Global beauty buzz

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Since I test a lot of  products for my column, I sometimes notice that certain items are made with ancient Chinese herbs or spring water from France.  Other beauty goods come directly from around the globe right into our homes.  So, I wondered how beauty ingredients from different cultures can benefit our beauty routine here at home.  I found some unique brands and while researching foreign beauty products and practices, I learned some international beauty buzz that I had to share.  So read on and take a quick beauty tour around the world with me.

Fantastic French Spring Water Spray
Thermal spa water from France comes in a spray can and is made to mist your face while also improving the skin's natural defenses.  Made by Vichy Laboratories, the company also recommends the spa water to set makeup and to fight aging by stimulating the skin's anti free-radical enzyme activity.  Vichy Thermal Spa Water is bottled directly from the curative thermal waters from the town of Vichy, which is located in central France.  Once captured, it is then preserved in sterile vats to ensure that it is 100% pure.  These waters are naturally rich with a high concentration of rare minerals and protective anti-oxidants that include calcium and magnesium.  It is reported that the unique French thermal waters were first discovered in the Gallo-Roman times nearly 2,000 years ago.  Today Vichy Thermal Spa Water is recognized by the French Academy of Medicine for its therapeutic properties.  This was an interesting product to learn about and it felt terrific on my face!  I found my 5.2 oz bottle at CVS or it can be ordered at vichyusa.com.

I was so intrigued with my new French thermal spa spray, that I decided to learn a little more about what French women do to stay looking and feeling good.  So, I researched international best-selling author Mireille Guilano's website, titled like her famous book, frenchwomendon'tgetfat.com.  One of her top beauty secrets that French women practice faithfully is one that we American gals can do easily and for free!  Keeping with the water theme, simply drink one glass of water before bed and one cup of aqua when you rise.  Guilano says that staying hydrated is the key to good hair and skin.  I'll drink to that!  Her books are sold on her website and in bookstores. 

Centuries Old Time-Tested Chinese Herbs for Hair
Using traditional Chinese herbs like Swertia Extract and Peach Seed Extract, Peter Lamas Products says that their Chinese Herbs product line will energize weak hair and scalp to promote healthy hair growth.  His products are also 100% vegan and free of parabens and other harsh chemicals.  Also free of artificial colors and fragrance, this organic hair product line is sold at Macy's, Whole Foods or at peterlamas.com and average around $20 a bottle.

There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says "A woman's second face is in her hands," and I found this over and over again in each Chinese beauty article that I researched.  Chinese women take time to properly pamper their hands and feet.  Massaging, moisturizing and manicures are practiced faithfully by Chinese women.  So rationalize your occasional (or weekly if you can afford it) manicure with the ancient Chinese proverb that emphasizes the importance of our lovely hands.  Works for me!  

Australia's Anti-Aging Articles
With a hip name like Hissyfit, it seemed fitting that this foundation comes from Australia.  Outback beauty stresses sun protection because this country has the highest number of cases of skin cancer in the world, so this face base is made with an SPF of 50+ that provides both UVA/UVB protection.  Paraben-free and containing pure botanical extracts like pomegranate and the anti-aging Australian daisy cehami, Hissyfit says that this product will protect, renew and provide youthful looking skin.  The Australian daisy ingredient called cehami has been used for centuries by Aboriginal tribes.  For more information visit hissyfit.com or purchase the line from dermstore.com.

America's all natural Jason line sells an Australian tea tree oil that the company says is a medicine kit in a bottle.  Australian aboriginals used tea tree leaves for healing skin cuts, burns, and infections by crushing the leaves and applying them to the affected area.  For beauty,  add a few drops of tea tree oil to your regular shampoo to treat dandruff and itchy scalp.  Simply massage it in the scalp, leave on for a few minutes and then rinse off.

Japan's Fake Lashes in a Bottle
Imju is one of the leading beauty brands in Japan and I found a lot of buzz online about their mascara called Fiberwig.  Sold at Sephora for $24, the mascara is made create "false eyelash-like" results.   So, I purchased a tube and the Sephora saleslady told me that she loves this stuff.  I agree and loved my lashes and was pleasantly surprised by how easily the stuff came off that night as well. 

Beauty Recipes From Around The World
A great resource for all kinds of beauty recipes is the book called Passport To Beauty:  Secrets and Tips from Around the World for Becoming a Global Goddess by celebrity makeup artist Shalini Vadhera.  Vadhera toured the world and interviewed women from around the globe to get the goods on foreign beauty recipes.  An Irish face mask is shared that is so simple and so effective.  Combine 1/2 cup of oatmeal with 3 tablespoons of milk then apply to face and leave on for 15 minutes.  The oatmeal exfoliates, while the milk brightens.  Simply rinse off with water and enjoy a fresh face. 

To give your body a daily detox like the women from India do, start each morning with a glass of warm water and add the freshly squeezed juice of half of a lemon.  In India, they believe that drinking this type of lemonade each morning works to keep the metabolism moving smoothly.

And here in the states, Vadhera says that Hawaiian beauties go bananas for banana beauty benefits.  We know that this sweet treat gives us potassium, which is good for the heart and can help cure muscle cramps.  But did you know that bananas are used in Hawaii to help damaged hair?  Vadhera says that Hawaiian women mash banana, then apply to hair for fifteen minutes.  Then they wash it out.  It is believed that the hair will benefit from the hydrating properties of bananas that also improve the natural elasticity of your mane.  Who knew?

From the East to the West, I was struck by several recurring themes.  Eat your veggies, avoid processed foods and drink tea.  Green and white teas were recommended as the best.  This column has inspired me to want to take a trip around the world to collect more global beauty buzz.  Perhaps when my kids are grown and I win the lottery! 

Until then, I'll keep an eye out for more resourceful books like Passport to Beauty.  And if you have a worldly beauty secret from another culture, share it with us right here!  Because I'm guessing that keeping our beauty and life on a budget is one goal that is internationally shared!