These five new products are inspired by some of Europe’s oldest beauty secrets, from lotions and potions to bathing rituals.
Secret: The Everlasting Flower
As legend has it, Greek goddess-queen Hera (wife of Zeus, king of gods; mother of Hebe, goddess of youth) coveted immortelle, grown in the ancient port city of Corinth. She believed it contained the elixir of youth, and she was on to something: its oil has strong anti-aging properties. Immortelle is now the active ingredient in Diptyque Art of Body Care Velvet hand lotion (diptyqueparis.com; $42).
Secret: Ancient Salve
Hand-mixed by monks, Fresh Creme Ancienne eye cream (800/373-7420; fresh.com); $95) is based on the Western world’s first skin cream, originally developed in second-century Rome to heal gladiator wounds. Key ingredients: soothing meadowfoam-seed oil and emulsifying beeswax to fight inflammation. The new formula also includes sugar apple–seed extract, which helps stimulate collagen production and is said to reduce wrinkles.
Secret: Thermal Waters
Icelanders are among the healthiest people in the world—and, yes, it’s in the water. The country is covered with mineral-rich geothermal hot springs. Detox on the go with Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloths (888/333-7596, skyniceland.com; Sephora, 877/737-4672, sephora.com; select Dillard’s stores, 800/345-5273, dillards.com; 877/551-7257, saks.com; $15), infused with healing glacial-river water, plus butterfly bush and thyme extracts.
Secret: Sweating It Out
Yael Alkalay’s holistic skin-care line takes its cue from the 1,400-year-old sauna tradition, sourcing all-natural ingredients from Finland. The Red Flower Essential Omega Fresh Berry-Oil serum (Red Flower, New York City; 212/966-5301; redflower.com; $48), rich in antioxidants and fatty acids, restores elasticity; massage it into your pulse points for an aromatic boost that’s the next best thing to an afternoon of shvitzing.
Secret: Bespoke Formulas
In the 1920’s, London-based homeopath Madame Lubatti started developing face products and treatments for London socialites such as Vivien Leigh. Thanks to celebrity facialist Tracey Malone (whose mother trained with her in the 60’s), Lubatti’s secret recipes—including the Lubatti Gorgeous Day moisturizer (Space NK; 212/941-4222; spacenk.com; $38) with honey and almond oil—live on.