If you were in Russia, your day would probably begin and end with vodka, which is called upon for everything from rinsing the mouth to curing hair loss. Translating as “little water” or “dear water” in Russian, this crystal clear liquid was invented in 1503 by Kremlin monks who used it as a topical antiseptic and cure-all drink. The tradition continues till date – which can be a little weirdness-inducing at first glance. Then you see the zillion beauty benefits and figure that it’s simply like the French love for wine… cheers!
On this trip to Moscow and Samara, I pestered scores of women for traditional vodka-based beauty recipes. So, save a few sips of this potent alcohol for absolute (Absolut?) miracles on your face. And hair. And every other pore of your body. Salud!
Vodka’s beauty benefit #1: Astringent action
Mix equal amounts of vodka and water, then apply with a cotton ball to your face as an astringent. It will cleanse the skin and tighten pores.
Vodka’s beauty benefit #2: Ole’s firming ice cube treatment
This one comes straight from beauty guru Ole Henriksen and is perfect for tightening pores and firming the skin. All you need is equal amounts of fresh lemon juice, strongly brewed rose hips tea, strongly brewed mint tea and vodka. Blend all ingredients together and pour into an ice cube tray. When frozen, wrap an ice cube in a thin cotton handkerchief and rub across the entire face and throat for 2-5 minutes. Ice brings down the bloat, while vodka and lemon juice tighten pores and brighten the skin. Rose hip tea calms any inflammation and mint tea promotes micro-circulation to impart a healthy glow.
Vodka’s beauty benefit #3: Go frizz-free
Roughed up cuticles? Zero-shine strands? Add a shot of vodka to your deep conditioner. It will lower hair’s pH, helping the cuticles to close – and sealed cuticles mean reduced frizz and tons of shine.
Vodka’s beauty benefit #4: Clarifying rinse
Mix a mug of water with a tablespoon of vodka and use it as a final rinse after shampooing and conditioning. Perfect for removing product buildup from the scalp and strands, making hair lustrous and shiny!
Vodka’s beauty benefit #5: Diminish dandruff
Flaky scalp spoiling your beauty cred? Add three teaspoons of dried rosemary to a cup of vodka and leave overnight. Next day, strain the solution and massage it into your scalp. Leave for half an hour, then wash off with cold water.
Mix a tablespoon of organic honey and onion juice in a jigger of vodka and apply on your scalp. Leave it on your hair overnight and wash off in the morning. Vodka cleanses the scalp, removes toxins from hair and stimulates the growth of healthy tresses.
Vodka’s beauty benefit #7: Bust foot odour
Simply rub each foot with a shot-worth of vodka. Goodbye, funky odour!
Vodka’s beauty benefit #8: Ban bad breath
Swish around half a shot’s worth of vodka in your mouth for a minute and your breath will go from poor to pleasant.
Vodka’s beauty benefit #9: Cold sores
Apply a dab of vodka on a cold sore to dry it out.
Vodka’s beauty benefit #10: Poison ivy
Pour a bit of vodka on a poison ivy rash to help relieve itching – it removes the urushiol oil that causes this problem.
Vodka’s beauty benefit #11: Smooth shave
An uber-smooth shave begins with an uber-clean razor. So, soak your blade in a cup of vodka after shaving. Vodka will prevent it from getting rusty and clear any bacterial buildup.