I think by now that everyone knows I love to travel. And on those trips I’m always covertly occupied with skincare. What do they sell, what do people use on the other side of the World, which beauty secrets do you encounter?
In recent years I have been focusing my attention more and more on natural ingredients. And also on centuries old skincare rituals that we don’t know, or have forgotten, about here. I am becoming increasingly convinced that we should be doing much more with all of that ancient knowledge. Not only because I am passionate about it, but also because we need to find alternatives to things like antibiotics and corticosteroids which, I feel, are too readily turned to for skin problems. As well as this, most of that long standing knowledge has not been recorded anywhere, just passed on verbally from generation to generation. And now that the youth are fleeing en masse from the villages for the city, part of that knowledge threatens to be lost. A great shame!
I had a conversation once with a botanist in Kenya who, for this very reason, was working on a book about the vast knowledge medicine men have. He told me that if elephants get wounded they rub themselves against a specific tree. It has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. That’s fascinating isn’t it? Can we use that in cosmetics too?
And did you perhaps see anything about my working visit to a family of botanists in Bali?
I flew to Mexico recently. Spoke about old cultures and unique rituals… The land of the Maya, the Incas and the Aztecs. Wow! Believe you me, many beauty secrets lie buried there.
It was a truly amazing trip. I went out with biologists. We visited various medicinal gardens where they are trying to preserve the knowledge of the Maya. I visited wonderful cenotes, these are beautiful deep, sometimes underground, lakes. The cenotes were a holy place for the Maya and both the algae and the water itself were used for their special properties. I also saw and learned a lot about the effects of the honey from the Melipona beechei in Mexico, about special clay packs and the use of a special type of resin (copal). It’s all very interesting. And oh yes, I went into a traditional sweat lodge and experienced all sorts of rituals with shamans…
So stay tuned, you can see and read all about it soon.