Family Secrets: What My Grandmothers Have Taught Me About Beauty

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Family Secrets: What My Grandmothers Have Taught Me About Beauty

Family Secrets: What My Grandmothers Have Taught Me About Beauty

Throughout their lives, the women in my family passed down beauty secrets that stem from our roots in Egyptian and Korean cultures. They have taught me to take care of myself not only from a superficial perspective, but from a holistic one that my outward appearance will simply mirror. 

While my grandmothers are well into their eighties, they still maintain smooth, luminous skin and cook from home daily. Here is some of their best advice for leading a healthy lifestyle and maintaining perfect skin. 

1.  Start from the inside-out

As a pharmacist, my grandmother has always believed that beauty stems from the inside-out: keep a healthy body, and it will show in your appearance. According to her, “a compromised liver leads to bad skin,” (and don’t we all want glowing skin?). 

To start, she also recommends prioritizing gut health by taking probiotics and prebiotics (either supplements or natural foods), as well as avoiding fatty foods. Fermented foods such as kimchi, a traditional Korean dish, contain millions of probiotics in just a small serving. Of their many benefits, prebiotics and probiotics promote a healthy gut, which in turn facilitates our body’s natural detoxification process, promoting a healthy environment from the inside. 

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Further, keeping your abdomen-region warm during the day stimulates digestion and promotes circulation, preventing bloating. Growing up, I was always reminded to drink room-temperature water rather than ice-cold drinks, use heating packs across my stomach, and begin and start the day with warm tea (like ginger or peppermint).

2. Rice – more than just a food

One of the most important food items in a Korean diet is rice – it is in nearly every traditional dish. However, more than a base for a dish, rice water actually has many minerals and vitamins which promote healthy skin and hair growth. Washing your face with rice water or using it as a toner for your skin can improve cell turnover and improves the appearance of your skin. In addition, washing your hair with rice water promotes hair growth and health. 

3. Use supplements & ingredients to your advantage

Not only is superficial skin care important for maintaining healthy-looking skin, but it is also essential to take dietary supplements that keep it radiating from the inside. A lack of collagen is one of the main reasons for developing wrinkles, since collagen production drops drastically around our 30s; taking collagen supplements can maintain youthful, plump skin for decades. 

An incredible natural supplement from Korea is ginseng, an ingredient that has incredible healing properties and boosts energy. While it has a strong flavor, its concentrate can be diluted in hot water with some honey to tone it down. 

An easily accessible ingredient, ginger is one of the best ingredients for promoting a strong immune system to feel energized and healthy. Whenever I was sick growing up, my mother and grandmothers would make a restorative tea made from ginger, honey, and lemon – I swear, I never got sick for more than a day after drinking it!

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4. Rest up 

Creating a non-stressful environment for your body is essential to feel healthy, which will show on the outside. Getting a good night of rest is one of the most important factors for both physical and mental health. Sleep is one of the most important ways our body rejuvenates itself – our cells renew, our body resets, and our mind relaxes. Finding a perfect balance between daily exercise and restful sleep is essential to feeling refreshed and rejuvenated every morning. Even low-impact movement such as daily walks outside can do so much to improve our energy and long-term health. 

5. Moisturize… then moisturize some more

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Finally,  moisturizing is key to both feeling and looking hydrated, especially in the winter. Adding hyaluronic acid into your daily moisturizer can boost its effectiveness and keep your skin moisturized for hours. Also, always remember to drink enough water to keep your skin plump and hydrated (room temp, ofc). 

Seeing the women in my family implement changes in their routines that have allowed them to maintain a healthy lifestyle and gorgeous skin their whole lives, I’ve been inspired. As college students, it can be easy to neglect self-care acts without realizing how can prioritize our health today to stay healthy and glowing for the next generation.

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