There’s a lot we can learn from different practices, whether that be methods we want to try or techniques that could be harmful. Studying past and present beauty treatments from around the world can inspire new ideas and innovations. The future of beauty is sure to be just as exciting.
Article excerpted from Skin Inc. magazine, May 2023 - written by Cora Gold, a beauty and skincare writer and the Editor-in-Chief of women’s lifestyle magazine, Revivalist.