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The Best Beauty Secrets From Around the World

It’s easy to spot the latest American beauty trends and products—they’re broadcasted on televison, featured in our stacks of magazines, and plastered on our Pinterest newsfeeds. But have you ever wondered if there was more out there? If you want your makeup bag to be as worldly and well-traveled as you are, you usually have to do some digging. Apparently, they’re stashing some beauty secrets right across the pond, and we’re here to help you uncover them all. Sometimes it’s good to be bad at keeping secrets!

Red Grape Facial Mask

Chile is a huge source of grapes, so it’s no wonder that Chilean woman have discovered all the fruit has to offer! Red grapes contain tons of antioxidants—the most important being Resveratrol, which is known to:

  • Neutralize free radicals (which often come from air pollutants and age your skin)
  • Improve circulation (which can help purify your body faster and keep your skin rejuvenated)
  • Have anti-inflammatory properties (and may even fight off viruses!)

So, if you’ve ever heard that red wine is good for you, Resveratrol is why! Ready to renew with red grapes? Make your own version of a Chilean red grape face mask by mixing a cup of mashed red grapes with a couple tablespoons of flour. Pat the paste on and let it sit for fifteen minutes. When you’re done, rinse for revitalized, renewed, and brightened skin.

Garlic Nail Treatment

Tired of dull nails that always break? According to the Dominican Republic, garlic fights off more than just vampires. Dominican women swear by mixing chopped, fresh garlic into a bottle of clear polish and coating their nails for more strength and vitality. If you’re not turned off by the smell, make your own nail strengthener by mixing the two and letting it sit for a week or more. Once time is up, apply the polish like any regular nail product for a result that’s literally hard as nails. 

Milk and Rice Baths

Milk Bath

Apparently, Cleopatra bathed in milk for silky smooth skin. Bathe like an Egyptian by pouring some powdered milk into your bath water—you’ll leave the tub feeling baby soft.

Rice Bath

Japanese Geishas rinse their face with rice water for a luminous, youthful glow. Rice water’s smoothing effects were discovered by Japanese rice farmers, who noticed curiously soft hands after spending their days in the rice paddies. Now we know that rice water is antioxidant-rich and contains tons of Vitamin E, perfect for protecting and smoothing your skin. Purchase a (pricey) pre-made soak (Sephora, $80) or make your own by serving up rice for dinner a little more often!

Yogurt and Olive Oil Hair Mask

Italians hold the secret to shiny hair—and it’s actually right in your kitchen! The proteins in yogurt strengthen and soften your strands, while the olive oil makes for an incredibly moisturizing and nourishing gloss. Head for the pantry and let down those luminous locks.

Beer Rinse

Beer with us, here. Germans are certain that their nation’s favorite beverage is the perfect solution for dull hair. If you’re looking for maximum volume and are totally done with frizz, shampoo as usual and then give your hair a final wash with flat German or Belgian beer—experts swear by it! And if you’re worried that it’ll dry you out, boil the beer first to remove some of that damaging alcohol.

Kohl Eyeliner

Kajal, or Kohl, has been lining the eyes of Indian woman forever, while the rest of the world is just catching up. Originally made from oil and ash to deflect harmful rays from the eyes, the liner has become a beauty must-have. It’s deep, dark, smooth, and smudgeable, making it the perfect product. Best of all, Smashbox makes a waterproof version (Sephora, $20) that’ll last all day.

Black Soap

This beauty staple, made in many regions of Africa, is acne’s worst enemy. The best formulas include cocoa, plantains, coconut oil, palm oil, and shea butter, which means that the little black bar does a lot more than cleanse. It’s extremely nourishing for your skin, perfect for those with oily complexions, and is said to combat a multitude of skin problems including: 

  • Eczema
  • Rosacea
  • Psoriasis 
  • Keratosis Pilaris 

We recommend the totally affordable SheaMoisture African Black Soap Face & Body Bar (Target, $4.54).

Miceller Water

French women don’t wash their faces. Surprised? Instead of using harsh soaps and cleansers, they stick to the simplicity of a miceller rinse. A special formula made from micelles (bonded water and oil molecules), miceller water is said to remove any facial buildup easily and without harm to your skin. If gentleness is what your face craves, ditch the tap (which many French women believe is full of impurities) and switch to a miceller water like Sephora’s Triple Action Cleansing Water (Sephora, $20).

Double Cleanse

Koreans are well regarded as being extremely progressive when it comes to beauty products and skincare. While we’re already convinced that they boast some of the best BB creams out there, Koreans have far more than beauty balms up their innovative sleeves. While you can try anything from their excellent eye creams and essences to their superb serums, a ten-step beauty routine is definitely not a must. Double cleansing has been trending all around Asia and only requires two simple steps. You begin with an oil-based cleanser (see, that miceller water is on to something!) to remove impurities and residue, and end with a foaming cleanser to make sure your face is squeaky-clean. This cleansing technique is crucial if you want clear, breathable skin, and it’s extra important if you want to test out other Korean staples like toners and moisturizers, which will glide on much better if your face is totally bare. Overall, the process guarantees a fresh face because of the double sweep, instead of leaving behind stubborn makeup and dirt that many of our removers can’t quite tackle.

If you’re ready for a foreign makeup fix, ditch those typical drugstore products and expand your international horizons. Your hair and skin will welcome the change, we’re sure of it!

Is there a global beauty secret you’re obsessed with? 

Emily Platt is a former National Contributing Writer, Beauty Editor, Career Editor, and Editorial Intern for Her Campus. She studied at Vassar College and held additional internships at Cosmopolitan.com and MarthaStewartWeddings.com. Emily loves emojis, Beach Body workouts, and her cats. She takes pride in her single mysteriously-white eyelash.