Individuals in developed countries take for granted the basic necessities they have easy access to at their fingertips. During travels to various countries to practice new language skills, I am always amazed by the differences in cultures even for the most simple of processes. Facial care is practiced all over the world for example, but how it is accomplished depends a lot on where you are.
Climatic differences in locales is one of the reasons why you will find diversity in skin and facial care around the globe. People in consistently cold climates for example have to take care of the skin differently than those who live in hot and humid areas. Another reason behind the diversity is the availability of products used for cleaning the skin and face. Underdeveloped countries tend to take from the earth in order to take care of the body. For example, in Latin American countries people will pick a pacti from a locally grown shrub. When you peel away the hard brown outer covering you find what the western world would call a luffa. Yet this is an all natural beauty product that is used to clean the pores on the body and face in most parts of Central America.
Another example of this is found in Japan with the konjac sponge. Like the pacti, a konjac sponge is taken from a plant, yet this time the root. When cleaned, it makes an ideal sponge for applying soap to the face gently and cleansing the pores. This has also made its way to the western world commercially and can now be found for sale by many major beauty supply companies.
If you travel to China you will find that many women practice basic massage techniques along with their face cleansing rituals. This is supposed to help in keeping the skin supple and youthful even after middle age. Travel to Africa and you find that women are using harsh products to lighten the color of their skin as a part of their skin care routines.
Skin Care Transcends to Men in Some Cultures
One of the most interesting discoveries was made in India, where the men take great pride in their appearance. To avoid shiny or oily skin, men will apply talcum powder to their face. They also have adopted the western habit of using exfoliating products to even the skin tone and prevent acne break outs.
One of the many benefits of learning multiple languages is that you are given the privilege of learning multiple cultures. Take the time to spend time immersed in various local cultures and you will learn a lot about the world we live in, and how we have adapted ancient and rural practices into our western way of life.