grandma-beauty tips - black milk women


Beauty tips


Growing up with my grandma in rural Jamaica meant a lot of things. It meant I wasn’t allowed to sleep over at friends’ houses. It meant that if I got in trouble at school, she’d have word of it before I got home.  It meant early bedtimes and chore-filled Saturdays. But grandmas have a way of keeping things in balance. It also meant the best Sunday dinners and the most effective home remedies. My grandma was my very own personal ‘How To’ resource. She literally knew how to fix everything. She passed on so many life lessons, hacks and habits that I still use to this very day and that I someday hope to pass down to my daughter.

Here are 5 beauty tips that my grandma taught me:


Drink water

Lots of it. Growing up in a hot country meant that staying hydrated was really important. Water was always my grandma’s drink of choice and she would start every day with a ‘mug’ of the good stuff. Now that I’m an adult and I know that there is nothing better for over-all health, I chug a glass every morning to start my day. Just like grandma did.


Use a face moisturizer

I can still remember the scent of my grandma’s Oil of Olay cream that she wore every day without fail. And I remember the chocolate-y smoothness of my grandma’s skin.  Before I was old enough to develop my own beauty regimen, I would help myself to her cream every morning before school. Suffice it to say that I am now a full-blown moisturizing maniac.


Stay active

My grandma was always super active. She taught me how to skip rope and how to ride a bike and could run up and down a hill well into her 80s. She was never one to sit around and take it easy and was always milling about. I really believe in the ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it’ adage and I think staying active allowed my grandma to maintain her dexterity and vigour up until she fell ill. I think there is beauty in vitality, even when the greys and wrinkles have set in.


Treat your hair from the scalp

Saturdays were wash days. For my clothes and my hair. And after every hair washing would come the meticulous treatment of my scalp with aloe vera gel and castor oil. Little did I know then that castor oil accelerates blood circulation and stimulates hair growth and and aloe vera is a natural moisturizer and conditioner.  Today, I still rely on homemade scalp conditioners for healthy scalp and hair.


Coconut oil is LIFE

I always tell the story of how as a young girl and not being able to afford store-bought moisturizer, my grandma and her siblings would slather on homemade coconut oil. She would make her own coconut milk for cooking and her own coconut oil for moisturizing. That was in the 1930s and 1940s, way before the coco-craze that has taken over the beauty industry. Nowadays, every beauty magazine is touting the endless benefits of coconut oil but I’ve been using coconut oil way before Cosmo said it was cool. Grandma taught me.


Alicia is a full-time writer/blogger and aspiring multi-hyphenate. Born in Toronto and raised in Jamaica, she now calls Montreal home. With a background in Broadcast-Journalism and a passion for inspiring through her writing, Alicia enjoys writing and creating content for the millennial woman. You can read more of her work at www.aluestory.com.

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