From nightingale poop in Japan to snail slime in South Korea, we’re globe-trotting to introduce you to some of the most fascinating beauty rituals from around the world.
Yes, you’re reading that correctly: nightingale poop. This ritual actually began in Korea but was adapted by Japan during the Heian period. Geishas used nightingale droppings for exfoliation, hyperpigmentation, and skin brightening. If you’re worried this sounds like a missed opportunity, have no fear: This ritual is still performed in Japan today.
Care for a Mud Bath?
Next, we’re traveling to Northern California, where the native Wappo people looked for ways to use the land to their advantage. Volcanic mud baths relieved muscles and exfoliated and softened skin. These mud baths were created by mixing ashy soil with warm, mineral waters from the surrounding springs.
Olive Oil? Not Just for Pasta
If you guessed that our next beauty ritual came from Italy, you would be correct. Italians use olive oil all over their bodies and hair. Because olive oil is rich in vitamin E, it strengthens the skin barrier and softens dry skin, among other benefits. Have skin prone to breakouts? Skip this one!
Next stop: Egypt. Hair removal was an essential part of beauty routines in ancient Egypt, and sugaring was a natural way to do so. Egyptians made a solution of sugar, lemon, and water to create a paste to pull out the hair. Not only is this ritual still practiced today, but it’s gaining popularity, especially among beauty influencers.
Snail slime is used all around the world, but most famously in South Korea, where snail slime is used in skincare to moisturize, smooth wrinkles, and calm sensitive skin.
Cringing already? Don’t feel bad; so are we. Snake massages are a fairly new practice started by snake spa owner Ada Barak, who believes snake slithering motions are incredibly relaxing. Science has yet to determine the benefits, but that hasn’t stopped people from flocking to Israel to experience the ritual for themselves.