Universally, most women are quite envious of the what seems to be perfectly flawless complexions of European women. In particular the French seem to have a firm grip on the type of skin women around the world would love to emulate. Can I let you in on a little secret? The French are not the only ones with amazing skin, most of European women actually do. How do I know? I’m the only in my family who speaks fluent English without an accent. If there are two things I can say about the women in the family, they don’t gain weight and they virtually don’t age. Even at 70-something years old, my grandmother has very few wrinkles and barely any fine lines. Partially contributing to both statements can be credited to a mainly fresh produce diet, we grew up on vegetables. We eat a lot of vegetables. A lot. I sometimes sit in a remote parking lot secretly eating a burger side-eyeing everyone who walks by out of my car windows. Don’t judge me. Another factor that can be credited is their quite peculiar beauty regiments. Like, it’s quite peculiar – trust me, I used to watch these broads do some weird stuff to their faces. Which is what I am sharing here today. Don’t consider this the end-all, be-all to that perfect European women skin or insanely healthy-looking hair, consider this an insider guide to that supposed coveted Euro skin watching the generations before me performing their daily routines and having adapted most of these to my own beauty arsenal.
1. They do face massages with olive oil – Sitting in front of the TV watching Love Boat, I’ve watched both my grandmother and mother do face massages using extra virgin olive oil, for sometimes 20 minutes at a time because the show pulled them in. Olive Oil contains high levels of Vitamin A and E, besides many other antioxidants that protect your skin from free radicals and UV damage. All-in-all, e.v.o.o., is a great source of untapped potential for skin many don’t use yet.
But be warned, if you decide to use this tip, do so at your own discretion and start off doing it once every other week. It’s really all you need since learning from experience if you go in full force, you will break out. I undertook this venture and developed clogged pores. Also, don’t use olive oil that has ‘pure’ or ‘light’ on the label, those have been chemically processed, you want the 100% real stuff instead;
2. They start moisturizing at a very young age – I started at 11 using the same cream both grandmama and mama have been using for decades;
3. They only use “natural” treatments – No store-bought masks or scrubs, everything comes from the kitchen;
4. They don’t blow-dry their hair, ever – Air drying is quite better to keep hair healthy and nourished, it also prevents breakage and split ends;
5. Besides coffee, they only drink water – According to the stories I’ve heard 500x over, there was no soda in the old country;
6. They believe that less is more when it comes to makeup – A little concealer or tinted moisturizer with some mascara. And never, ever go to bed wearing it;
7. They don’t pluck their eyebrows – They maybe clean up the edges that transfers over to the actual eye part (you know, almost on the lid), but never pluck out a new shape or go beyond means, not even a clean shape. It’s all natural, sometimes too natural for my taste, but hey that’s just my opinion;
8. They eat a lot of vegetables – Like I mentioned above but it’s worth mentioning again;
9. They don’t wash their hair everyday – Unless they’ve used any type of styling product like hairspray, they maybe wash their hair every other day, sometimes two days in between washes. And they only use shampoo once a week;
10. They shave using traditional bar soap – I don’t see how that’s comfortable but they do, and their legs are always soft and smooth;
11. Garlic is at the top of the food chain – If we get a cut, we’d probably bleed garlic. Garlic has so many health benefits that I can’t list them all here, but besides being good for your heart and immune system, it’s also great for your skin and overall hair health;
12. They invest in skincare – While they don’t use too many products in their daily routines, they firmly believe that skincare should be the one thing to invest in and not makeup;
13. They don’t switch products that often – I mean how dedicated can one be to a day cream? Try 20+ years;
14. They eat a lot of fish – Besides garlic and vegetables, this is like their thing. Fish is full of fatty acids that help how the skin produces inflammatory compounds which affect how the skin ages;
15. They never go out in the sun – Sitting outside in 90-degree heat in full-sleeves, full-length pants. Black, mind you. With a big ass hat to cover their faces, plus sunglasses, in the shade. Yeah;
16. They use coconut oil for lips – Um, before everyone made it a big deal, generations of women have already been using coconut oil for decades. My grandmother swears by it keeping her lips very hydrated and quite plump actually. She doesn’t use it for her face though …;
17. They never touch their face – I occasionally got smacked upside the head for picking at my lips because hands are never fully clean even after thoroughly washing them. That’s how breakouts and infections begin, I was made fully aware of this notion every single time I got a backhand;
18. They use used coffee grounds for cellulite – Using freshly used coffee grounds, my mother adds a tiny bit of e.v.o.o. to her mixture and scrubs at her cellulite. It doesn’t necessarily completely cure them, it does however blur them so they’re not that obvious;
19. They use Greek yogurt to zap pimples away – Forget using toothpaste to dry out a zit, dab a tiny amount of 100% Greek yogurt onto a pimple and let it sit for an hour;
20. They use Vaseline on their blisters – Petroleum jelly being its politically correct name;
21. They use baking soda for flaky feet – Baking soda mixed with some hot water, and an old school foot scraper;
22. They steam their face – Bringing a pan of water to a rolling boil, they place the pan onto a wood cutting board, drape a towel of their head while closing in the pan, creating a little tent, and they hover their face above the pan letting their skin soak up all the steam. This is also a very old trick to clear up sinuses when having a cold. I swear by this myself, it’s quite amazing, I do it once a week.
Okay so because I already know someone will try this somewhere, I googled the crap out of this method and finally found it on Livestrong.com where step-by-step images are included for those unfamiliar or unsure about this trick.