Beauty advice from Indian grandmothers that are still relevant today
In the good old days, our grandmothers used natural ingredients found in their gardens and kitchens in their beauty routines. These ingredients were rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that provided anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and skin-boosting benefits.
Each decade has defined beauty standards in a new way. Advancements in technology and skin science have changed the products we use and the way we apply them. Over the years, we’ve gone from mass consuming beauty products for solely their marketed benefits to consuming products that have a reduced environmental impact.
The changes in the beauty industry influence the way we shop for beauty products. But, the skin care advice we've grown up listening to also plays an important role in our beauty choices. Whether we swear by all-natural beauty products or have a minimal skincare routine, the beauty advice that was passed down through generations within families shapes the way we shop.
At the ripe old age of seventy-five, many of our grandmothers have maintained their complexions in ways we can only dream of. Science has made it so easy for us to get surgeries and treatments that make us look younger when we’re older. But our grandmothers have been doing so naturally. So, isn’t paying more heed to our grandma’s beauty advice worth it?
Making the most of natural remedies
In the good old days, our grandmothers used natural ingredients found in their gardens and kitchens in their beauty routines. These ingredients were rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that provided anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and skin-boosting benefits. These organic skincare practices were environment friendly and skin-friendly. Today in the search for products with no nasty ingredients we look towards clean beauty.
In the clean beauty space, ingredients like aloe, turmeric, lemon, neem, hibiscus, and coconut are widely used in formulations. Clean beauty chemists use natural plant and plant-based derivatives in skin care products. These science-backed formulations can be replicated using ingredients found in Indian kitchens. This takes us right back to the beauty practices followed by our grandmothers.
Natural extracts, minimal ingredients, and Ayurvedic practices have dominated Indian skincare. These simple formulations are effective because of the high concentration of the skin actives. Ingredients like amla, sandalwood, shikakai, and multani mitti have been used by Indian households for generations. Turns out grandma was right about some things.
Here are some skin care tips from our grandmothers that are still relevant today:
Grandma’s skin care tip 1# Moisturise and pre-condition your hair using oils
It’s an old Indian practice to use coconut oil on your hair before you shampoo. Pre-conditioning your hair with coconut oil or getting a champi as they say, is highly beneficial for the health of your hair and scalp. Oils like coconut oil, castor oil, almond oil, and olive oil lengthen, strengthen and soften your hair. They act as natural conditioners for your hair. Oils effectively act as a mask to protect your hair and keep it shiny the way you like it.
Grandma’s skin care tip 2# Exfoliate with body oils
A quick daily massage with body oils or a weekly oil-based scrub exfoliates your skin and improves circulation within your lymphatic system. A massage strengthens tissues, ligaments, and joints, thereby essentially improving the health of the muscular system. Just like your hair, oils leave your skin soft, shiny and moisturised.
Grandma’s skin care tip 3# DIY face masks using kitchen ingredients
Every Indian woman has used a natural DIY face mask. Kitchen ingredients like lemon, honey, aloe, besan, turmeric, and yogurt can be used to make quick and effective skincare remedies right at home. These multi-tasking ingredients are gentle on the skin. You can get rid of excessive oil, clear out pores, exfoliate your skin and moisturise with the same mask. A lot of these ingredients are rich in Vitamins B, C, E, and A. These vitamins in high concentrations are what we look for in our skincare products today. So, whether you got your recipe from your grandmother or off Pinterest, you know these DIY face masks are effective against a multitude of skincare problems.
Grandma’s skin care tip 4# Vitamin C is a wonder ingredient
Vitamin C in its various forms has always been a part of the beauty arsenal. Lemons, tomatoes, and berries contain antioxidants that help fight signs of aging. These naturally occurring fruits and vegetables have antibacterial properties. When we're shopping for beauty products, we look for those that have high percentages of vitamin C. It’s one of the most sought-after ingredients in the beauty industry today.
Grandma’s skincare tip 5# Minimise waste and maximise the efficiency of natural ingredients
The world is going through a shift in ideology where waste of any kind is frowned upon. Environmental impact is measurable and we as consumers prefer products that use clean supply chains. Therefore in an attempt to reduce waste and recycle ingredients, we can make masks from left-over kitchen waste. When we use what we have in our own gardens we reduce our carbon footprint. Isn’t this what our grandmothers taught us?
Grandma’s skincare tip 6# Exercise your right to exercise
When we were younger we were encouraged to play in our gardens, with our friends, and in school. We were encouraged to take up sports, dance lessons, or karate. Getting enough physical exercise was considered important for mental and physical health. Our grandparents used to go for walks, jogs, and yoga classes and they would drag us with them.
Grandma’s skincare tip 7# Cleanse your skin through steaming
Steaming helps the body get rid of bad toxins. Whether it is a bad cold or a face clean-up, steaming is pretty useful today as well. Back when we were kids this practice was pure torture, but in the beauty world, this has many loaded benefits. Steaming helps in improving circulation, killing bad bacteria, hydrating your skin, and boosting the natural production of collagen and elastin in your skin. This is a wonder treatment that you can do right from the comfort of your own home.
Grandma’s skincare tip 8# Spice up your life
Indian spices in your chai and masalas in every meal add more than just flavour to your food. Spices contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. This can help in boosting your immunity and complexion. Anti-inflammatory benefits include reduced swelling, puffiness, and redness of the skin. The antioxidants from herbs and spices like turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, aloe, and chamomile have a variety of medicinal uses in the beauty industry.
I bet that each of you have your own tips to add to this list. Every grandmother passes on her skin secrets down to her granddaughter. We tend to avoid these natural skincare remedies because they are time-consuming. But, shifting towards a more clean and environment-friendly lifestyle is in our best interest. Digging into our roots and embracing local ingredients is a shift we’re seeing all over the world. It’s time we incorporated some of these old skincare practices back into our beauty routines. Finding products that package these ingredients is the easiest way to honour age-old traditions. SkinQ blends the best of traditional and modern skincare, by using ingredients like Turmeric and Emblica with Actives like Hyaluronic Acid, Glycolic Acid and more. Find out more about SkinQ’s ‘Made for Indian Skin’ formulations.