I came across this article yesterday and am very interested in some of the techniques different cultures use to pamper and care for their skins.
The full article is here:
Some of the secrets are of particular interest to me and I would be willing to invest some money into it.
Rice Body Rub: "In the old days, rice bran was a substitute for soap," says K.C. Kang... "You'd bring your little cotton pouch to the local bath house and fill it up with the bran. Then you'd soak and scrub your whole body, including the face. People still do this." Beyond sloughing off the dead skin layer, rice bran oil is known for its potent vitamin E and other antioxidants that brighten the skin. To see for yourself, fill a pouch with rice bran, and rub your body. If you're bathing, leave the bag in the tub and let the nutrients seep into the water.
I found some rice bran being sold online:
From Eastern Europe:
Milky Skin Wash: "Eastern European women are extremely vain." That's the verdict from Bella Schneider, who lived in Ukraine, Poland, Italy, and Israel while working in salons with Hungarian and Bulgarian clients.... "These women have always taken every effort to look wonderful, even in Communist times when so little was available and they had to rely on home remedies." A tried-and-true remedy is milk. "We know about Cleopatra taking milk baths," Schneider says. "The reason is the lactic acid, which now, we chemically alter for peels. But you can just use a little milk to rinse your cleanser off and it's great for the skin." If your complexion is dry, she advises, use whole milk; if oily, go for low fat.
Egg White Oily Skin Lift: A little egg on the face apparently makes an amazing mask for oily skin: Beat a few whites until they're not tacky, stir in a bit of baking soda, and add some shredded lemon and grapefruit peel. Brush on the mixture and let it harden. According to Schneider, you'll feel a undeniably youthful, fresh lift.
Michelle Phan did a tutorial on egg white and egg yolk masks, but I think this Eastern European take could be equally as soothing. I haven't tried it yet, what with the salmonella scare we're having in the Mid-West.
Crushed Orange Watermelon Mask: Another skin secret from her homeland: Take a dried-out orange peel and crush it into a fine powder. Add a little lemon juice, water, or in the summer, mashed watermelon, and apply the mixture on your face for 20 minutes before going out for the evening. "The mask has antioxidants, and—especially if you use lemon—oh boy, forget it!" says Kahn. "It smells good, your makeup goes on easily, and your skin looks so nice and bright."
This, I know, can help lighten your complexion. If this works better than the Envie de Neuf mask, I'll go ahead and do this every week! It is time to go buy oranges!!!
The soak. ...[S]oaking is a universal beauty secret we often pass up in favor of the rush-hour shower. "In Japan, we worship water," K.C. Kang says. "Toji is the word for bathing, and it's been a traditional therapy ever since the Samurais started fighting." Aside from the minerals and healing qualities of certain waters, an obvious benefit is relaxation—and we know a zen mind can translate to beaming skin. To that end, Kang suggests taking a half hour, drawing a nice, warm tub, and throwing in a touch of sake. "It's fantastic for the skin," she says, laughing. "Just don't drink your bath!"
I hate the standard American bath tubs. They have a 2nd drain 6-8 inches from the bottom on the tub on the wall. This means that no matter how much you try, you can't ever get a really good soak because the water is so shallow. *grrr!*
But anyways, I really want to give these methods a try, and I think I'll be able to after this weekend.