Russian Family Beauty Secrets: Beer Hair Masks and Fruity Facials
There's more to generational beauty than inheriting your mom's beautiful eyes and charming smile. For many Russian women, their moms and grandmothers have played a significant role in their beauty routine by sharing the skincare, haircare, and wellness secrets their family has been using for decades.
Rumore asked three Russian women currently living in the United States about the influence the female figures in their lives had on their beauty regimens—and what Russian beauty treatments they still use and love to this day. Here's what they had to say:
My mom washed her hair and put makeup on every morning: foundation, black eyeliner, and a red lip. Full-on glam, just to go to work at a local store! I also learned from my mom that kitchen ingredients could double as beauty products, as she put a lot of food items on her face and hair as masks:
- Beer Hair Mask
Not many people outside of Russia use beer as a hair product, but we do! Mix beer and egg yolk and massage the mixture in your hair. Leave it in for ten minutes, then wash off with regular shampoo and conditioner. Your hair will be straighter and shinier.
- Sour Cream Mask
Sour cream calms the skin, so if you have a sunburn, it will act as a calming agent. Put sour cream on where your skin feels dry or peels and leave it on for 20 minutes. If the skin absorbs most of it, just wipe off the rest.
- Strawberry Face Mask
My mom swears by this one; she says it helps with the anti-aging process. Mush some strawberries into a bowl, add some sour cream, and leave the mixture on your face for 15 minutes. Rinse your face with water, and then follow with my moisturizer.
- Julia's Favorite to Reduce Eye Puffiness
Make 1/2 cup of breakfast/black tea, and let it cool off.
Moisten two cotton balls in the tea and put them on your eyes.
Keep still for 15 minutes, remove the cotton balls, and then prepare to be amazed at how the puffiness is gone.
My mom always used natural ingredients from our garden to take care of her skin. For example, when making a salad for dinner, she would put aside cucumbers to cleanse and tone her skin and strawberries as a mask to give her skin a boost of nutrients. I also remember that we went to our own Russian banya and washed hair with Borodinski bread (Russian dark sourdough rye bread), rinsed with apple cider vinegar or nettle decoction. We did a variety of face masks, too! For example, to cleanse and reduce the appearance of pores, we turned to egg whites or yeast-based masks. In banya, we loved putting honey on our face and body as a natural nourishing mask. Sometimes we did a gentle body scrub with grounded coffee, too.
My grandma's 82 years old and has gorgeous skin and hair. Her beauty secrets have worked wonders for her, and I follow them consistently.
- For Soft and Smooth Skin…
Exfoliate your skin regularly with sugar or salt by mixing it into your favorite moisturizer and rubbing it onto your skin after taking a shower. It acts as an abrasive layer that removes dirt and grime from your skin. You can also mix sugar into honey, rub it onto your skin, and leave it on as a mask for 10-15 mins. Do it two or three times a week for best results. Use fine salt or sugar for your face and neck and a grainy one for your body.
- For Soft Hair…
Use oil to moisturize and condition. Massage your scalp using any oil before washing your hair. Let the oil sit for an hour or so, so your hair can soak in all the goodness. Finally, wash your hair with organic hair soap or another natural shampoo. Organic shampoo bars are ideal as a clean and healthy hair cleanser. I use store-made natural, non-toxic products for my own. Be sure to skip the conditioner—the oil massage is enough to condition your hair.
- For Fresh Skin…
Rub fresh strawberry onto your skin and let it dry. Wash off after 20 minutes for a fresh feel. Use your favorite moisturizer after. If you don't have strawberries, you're in luck: you can mash up any fruit and apply it on your face. As my grandma says, "If you enjoy it, your skin will enjoy it."
Rumore Beauty FAQ: Before you give these DIY treatments a try at home, consider consulting with your dermatologist. Or, at the very least, conduct a patch test to ensure the specific ingredient(s) won't irritate your skin upon application. Even though these creative Russian family beauty secrets work wonders for our interviewees, this doesn't necessarily mean they will do the same for your skin.