The Return Of Ancient Beauty Rituals



In our fast-paced, tech-heavy lifestyles, ancient beauty rituals have become the way of slowing down and living mindfully. Learn more about the beauty rituals you can incorporate into your life…


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Hair oiling, gua sha, and dry body brushing are among some of the most viral beauty rituals currently circulating on social media. You can find countless videos by influencers detailing the benefits of these rituals both for beauty and mental wellness. But while their recent popularity has been credited to social media, these beauty rituals have ancient roots, having been practiced across cultures for a millenia. For gen Z, the appeal of these rituals lie in the very fact that they were once used by their ancestors. Once has to wonder, why is it that at a time when technological and scientific advancements have provided us with a vast array of beauty treatments, do we still yearn for those practices of the past?

The answer could be that these treatments are so effective that they cannot be replaced. There is also evidence to support the fact that these treatments are sustainable and ecologically friendly. But most of all, the resurgence of these ancient beauty rituals is a sign that our society craves the intuitive and simpler ways of living that slow down our fast-paced lives. We have broken down below the four most viral ancient beauty rituals and their benefits, both for physical appearance and mental wellness. 




The history of Dry brushing extends back to ancient Egypt, becoming adopted along the way into traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda practices of the Indian subcontinent. The ritual involves brushing a coarse, natural fiber brush over the body in a particular pattern. The idea is that the coarse fibers will remove dead skin and improve skin’s ability to eliminate toxins through the pores. The brush stimulates the pores, which makes it easier for the body to sweat out toxins flowing through the lymphatic system.

 Often dry brushing can be a relaxing, stress-relieving activity as it eases tension in the body. 



Gua shas is one of the oldest forms of ancient Chinese medicine recorded, used to give massages to the ill. The Gua sha is a smooth-edged gem tool used to gently scrape the skin. The use of it on one’s face helps relieve tension, puffiness, inflammation and even sinus pressure. Enthusiasts swear that regular use of a gua sha to massage face has made skin plumper, and firm. It boosts collagen and enhances the absorption of skincare serum. 

It is also believed connected to lowering stress and promoting mindfulness in users. 




Hair oiling is a practice in the Indian subcontinent that has been practiced for ages. The treatment involves oils being massaged into the scalp. It is typically done before showering or bed time. The ritual will reduce dryness and give hair the moisture and nourishment it needs. There are a variety of oils that can be used, sesame oil is recommended for colder seasons, and coconut oil for hotter seasons. In ancient ayurveda, from which hair oiling is derived, the practice is believed to activate the seventh chakra, which is connected to the calmness of the mind. 



Another popular hair-care treatment from ancient times is the use of rice water for hair growth. This treatment has a long history of use in Korea and Japan. Rice water is the starchy leftover after rice has been washed. The water contains a variety of nutrients such as amino acids, vitamin E, vitamin B and antioxidants. In ancient east Asia, women bathed their hair in rice water to keep it long and prevent graying . In recent years, a similar practice has taken beauty influencers by storm.


We have much to learn from these ancient beauty rituals. They emphasize mindfulness and intuitive living, while showing us how much nature provides for us. In a way, they are a means by which we can learn to balance and reconnect with what really matters. It is unclear if these ancient beauty rituals are just another social media trend that will be forgotten in a week, or if they are here to stay. Regardless, their resurgence in current times is a testament to the fact that culture and the rites of our ancestors are coded into us and will always prevail. 


+ Highlight Image: © Chris Jarvis via Unsplash

+ Words

Liza Silva
Luxiders Magazine