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5 Traditional Persian Beauty Secrets

1) Kiseh (کیسه حمام) & Sefidab (سفیداب)

Kiseh and sefidab are an essential part of the Iranian bath time routine. In use since antiquity, sefidab is a white-colored substance made of animal fat and naturally occurring minerals. Paired with a kiseh, scrubbing glove or mitt, sefidab is an excellent exfoliator and peel for the entire body. While showering, rub some sefidab on to your scrubbing mitt and thoroughly scrub the body removing dead skin and dirt. Use sefidab before washing up with soap or the effects will be diminished. The result is beautiful, smooth skin without spending a fortune at the spa.

2) Sedr (سدر)

This powder made from the leaves of the Lotus tree (Zizyphus) is an ancient natural shampoo and conditioner which strengthens hair and promotes it’s growth. Still in use in Iran today, sedr is  a great treatment for damaged and dandruff prone hair. Simply mix 2-4 tablespoons of the powder with water until it turns into a thick paste. Massage the mixture into your hair and scalp and let sit for at least an hour before rinsing out.

3) Pumice stone (سنگ پا)

Sang-e pah, as it is known in Persian, is an black volcanic rock used by Iranians to polish and exfoliate the feet. Use this pumice stone in the shower to remove callouses and dead skin revealing soft, salon ready feet.

4) Henna (حنا)

This natural dye made from the henna plant is widely used throughout the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. Iranian women love henna not just for the deep red hue it gives their hair but also for its healing properties. Henna is an excellent conditioner for the hair helping to lock in moisture resulting in a healthier, glossier head of hair.

5) Egg yolk (زرده تخم مرغ)

Wishing for shiny, silky hair? Look no further than your kitchen pantry. This old fashioned treatment is a cheap and easy way to increase volume and make hair softer and silkier. Beat together at least 2 egg yolks with a little olive oil and apply to the hair, leaving it on for 30-45 minutes before shampooing and conditioning as usual.

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Shirin Wertime

Shirin Wertime graduated from the College of William & Mary in the US with a degree in Government and French & Francophone Studies. As a 2010 Boren Critical Languages Scholar she spent one year studying Arabic in Syria and Morocco. Her study of languages and passion for travel have taken her to over 20 countries. Shirin is particularly interested in the Middle East and North Africa given her Iranian-American background and time spent living and studying in the Arab world. She hopes to pursue an internationally focused career in the realm of development and/or sustainability. ​

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