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Many modern cosmetic products are based on the amazing knowledge that ancient women had about beauty. Because in those days there were no cosmetic laboratories churning out a myriad of pre-made creams, lotions and potions, these women relied on the bounty of nature and all it provided. Milk, herbs, fruits, oils and even pearls were all part of an ancient beauty regime.

In ancient China, ladies used to ingest powdered pearls to keep their skin flawless, as well as mixing it with other ingredients and applying it as mask. Interestingly, modern research has confirmed that pearl powder has moisturising properties and contains enough antioxidants to be able to sufficiently accelerate the healing of wounds. Chinese women also ate ganoderma mushrooms which have rejuvenating effects on the whole body. It’s been observed to fight free radicals, therefore reducing all factors of skin ageing.

Jade rollers have been used for centuries on the face, and are believed to work in the same manner that dry brushing does to the body. It’s believed that the jade roller opens the meridian blockages allowing Qi and blood circulation to flow freely. Jade rollers are making a come-back and are freely available on the internet, allowing you to now recreate this ancient ritual at home.

Milk and honey were favourites of Cleopatra and were attributed to her legendary beauty and flawless skin. Milk, honey and olive oil were used in her baths. Honey has hydrating qualities and milk contains lactic acid, known for its ability to rejuvenate skin by removing dead skin cells. Rosewater was (and of course still is) important in the ancient beauty regime. It speaks of luxury and romance. It prevents ageing by tightening the skin and reducing wrinkles. It’s also beautiful as a cleanser as it rids the skin of oil and other pollutants and will not clog the pores.

The most amazing beauty secret of all time goes to the original cold cream invented by Galen in about 150AD. It contained a mixture of rosewater, olive oil and beeswax, allowing for both organic (dead skin cells) and inorganic (skin pollutants) to be dissolved and removed from the skin at the same time as cleansing and softening the skin. Variations of this formula are still used today.

Toni Green is a Launceston based naturopath, herbalist and health writer. It is her passion to pass on this knowledge of natural therapies to others so that they might live a stress-free life with health and vitality. www.naturalhealthsolutions.net.au; toni.green57@iinet.net.au; or phone: 0431 716 601.