The Secrets from Ancient Greece that still applies today!
It is no co-incidence that Ancient Greece was the capital of culture, art, philosophy and music. The sense of aesthetics and beauty was profound. Surrounded by idyllic clean blue waters, back dropped with white-washed houses, and the Mediterranean Sun, is a constant reminder of true natural beauty. The beauty of the country is so stunning that it is not an option but the country's mandate to evolve and take the word beauty to another level. It doesn't stop at architecture and sculptures but it is also the people. Skincare has always been an important part of the Greek tradition. Walking down the cobbled streets of Cyclades Islands, I noticed the amount of boutiques that sold natural skincare products. It also came to my attention that there were some ingredients that were predominant in all the skincare and cosmetics I saw.
Here are a few that jumped at me and as I researched and explore further, these ingredients have been in Greek tradition in food and skincare since centuries and mentioned in their mythology too.
One of the most popular ingredient, that has lasted the test of time is an OLIVE! The olive tree is the symbol of peace, wisdom and victory for the ancient Greeks. It is considered liquid gold by Homer. It is used in the hair, face, and body, rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Olives are grounded by stone and are used for face masks and exfoliation as they have a high mineral content as well as anti-ageing properties.
Olive Oil is used as a moisturizer.
Honey has used to help remove dead skin cells as scrubs and face masks. It has anti-bacterial properties and helps improve elasticity of the skin by protecting the depletion of collagens.
OLIVE OIL WITH HONEY: Mix olive oil with honey in equal proportions and apply it on the skin with a brush. Leave it on for 15 minutes. Remove it with a washcloth.
Ancient Greeks used to use sea salt for exfoliation. This is still a tradition we use in skincare today. Rich in natural minerals, is a perfect exfoliator that detoxifies the skin. It also uplifts the face as it increases circulation and softens the skin.
A very effective method of exfoliation is mixing olive oil, sea salt and sugar. Make this into a paste and apply into the face in a circular lotion, exfoliating the face, stimulating the cells and rejuvenating the skin.
Flowers: Since ancient times, the abundance of flowers found in Greece, led ancient Greeks to use flowers in cosmetics and skincare not only as natural coloring and for aroma therapy but also to nourish the skin. The main flowers used were Chamomile, Marigolds, Lavender, Lotus, Cyprus and Roses. Yet, it is the ROSE that the ancient Greeks referred to as "the queen of Flowers", chock-full of vitamin A, E that tightens pores and antioxidants that prevent ageing.
2000 years ago, the Greeks regarded Aloe Vera as the universal solution for all skin difficulties and remedies. It was used for medicinal purposes, in food and in cosmetics as a healing plant.
Greek Yogurt was considered the most effective ingredient for soothing and nourishing the skin as well as removing dead skin. It was also used for healing and cooling sunburns.
OLIVE OIL AND YOGURT: Mix olive oil and yogurt together and apply on the face for 10 minutes. After a while remove with a washcloth. It leaves the skin soft and plump.
Alcinous from Greek mythology had a pomegranate tree in his garden. Ancient Greeks knew the nutritious value, rich in Vitamin A, B, and C, potassium, Sodium, and Iron, with more antioxidants than green tea, it was used in food, cosmetics and skincare for its anti-ageing.
It is a real eye opener that much of our natural skincare industry has taken so much from ancient civilizations and it is still widely popular and these ingredients are still predominating the natural skincare industry today. However, it is not only the skincare regime that gives a lot of the Greeks their beautiful complexion and glow, it is the sun-kissed fruits and vegetables they eat, using olive oil in their cooking instead of butter and other fatty alternatives and living a well balanced life with plenty of exercise. This is the feedback I received from a lot of locals living in the Cyclades Islands!
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