We probably would have labeled them as vain, but in ancient times men and women devoted great care to their bodies. Often it was a question of hygiene and therefore of health, as in the case of the Egyptians, sometimes it was a precise desire to present themselves at their best, as for the ancient Romans where even the soldiers massaged themselves with oils and lotions. And this last aspect made Pliny the Elder go into a shock when he learned it but, all in all, as Julius Caesar himself said, the Roman soldiers were perfumed, yes, but they fought well, very well. What is very fascinating when you study the ancient texts or can admire the ancient artifacts is the care that these peoples put into the making of cosmetics. Small alabaster jars contain ointments prepared by expertly mixing vegetable oils, such as sweet almond oil, much loved in ancient times, date oil and extra virgin olive oil, beeswax but also rose and lemon balm water. In fact, as the Greeks and Romans well knew, taking care of our body is a magical moment, practically a ritual, a pampering that drives away thoughts and worries. By closing our eyes while massaging an oil or ointment we can imagine that we are princes and princesses, out of time. Inspired by the ancient Romans but with an eye to the precious ingredients unknown at that time but very appreciated nowadays, let's see some ideas for making precious cosmetics for body care.
Coffee body scrub
Caffeine in coffee is one of the most popular ingredients in slimming products as it easily overcomes the skin barrier and benefits the tissues, carrying out a draining and antioxidant action. Not only that, caffeine prevents the accumulation of fat in the cells, by degrading it, and therefore is an aid in combating cellulite (Herman et al, Skin Pharmacol Physiol, 2013). For this reason, the coffee body scrub that we are going to prepare stimulates the microcirculation, removes dead cells in a very delicate way, leaving the skin soft and radiant, and is useful against cellulite and orange peel skin. In a bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of ground coffee, 1 tablespoon of coarse salt, 1 teaspoon of honey, which is soothing, and 3 tablespoons of sweet almond oil, which nourishes the skin and leaves it elastic, toned and soft. Apply the product on your legs with circular massages, then immerse yourself in a bath or shower to remove the scrub.
Slimming mud for belly and thighs
To prepare this mud we will use fucus seaweed powder, which is an alga that, when applied topically, stimulates the production of collagen in the tissues, leaving the skin soft and elastic (Fujimura et al , J Cosmet Sci, 2002). Not only that, the salt counteracts inflammation in the tissues, in fact cellulite is an inflammation of the subcutaneous tissues (Quist et al, Acta Derm Venereol, 2011).
Then, salt and clay help drain liquids and reshape the body (Beringhs et al, AAPS PharmasciTech, 2013). In a bowl, mix 100 grams of ventilated green clay and 10 grams of dried fucus algae powder, you can find it in herbalist's shops, online and in specialized stores. Separately, dissolve 1 tablespoon of sea salt in a couple of tablespoons of warm water. Pour the water into the bowl with the preparation and add more water to form a cream. Top with a tablespoon of sweet almond oil, which nourishes the skin, and mix. Apply to stomach and hips and wrap with a plastic wrap. Leave on for thirty minutes, then rinse.
Pamper the body for a soft and renewed skin
Sweet almond oil is emollient, makes the skin toned and renewed and fights stretch marks, rosehip oil is a powerful anti-aging and rejuvenating agent for the tissues and finally the wheat germ oil is rich in vitamins E and A and fights aging processes (Lin et al, Int J Mol Sci, 2018 - Gonzalez Manan et al, J Nutr, 2017). With these ingredients we will see how to prepare a real evening pampering for the body. Mix 4 tablespoons of sweet almond oil, 2 tablespoons of rosehip oil and 1 tablespoon of wheat germ oil. Mix well and keep in a closed jar in a cool place even for more than a month. Apply this prodigious anti-stretch mark, elasticizing and toning oil on the skin of the legs, stomach, hips, décolleté, arms and neck. You can perform this massage after a bath or shower, when the skin is damp, or after having sprinkled a floral water, such as rose water, on the skin, just like the ancient Romans did.