Living in the wonderful cultural melting pot that is Singapore exposes us to all the cool parenting styles, customs and traditions from around the globe, enabling us to pick up tips on everything from kid-wrangling, to fave recipes, and even beauty. Ever wondered how Japanese women appear not to age and Brazillians have amazing beach bodies? Well wonder no more for we have asked our mamas of the world for the secrets that keep them looking and feeling their very best. From Brazil to Morocco, India to Japan – here are our top 4 finds from afar.
ARGAN OIL – THE HAIR HERO
Used for centuries by the Berber women of Morocco, Argan Oil has become a modern day beauty must-have. Produced from the kernels of the Argan Tree that grows in semi-arid conditions in southwest Morocco, it is one of the rarest and most expensive oils on the market. No surprise then that it is being dubbed the ‘liquid gold’ of the beauty industry and is now one of the most sought after ingredients for skin and hair products around the world.
Containing 80 percent-unsaturated fatty acids, it works wonders on healing skin ailments like acne, eczema and burns. It also prevents stretch marks, is an anti-inflammatory, has sun-protective and disinfectant properties, and can protect against premature aging. With high levels of Vitamin E as well as loads of antioxidants, Argan Oil helps to neutralise free radical damage – a key function in today’s world, where we are over exposed to pollution and harmful chemicals. It also keeps hair and skin soft thanks to its high levels of sterolins that reduce inflammation and promote moisture retention.
And if that wasn’t enough, Argan Oil has the power to transform tresses by restoring, renewing and repairing. It stimulates growth, improves hair elasticity and hydrates to leave locks smooth and soft. Thanks to Omega 9 and Omega 3, it also helps strengthen hair by rebuilding its protein structures.
Try Redken’s new All Soft Argan-6 Oil – enriched with, you guessed it… Argan Oil, it’s instantly absorbed into the hair (meaning no nasty, greasy residue) and nourishes, strengthens, and improves elasticity – leaving you with nothing but luminous and luxuriously silky locks.
But it online here or at any L’Oreal accredited salon in Singapore.
COLLAGEN – THE WRINKLE REMOVER
Famed for their smooth skin and youthful complexion, the Japanese are always inventing new, innovative (and sometimes bizarre) ways of keeping young and beautiful. Although collagen has been used in anti-aging products for decades, how it is used is seriously changing. Most of us think of collagen coming in fillers or pills, but in Japan, it’s now being consumed as a drink. Woman across the country are boiling beef and chicken tendons to make their own beauty-boosting beverage. Unlike creams, which work solely on the epidermis (outer layer of skin), ingesting an ingredient works from the inside out to target the deeper layer of skin (the dermis).
Collagen is a protein that gives skin structural support and is key in maintaining firm, supple skin. It slows the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, improves elasticity and helps retain moisture. The good news is we naturally produce collagen. The bad news is that as we get older we produce less of it. Therefore, it’s no wonder the Japanese have developed yet another helping hand to keep them young and beautiful.
If boiling up beef is not quite for you, try the Premium White Collagen Drink. Containing marine collagen, glutathione and ceramides (as well as a host of vitamins) – it packs a punch compared to a regular collagen pill.
Buy it online here.
TURMERIC – THE SKIN SPICE
Turmeric is not just the secret to the perfect curry; it’s also the key to perfect skin. A natural anti-inflammatory loaded with antioxidants, it’s used in natural medicine to fight heart disease, reduce the risk of blood clots, slow the progression of Alzheimers, fight free radicals and the cell damage that can lead to cancer. In a nutshell, it is one super spice.
Used for thousands of years by Indian woman, not only in cooking but also in their beauty regimes, turmeric plays a vital role in the Indian wedding tradition of Haldi – where both the bride and the groom are covered with a paste made of turmeric the night before the big day. A natural emollient that is antibacterial and antiseptic, it helps reduce the signs of aging, fight blemishes, reduce pigmentation and even and brighten the complexion – making it the perfect pre-event skin saviour.
Fast becoming one of nature’s most in-demand ingredients in skincare, even actor Thandie Newton declared turmeric her “secret weapon” – revealing she mixes the spice with her face products to add a beauty boost. For a flawless face, turmeric is the ticket.
Spice it up with 3Lab’s Hydrating-Vita Cream, a vitamin-rich moisturising gel packed with potent antioxidants, essential nutrients and vitamins, and (of course) turmeric. It works like a dream on dehydrated skin – replacing dryness and moisture loss with hydrated healthiness.
Buy it online here.
ACAI – THE BEAUTY BERRY
Brazilians are known (and envied) around the world for their beauty, bodies and, of course, booties. So if you too want to look like Gisele (well, almost) then you need to make sure acai features in your diet and skincare. These dark purple Amazonian berries were used by indigenous tribes to treat ailments and provide nutrition (they are crammed with antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, protein, and omega fatty acids). They are now found in cosmetics around the world, and in almost every smoothie being sipped by a Brazilian beauty, due to their healing properties.
Not only are they amazing anti-agers, acai berries fight free radicals and inflammation due to the powerful antioxidant, anthocyanin (of which it has the most out of any other food — it’s 1000 times stronger in fact!). And if that wasn’t enough, acai berries also boost immunity, raise your metabolism and aid in digestion. These berries may be small, but they come with some seriously big beauty benefits.
The Kiehl’s Acai Damage Repairing Serum is an ultra-concentrated formula that is penetrated and absorbed quickly to repair tone, texture and elasticity damage caused by oxidization, sun exposure and external stress – all with a smoothing, light moisturisation.
Find your nearest Kiehl’s store here.