The cult of healthy lifestyles in harmony with nature is becoming a real obsession for many people, about to change completely our perception of what is useful and … beautiful.
No wonder that more and more Bulgarian women prefer to entrust their beauty to natural cosmetic products, or so called organic or bio cosmetics, that is supposedly free of suspicious chemical substances that are harmful for the body.
It happens that we are even ready to roll up our sleeves at home and mix the ointments listed in the beauty recipes of our grandmothers. And they knew very well the beneficial properties of herbs, fruits, flowers and essential oils on the human body. It is from these old recipes for health and beauty that some of Bulgarian modern cosmetic companies draw ideas for their products that are in no way inferior in quality to those of the most famous brands in the world.
An infusion of nettle for shiny hair, thyme infused with red wine against hair loss, a mask with cucumbers after burning, lemon juice to bleach stains on the face, olive oil, rose water, beeswax or parsley for dehydrated skin … The list is endless and contains all sorts of “tricks” used by our grandmothers to look fresh and irresistibly attractive after a hard day of work in the fields or cooking at home.
Nowadays these old recipes are increasingly used in the emerging new sector of the cosmetic industry – that of organic products. “Unlike conventional creams, lotions, ointments and other products which contain a bunch of unhealthy chemicals, natural products made in Bulgaria are clean and have a beneficial effect on the skin and body”, explains Emil Glushkov, manager of a Bulgarian cosmetics company.
What is more, the recipes that our grannies used to make organic products have become tremendously popular among foreigners. Commercially available creams based on rose oil (atar of roses), lavender, calendula, etc., are extremely well sold, merchants say. The reason is the excellent quality and the much lower price than the hugely advertised foreign products of the same class. According to Emil Glushkov, biocosmetics has another major advantage:
“The bottom line is that God has given us many herbs and we rank among the first in Europe in the production of herbs. Due to the fact that we still have green areas, we can use this wealth to create some really high-quality products. There are companies on the market that make no compromises in this regard.”
The most popular natural ingredient in Bulgarian cosmetics is undoubtedly the famous Bulgarian oil-yielding rose with its unique energizing and rejuvenating properties. There is hardly any Bulgarian cosmetic company that offers no creams, lotions, or shampoos with rose water or oil extracted from this rose species that grows only in the Valley of Roses. And what about the Pomorie healing mud that is used as the basic ingredient in a number of organic beauty products that have been patented by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences? The beneficial health and beauty properties of the mud extracted near Pomorie, combine with a bunch of typically Bulgarian grasses and essential oils. Emil Glushkov’s company has hired two elderly women with good knowledge in herbalism and folk medicine.
“Our books of cosmetic recipes are prepared on the basis of their experience. Combining them with modern technology, we are able to create excellent products”, the manager of the company says. Radio Bulgaria’s reporter Veneta Nikolova asked him to tell us which are the typically Bulgarian ingredients that are part of the beauty recipes of his company.
Bulgarian essential oils are used in most kinds of cosmetic products”We use sakaz which was once sold as chewing gum. Our cream with the so-called “white chewing gum” is universal, it hydrates the exhausted skin and absorbs rapidly, improving the skin’s elasticity. The combination of ingredients is really important. We also use parsley, marigold, yarrow, etc. – all these herbs are widely used in folk medicine and cosmetics. In general, granny’s recipes are connected with everything that was easily available to Bulgarian women. These include, for example, herbs against rashes, burns and wounds. With them, women prepared ointments, adding honey, wax, etc. All these are ingredients taken from the Bulgarian nature and they are absorbed by the cell up to 90%. And this is very important for achieving the desired effect.”