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3 Ancient Beauty Treatments That Have Stood The Test of Time

October 26, 2015

Chinese royalty relied on jade rolling for dynasty after dynasty to rid the body of bad Qi—and more importantly, to ease wrinkles and boost a beautiful complexion.

Haven’t heard of jade rolling? You’re not alone. Bizarre spa treatment trends come and go, but lately a slew of old school beauty boosting techniques have made their way back into the fold.

And if a method has been around for centuries, chances are it probably works pretty well. We’ve rounded up our absolute favorite techniques that have stood the test of time. These are the real deal—and definitely worth working into your daily beauty regimen.

Dry brushing

A favorite of contemporary naturopaths as a way to detox the body and even fight cellulite, dry brushing originated with athletes in Ancient Greece. Today, it’s used as a simple and inexpensive way to help exfoliate dead skin as well as boost circulation.

Start with dry skin, ideally before a shower or bath. Beginning at the feet and ankles, move a dry brush in gentle, upward strokes toward the heart. The bristles are soft enough that it shouldn’t be uncomfortable, but it’s important to have a light touch so skin isn’t aggravated. Move along all the limbs, torso, chest, and back, still brushing upwards.

The whole process should take a few minutes, and practitioners recommend using this time to meditate and appreciate the body—you’ll notice your skin flush and feel fresh after a dry brushing sesh, and this is the perfect time to hop in the shower and treat skin with natural moisturizers like coconut oil or jojoba oil for ultimate absorption.

Ayurvedic oil massage

Originally from the traditional Hindu healing practice of Ayurveda, the self-massage technique called abhyanga is believed to aid in detoxification, enhance vision, soften and smooth skin and wrinkles, and increase circulation.

Simply warm about a quarter cup of the oil of your choice—coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, and safflower oil are all recommended—and apply oil to the crown of your head. Start to gently massage and smooth into skin, adding more oil as you work the mixture through the scalp, onto the face, and all over your torso, arms, and legs. It can get a little messy, so maybe try standing in your bathtub as you work the oil in long strokes over your limbs and circular motions over the rest of your body.

Ayurvedic experts say to give yourself at least 15 minutes to complete the entire regimen, and then allow the oil to penetrate the skin and moisturize your complexion—but don’t worry, then you can hop into a hot shower to rinse off and emerge oil-free!

Jade rolling

The simple technique behind jade rolling—running what looks like a mini paint roller made out of the gemstone up and down and all over your face—made it a favorite of Chinese royalty, but its effectiveness is what makes it a favorite amongst today’s beauty bloggers.

The practice does what any other massage would do: Increases circulation, clears the lymphatic system, and releases areas of tension (think jawline and temples). But, the smooth surface of the jade roller protects sensitive skin while allowing you the benefits of a massage.

Use a jade roller under the eyes to make eye cream even more effective at removing fine lines and wrinkles. Apply your favorite lotion by dabbing with your ring finger (your weakest, and therefore the safest for under-eye skin) and work the cream into your skin by massaging with the jade roller. Not only will under-eyes look brighter and moisturized—any puffiness will diminish!

Photo credit: Alicia Cho

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Michelle Pellizzon

Certified health coach and endorphin enthusiast, Michelle is an expert in healthy living and eating. When she's not writing you can find her running trails, reading about nutrition, and eating lots of guacamole.

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