The grandma expertise

January 31, 2019

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EVEN in this age of great scientific advancements, we somewhere somehow use the grandma expertise, especially her tips on health and treating ailments in day-to-day life. Though the beauty industry is becoming increasingly complex and the pace of change is so fast that what is true today probably won’t be true tomorrow, most of grandma’s tried and tested products are still around and are just as effective. Above all, grandmas are known for passing down all sorts of beauty secrets and well preserved family recipes to the granddaughters along with helpful advice. All gratis of course!

The best part is the fact that most of their beauty products can be made from items available in the kitchen. For instance, cucumber as a natural toner and skin lightener, lemons for a natural bleaching effect on the skin, almonds as an eye mask to cure dark circles, eggs for naturally tightening the skin, papayas to soften and clean the skin, tomatoes to reduce excess oiliness on the skin, raw potatoes to remove blemishes from the skin and so on.

Interestingly enough, the more modern and tech-savvy women from posh localities are seemingly going back to their roots in the true sense of the term. The imminent trend of organic food and beauty products among those living in the most expensive neighborhoods of the country can be quoted as an instance.

Although the organic wave has yet to hit our lower middle class Pakistani, they are fast switching over from cheap beauty creams to Zubaida Apa’s cut-and-dried beauty recipes. Even the known beauticians have already started advocating the use of herbal and organic products because they now feel that as human beings, we all are inherently organic, therefore, we are at our healthiest when eating organic, applying organic and just being organic. In fact, a growing number of consumers have already started switching over from chemical-filled cosmetics to expensive, plant-based alternatives.

A new industry based on grandma’s recipe has changed the very concept of beauty and has led to a platform that is not just positive but also friendly to the environment.

The herbal beauty boom is a part of the major shift in consumer consciousness about health and wellness. According to a report, natural skin care is growing fast, almost eight times, compared to last year in terms of online searches.

When we in Pakistan, or for that matter wherever Pakistanis live, speak of grandma’s beauty tips, we generally speak of tips given by the late and beloved Zubaida Apa in various TV programmes. In a way she was the spokesperson for all grandmas. A very long list of her tips is readily available on the internet. Though Pakistan cosmetic industry has so far not been able to produce any trusted ready-to-use beauty products or drive any benefit from the available recipes, the West has started cashing in on grandma’s beauty recipe.

Last year, Grand View Research announced that the global organic beauty market was likely to reach $15.98bn by 2020, as demand for organic skincare, haircare and colour cosmetics drives consumers to look for natural and organic labels. According to same research, skincare products, being the most sought after in the global organic beauty market, is expected to emerge as the most attractive segment with 30.9 per cent share by 2024, followed by haircare.

If we closely examine the current beauty-care trends, we discover that quite a large number of health practices from over 100 years ago still have a lot of inherent value today. Though my grandmother didn’t make it to be 100 unfortunately, she had a flawless skin. I remember her every morning scooping out a teaspoon full from the plate of fresh Malai we used to have with Paratrha in the morning and apply it on her face after mixing it with a few drops of honey. She used to let it be on her face for 20 minutes and then wash it off. She used to tell her granddaughters that Malai softened her skin, while the honey cleansed it and kept it free of acne. This is just one example; she had many more.

In short all her homemade beauty-care products were a safer and cheaper alternative than what is available on the market with different brand names today. It goes without saying that good skin has become more important for women in today’s culture and as such products prepared based on tried and tested formula of grandmas seem to be the future of this industry. Naturally so because now consumers want products they feel are safe enough for use by themselves and their children.

With the global environmental concerns becoming more severe, the demand for better standards of organic ingredients has also risen. Consumers are also inclining towards natural beauty and products that help enhance their look and brighten their face. They demand complete transparency regarding the ingredients that go into the products they use. Therefore, going back to the basics is the only way out. This shift of inclination towards safer and organic personal care and cosmetics, has led to many companies exploring natural cosmetic ingredients.

According to a report on business opportunities, as people are increasingly choosing natural and homemade products, it is safe to say that it is profitable to venture into the homemade cosmetics business.

Your grandma’s beauty tips may just be all the beauty inspiration you need. Sometimes there is no need to scrounge the internet; your grandma knows a thing or two. Just ask her.

We learn a lot from our mothers and grandmothers, spanning all sorts of life issues and topics — from relationship wisdom to family recipes passed down from generation to generation. Interestingly enough, one of the most sought after dermatologist of USA, Dr. Marina Peredo, was quoted recently as having said thus: “I had freckles and hated them, so I used to ask my grandmother, ‘Why do I have these?’ She taught me to use lemon to help lighten them. Funny, that I was using alpha-hydroxy fruit acids before I knew what they were. Of course, she also told me stay out of the sun and never use this method when going out in the sun. Afterward, she asked me to use aloe vera to soften the skin and reduce any irritation. She was a big fan of aloe vera as it grows naturally in Arizona. We used to drink it, eat it and bath in it! We used it for sunburns as well and if I had a few of those, she would make me take a cold bath with aloe vera gel. Brr!”