Some of these have been working for Greek women for years. I’ve tried them all, and they work for me, too. For this reason, I invite you to try any and all of them. These are not tips I got out of a magazine, or off some website. Some of them I learned from my mom, others from talking to other women who live here. A couple of them are based on my own common sense. Ok, ready? Go.
1. Olive Oil
When it comes to food fat, I only use olive oil. I don’t use butter, or vegetable oil, or corn oil, or any other type of oil. Olive oil is filled with vitamins that help you live long and look good. I cook with it and drizzle it over things raw. It’s obviously the base for every dressing and used plentifully in lots of sauces and dips. I love olive oil.
There is no better moisturizer for your skin and hair. F does her own pedicure with a mix of olive oil, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Her feet are like velvet. It’s better than any chemical-based scrubs they’ll use on your feet at the local nail salon.
I also put it in my hair, when it’s dry. If you want a quick and amazing hair mask, smash some avocado into some olive oil and apply to your hair for ten minutes. It’ll leave your hair so shiny, you’ll blind people when you toss it.
Greek yogurt is filled with protein and other things that make it amazing for your body. But it’s also incredible for your skin – especially during the summer – especially after a sun burn. Yogurt is the official home remedy for burns ’round these parts. You can mix it with honey and put it on your face for a soothing mask. Honey is an incredible moisturizing agent. Ten minutes and you’ll notice the difference. If you don’t want to rub the yogurt and honey on your face, and prefer to eat it instead, that’s ok. In that case, add walnuts. Trust me.
3. Mediterranean Diet
I eat locally grown fruits and vegetables that I purchase from the local farmer’s market. I only buy it and eat it if it’s in season. That means I’m no longer eating pears and apples so much. Strawberries and other berries are ok. Cherries are just coming out. Soon we’ll have peaches and apricots and sweet plums…melons…watermelons.
Fish is so unbelievably good for your everything – skin, eyes, memory. Thessaloniki is a port city so…we eat lots and lots of fish.
Eating right helps.
4. Sea Salt
Use it when you’re soaking the olives you’re looking to pickle. Eat the olives. Those are good for you, too.
Obviously use it to flavor all of the gorgeous vegetables you’re eating. Raw or roasted.
And use it as a scrub. It exfoliates dead skin, and leaves your skin feeling tight and lovely.
Drink lots of water. This keeps your skin hydrated and helps you detox throughout the day.
Bartenders will always serve a glass of water with any drink you order. This is not just a Thessaloniki thing – it’s throughout all of Greece. I’ve never seen this in any other country. Usually, you either have to order water, or ask for it. Not here. Here, Greeks drink their water and alcohol at the same time. Yes, there’s an inconvenient amount of peeing usually involved. But drinking water while drinking other stuff also helps keep skin hydrated, and cushions the hangover.
Every day. Rain or shine. SPF 25 and above. All over face and neck. Make it a routine. The sun here is really strong, and the worst thing you can do for your skin is neglect it.
7. Learn to appreciate the little things…
Take time out of your busy schedule to do things that make you happy. Happy people are usually better looking because they smile more and stuff. Don’t take things so seriously. Live a little. I can’t tell you how. That’s for you to figure out.