Talkin’ ‘bout my generation. Unlike the angsty Who song, we’re into embracing the past. If plants and rocks could talk… imagine the stories that giant redwoods and centuries-old geological formations could tell! There’s so much to learn from the past, and one of the best ways to do that is through our elders and cultural traditions. It’s often the case that the practices our ancestors used have more reverence for nature, don’t require any special trendy tools, and produce no waste. We all know that the planet doesn’t need more cotton swabs, cosmetic spatulas, and jade rollers piling up in landfills, and that’s why we are so interested in learning how things were done before those modern “conveniences” existed. Over the years I’ve learned a few great beauty tips from someone who grew up in a different generation. Here are a few of our favorites from my Ojichan (grandfather):
Kombu. Kombu is a type of edible kelp that is rich in iron, iodine and a lot of other minerals like calcium, magnesium, and zinc. It can improve digestion and thyroid function as well as reduce gas. My Ojichan swears by putting a 3 x 1 inch strip of kombu in his tea everyday. He’ll be 99 years old in June and partially attributes his long life and black hair to his daily kombu intake. I have adopted kombu tea into my daily morning routine and highly recommend it. Kombu isn’t only good for you, it’s also yummy!
Facial massages. Another of my Ojichan’s daily rituals is a facial massage, which he does every morning and every night before bed. Start by running your fingertips under your eyes in an upward, stroking gesture. Do this ten times. Then, use the same motion on your cheeks, also ten times. Now, using a swiping side to side gesture, run your hands over your forehead- you guessed it- ten times. Finally, gently slap your face until it’s slightly rosey and pink to promote healthy circulation.
Rice water. This one is a cooking and beauty tip! Growing up, nearly every meal I had was served with hot rice. Before starting the rice cooker, my mom would soak the rice for 15 minutes, strain it, and save the water to use as a face toner. Rice water is full of vitamins, minerals and amino acids that are great for the skin and hair. Gently massage chilled rice water into your face for a couple minutes, then let it air dry. You don’t want to rinse it off, because you want all of the nutrients to be absorbed into your skin.You can employ my Ojichan’s facial massages with the rice water toner for combined benefits.
This post was written by our co-founder, Jeff Kurosaki, in celebration of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month