8 Skincare Secrets From Around the World
As a makeup artist and natural beauty expert, Lina Hanson has made it her mission to seek skincare secrets from women around the world. She travels not only for inspiration, but to deepen her ever-expanding encyclopedia of beauty knowledge, taking care to get to know the ingredients and rituals unique to each place she visits.
Born and raised in Sweden, Hanson credits her native country with her love of all things nature, though she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in beauty and has since worked with celebs like Natalie Portman, Naomi Watts, and Brooke Shields.
The idea that good skincare is a product of modern civilization is absurd to Hanson. Throughout time, women have had the same skin ailments we have today, but sought natural ways to deal with them, she says, using ingredients derived from the earth.
“Today, the Western world has come so far from (natural ingredients) that we are using beauty products that have been mass-produced in factories and often contain unnecessary fillers and toxins,” Hanson said.
To get back to basics, we asked Hanson to take us on a beauty tour of her favorite destinations by revealing the skincare secrets of the women who live there.
“Thanaka powder comes from the bark and roots of the Thanaka tree in Myanmar,” Hanson said. “In Burmese culture, its use dates back 2,000 years. The paste is often applied in circular patches or stripes on the cheeks and nose, and it’s one of the oldest Burmese beauty secrets. Thanaka is an anti-bacterial, antioxidant agent that helps clear acne and congested skin. Burmese women also use it as sunblock as it cools and calms sunburned skin.”
Pure Thanaka Powder
Mix the powder with water or honey, apply it to your face as a mask, and wash it off after 20 minutes.
To buy: amazon.com, $13
Lina Hanson Global Face Trio
This multipurpose powder — enriched with Thanaka, ginseng, ricebran, and lemongrass — can be used as a cleanser, exfoliator, or a mask.
To buy: ahalife.com, $70
Siam Seas Turmeric & Thanaka Facial Scrub and Cleanser
“The baobab tree is often called ‘the tree of life.’ It contains high levels of calcium and vitamin C and it has been used in Africa to keep skin soft, smooth, and hydrated for centuries,” Hanson said. “An important aspect of this oil is that it’s harvested by women’s collectives in southern Africa and their earnings help their families and entire communities.”
Organic Baobab Seed Oil
This 100 percent pure and cold pressed oil moisturizes and softens the skin — preventing stretch marks and skin irritations like eczema, and reducing wrinkles and fine lines.
To buy: amazon.com, $22
ColorProof Baobab Heal Repair Conditioner
To keep the color of your hair from fading and to give it some extra heat protection, use baobab oil–infused conditioner.
To buy: amazon.com, $50
“Camellia oil or Tsubaki comes from the plant of the Camellia Oleifera and has been the beauty secret of the geishas due to its brightening and anti-aging effects on the skin. It is high in oleic acids and is used in Japan for the body, hair, and skin,” Hanson said.
Lina Hanson Global Body Serum
This healthy blend of hydrating and nourishing oils sourced from around the world will keep your skin moisturized and smooth.
To buy: ahalife.com, $63
Elemis Japanese Camellia Oil Blend
Rich in plant collagen, this camellia oil blend is perfect for your skin, hair, and nails.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $56
Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil
This two-in-one makeup remover and cleanser gets rid of impurities and leaves your skin clean and silky soft.
To buy: sephora.com, $15
“The Kalahari Melon grows in the Kalahari Desert and has been used by the nomadic San people to quench their thirst in the dry desert. The oil has been highly prized in Namibia for thousands of years for its hydrating benefits on the skin,” Hanson said. “It’s also used to relieve inflammation and irritation, as well as reduce the appearance of wrinkles.”
Slice of Nature Kalahari Melon Seed Oil
The high content of fatty acids in this oil makes it ideal for dry skin.
To buy: sliceofnature.com, $18
Hask Protection Shine Oil Vial
Hair gets easily damaged when it’s color-treated. This leave-in treatment locks in moisture and prevents your color from fading.
To buy: amazon.com, $5
“Crushed pearls have been used and cherished by Chinese women for thousands of years, both internally and externally,” Hanson said. “It is rich in amino acids and is known to regenerate collagen, accelerate new skin growth, and increase elasticity. No wonder Chinese women have a clear, porcelain-like complexion.”
Lina Hanson Global Treasures
This blend of matcha green tea, pearl, coffee, and gold (no kidding) is packed with antioxidants and rejuvenates skin cells.
To buy: ahalife.com, $105
Sephora Collection Pearl Face Mask
This brightening mask contains natural white pearl and broccoli extract to even out skin tone.
To buy: sephora.com, $6
“Turmeric is a powerful root that is packed with nutrients and anti-septic properties and has been used by Indian women for centuries to care for their skin and hair. It’s often used in an Indian wedding ceremony called ‘Haldi’ where the bride applies turmeric paste to her face and body to make her skin bright and glowing,” Hanson said.
Opa Toothbar Turmeric Tooth Soap
Turmeric whitens teeth naturally without damaging their enamel. This toothpaste alternative is fluoride-free and will leave your teeth clean and shiny.
To buy: amazon.com, $15
Passport to Organics Clear Face Turmeric Cream Cleanser
This paraben-free turmeric cleanser fights blemishes and will moisturize your skin, too. It is also good for sensitive skin as turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties.
To buy: amazon.com, $24
Vya Naturals Turmeric Face Scrub
Mix one teaspoon of this dry face scrub with milk or yogurt to form a paste and apply on your face as a mask or scrub. This is a great treatment for acne-prone skin.
To buy: amazon.com, $12
“Thai people use a lot of lemongrass in their cooking, but the women also use it to detoxify their skin,” Hanson said. “The most popular way to use it is adding the stalks to hot, boiling water and steaming the face. Lemongrass is anti-bacterial and has a stimulating effect on the skin, and is also loved for its uplifting and balancing aroma.”
Artizen Lemongrass Essential Oil
Lemongrass oil can be used in your home diffuser. It helps relieve mental fatigue and nervousness.
To buy: amazon.com, $9
PLANT RE: Fresh Organic Toning/Hydrating Mist
This natural toner is a great pick-me-up for your skin during the day and an essential part of your three-step daily skincare routine (cleanse, tone, moisturize).
To buy: target.com, $10
Primal Pit Paste All Natural Lemongrass Deodorant
Lemongrass has odor-fighting properties and that’s why it’s a good natural ingredient for deodorants.
To buy: amazon.com, $13
“Birch trees are found in many forests throughout Sweden. It’s been regarded as a medicinal plant for thousands of years,” Hanson said. “It protects the skin from bacterial infections as well as reduces wrinkles. Its astringent properties are known to tighten sagging skin. The essential oil can be added to purified water to use as a natural skin toner.”
Birch Essential Oil
Birch oil supports muscle and joints and its minty aroma promotes a feeling of vitality and strength.
To buy: amazon.com, $10
Weleda Birch Cellulite Oil
This oil treatment contains birch leaf extract as well as apricot and jojoba oils to nourish and smooth skin.
To buy: amazon.com, $17