Revealed! The World's Best Beauty Secrets

The impact of the international beauty market on global trends is hardly subtle. But, while women around the world may swear by MAC lipstick or Clinique moisturizer, the beauty products made in their own countries remain cult favorites for those in the know.
Women consider certain products to be essential depending on how their culture defines beauty and what the local resources are. So, while a common Australian fruit might be touted as the ultimate miracle ingredient for women in Brisbane, for many French women, the secret to absolute beauty comes in the form of a whole bunch of acids rolled into one legendary lotion. And that's just the beginning. Though we might never hear some of these brands talked about outside of their country of origin, the women who use them are devoted to them.
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Never ones to miss out on anything with a cult following, we did our homework and found out what women from around the world say is the absolute best makeup, skincare, or hair product out there— and what we found had us yearning to pack our bags and get our hands on all of it. Luckily, it's all available online. Though, there's just something about buying Icelandic silica mud in a tube that doesn't sound as life-changing as taking a dip in the Blue Lagoon it comes from. But we guess we could be convinced to settle...for now.
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Illustrated by Austin Watts.
Australia

The 100-year-old formula of Lucas' Papaw Ointment has remained unchanged since its discovery. Derived from hand-selected fruit of locally grown papaw trees, it helps heal all sorts of skin woes such as minor burns, cuts, dry skin, and even insect bites. Those who have used it say it works miracles. It's hard to come by outside of Australia, but you can contact Lucas' Papaw to order it directly from their factory.

Lucas' Papaw Ointment, contact info@lucaspapaw.com.au for more information.
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Illustrated by Austin Watts.
Iceland

You could travel to Iceland for a dip in the famous Blue Lagoon…or you could order this silica mud and still reap the legendary skincare benefits. Made with white silica mud from the geothermal water of the lagoon, this mask deep cleans and exfoliates — and it's the real deal. Though the lagoon is actually man-made, its geothermal water contains such a high level of minerals that it has very real dermatological results.

Blue Lagoon Silica Mud Mask, $100, available at Blue Lagoon.
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Illustrated by Austin Watts.
Israel

Israeli women swear by one thing to get their hair gorgeous: moisturizing cream. Even women with hair on the oily side of things say they use this moisturizer to make their hair healthy and shiny. Very shiny. Made with natural oils, this one-step haircare product is a go-to for Israeli women who want their beauty routine to be simple and effective.

Natural Formula Hair Moisturizer, $11.99, available at Israeli Products.
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Illustrated by Austin Watts.
Mexico

IM mascara, which some Mexican women say is the best in the world, is hard to find unless you're in the country. But, at around $1.50 USD each at Mexican markets, it's worth a binge-buy. It's made with mamey seed oil, which is rumored to be an all-natural way to get your lashes to grow. It's enriched with vitamin E, and is also waterproof.

IM Rimel de Hueso de Mamey, $7.50, available at Amazon.
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Illustrated by Austin Watts.
Morocco

Argan oil has recently gained international attention as the latest magic beauty ingredient, but for Moroccan women, it's an old standby. Locally made from kernels of argan trees, which thrive uniquely in this country, argan oil nourishes and rejuvenates both skin and hair. Tiyya is a favorite luxury brand among women in Morocco. The new global demand for argan oil has created jobs for women, who work in cooperatives to produce it.

Tiyya Argan Oil, email Tiyya at contact@edm.ma for retail prices and locations.
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Illustrated by Austin Watts.
New Zealand

While you probably aren't dying to get stung by a bee, women in New Zealand are reaping the beauty benefits of bee venom. Purified bee venom, harvested without harming the little bees, has anti-aging properties and helps prevent acne (though obviously if you're allergic to bees, this isn't for you). Manuka Doctor, a New Zealand-based company, has a range of products for various skin types and issues — hence the buzz on this line.

Manuka Doctor ApiClear Moisturizing Lotion, $39.90, available at Manuka Doctor.
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Illustrated by Austin Watts.
Japan

Japanese women may have found the secret to dealing with tired skin, and it's somewhere between a facial and face massage. Handheld rollers allow people to massage their own faces, and apparently, it stimulates circulation, which helps to liven skin back up. Regardless, it seems like a great way to rub away the stress without transferring oils from one's hand. We're going to look into keeping these at our desks.

KAI Japanese Facial Massage Roller, $12.95, available at Amazon.
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Illustrated by Austin Watts.
South Africa

A high concentration of vitamin A allows Environ Skincare products to work — well, we're not going to say wonders, but it's somewhere in the this-is-amazing vicinity. Developed in Cape Town, South Africa, by a doctor studying skin cancer, Environ has gained a cult following for its sheer effectiveness. The eye cream, in particular, has won several awards for the way it softens the appearance of fine lines and firms up the skin. While you can't get it online, it's sold at dermatologist offices in the U.S. Email them for help finding a retailer — it's definitely worth that extra step.

Environ Skincare, contact Dermaconcepts.com to find a retailer.
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Illustrated by Austin Watts.
France

It's no secret that when it comes to beauty, French women do it right. This super popular product is evidence: Lotion P50 has been praised for its ability to clear up breakouts and maintain even, clear skin. Though it doesn't smell all that wonderful, the results are transformative. With an ingredient list boasting an impressive amount of acne-fighting acids, it's been said to do everything from reducing pore size to healing cystic pimples and erasing blackheads. Magnifique.

Biologique Recherche P50 Lotion, $57, available at Biologique Recherche.
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Illustrated by Austin Watts.
Thailand

Think the hippy-dippy crowd developed crystal deodorants? Think again — Thai people were on to it before everyone else. This Thai-manufactured product has been praised by customers and cancer centers alike as an effective, body-safe alternative to aluminum deodorant. People who use it call it life-changing. Made of all-natural mineral salts, it prevents odor-causing bacteria from forming on the skin. It's not an antiperspirant, though, so you may need to deal with a little dampness.

Crystal Deodorant Rock, $6.39, available at Live Super Foods.
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Illustrated by Austin Watts.
United Kingdom

Women in the United Kingdom rave about Liz Earle's Hot Cloth Cleanser, a two-step cleansing process. It involves a creamy cleanser that, despite being extremely gentle, removes basically all traces of makeup. It's followed by a "polishing" step with a hot muslin cloth. The product has eucalyptus and cocoa butter in it, so it leaves skin feeling soft and smooth. Liz Earle herself has said that this would be her desert island essential. The U.K. isn't exactly a desert island, but if it were, the women there would be all set.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, $9-$114, available at Liz Earle.
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