Chances are, you have a blurry memory tucked in a corner of your mind of your grandmother lining her eyes with kohl or adorning her hands or hair with henna.
You might have also noticed that these age-old ingredients have made a comeback in recent years—just take Azra’s contemporary henna work as an example.
But henna and kohl are just two of the region’s many cosmetic traditions. If you’re looking to revamp your beauty routine, it’s time to dig deep into Arab culture. There’s more for you to take on:
Here, we’ve rounded up the best:
Rose water instead of micellar water
Not only does it have cleansing powers, rose water is also a natural toner and hydrating ingredient for an extra-glowy skin.
Green soap to get rid of dead skin
This vegetable oil-based soap is indispensable in hammams. It’s best to use before exfoliating your body and face.
Hummus for face masks
Yes, hummus is a potent ingredient that can reduce redness, inflammation and diminish the appearance of age spots. A hummus and rose water face mask is a definite must-try.
Tfal or rhassoul for super slick hair
The North African clay can be used in place of shampoo or conditioner. It’s loved for its moisturising and straightening powers.
Henna as a hair dye
Henna might have been popularized globally as a body adornment, but its heritage doesn’t stop there. The powder has long been used to add a red tone to the hair.
‘3oksa’ to keep your hair intact
Popular in North Africa, ‘3oksa’ is the practice of wrapping a piece of stretchy fabric (typically a pantyhose) around the hair to minimize frizz.
Extra virgin olive oil for moisturizing hair
A well-kept Mediterranean secret, olive oil makes a perfect ultra-nourishing hair mask – apply it on the hair for 20 minutes.
DIY dye for dark hair
Mix a couple crushed cloves and oak galls (small balls from oak trees used historically to make ink) with water and have yourself your own black hair dye.
Cloves as a natural perfume
No chemicals needed, just use a crushed clove.
Prickly pear to get rid of your under-eye circles
It also includes Vitamin K, which helps even out skin tones.
Main image: @emnitta