7 Exotic Beauty Treatments You Can Easily Do at Home
For centuries women the world over have used natural ingredients—from blood oranges to tea-tree oil—to get healthier hair and smoother skin. You could country-hop around the globe to give these treatments a try. Or you could replicate them at home.
Asian Face Purifier
Why it works: “Rice can absorb oil on your face much the same way it absorbs water when you cook it,” says Berson.
Try it at home: Use a rice-based mask, such as Neutrogena Deep Clean Long-Last Shine Control Cleanser/Mask ($7.50, drugstore.com).
Italian Skin Glow
Why it works: Blood oranges contain citric acid, which may work as a natural exfoliant, and vitamin C, an antioxidant that may plump up the skin, says Cherie Ditre, an associate professor of clinical dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania Penn Medicine at Radnor. Olive oil is a rich skin emollient, and it may decrease the irritation that can be caused from the use of a fruit acid, Berson explains.
Try it at home: Apply Baronessa Cali Tarocco Nourishing Moisturizer ($24, calicosmetics.com), which is made with olive oil and blood oranges.
Russian Coffee Body Smoother
Why it works: “Coffee grounds are a gentle, natural exfoliant,” says Downie. “Since they aren’t overly abrasive, it’s a nice way of removing dry skin on the body.” The caffeine in the coffee can temporarily give the skin a toned appearance and quell minor skin irritations.
Try it at home: If reusing coffee grounds is not your idea of smart recycling, rub BodyCoffee Invigorating Body Polish ($38, bodycoffeestore.com) on your skin. It contains arabica coffee and Dead Sea salt.
Japanese Hair Gloss
Why it works: Camellia oil is brimming with protein, says Jeanine Downie, a dermatologist in Montclair, New Jersey. “Protein penetrates the hair follicle, adds body and gloss, and enhances the quality of the hair.”
Try it at home: Today camellia oil is commonly found in shampoos, conditioners, and styling products. For shinier hair, work Oshima Tsubaki Camellia Hair Care Oil ($24, amazon.com) into clean, wet hair.
Brazilian Body Softener
Why it works: Nut oil–based lotions and creams are ideal because they are loaded with moisturizing agents. They work to hydrate the skin and may promote healing. “When you wax or shave, you strip moisture away,” says Downie. Which means that hydrating skin with a good moisturizer is important.
Try it at home: Smooth on a thick nut cream, such as The Body Shop Brazil Nut Body Butter ($20, thebodyshop-usa.com), which is infused with Brazil-nut oil.
Australian Tea-Tree Oil Skin Clearer
Why it works: Tea-tree oil is a natural astringent, so it exfoliates the skin and unplugs clogged pores, says Diane Berson, an assistant professor of dermatology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. It may also soothe puffiness, and it typically does not irritate most skin types.
Try it at home: Dab tea-tree oil (available at health-food stores) on a spot. Or use Ole Henriksen Roll-On Blemish Attack ($22, dermstore.com), which contains the oil.
Balinese Foot Soother
Why it works: “Warm water relieves pain; relaxes muscles, tendons, and joints; and brings blood flow to the area,” says Michael J. Brunetti, a podiatrist at Lenox Hill Hospital, in New York City. Eucalyptus oil is a topical pain reliever, and lightly stepping on the flat stones massages the feet.
Try it at home: Fill a basin with warm water and add two capfuls of Kneipp Eucalyptus Herbal Bath ($32, skinstore.com). After the bath, moisturize your feet with Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Creme ($9, drugstore.com).