Grandma Says: Eat Your Way to Beautiful Skin
Celebrating Chinese New Year in Taiwan this year has been amazing. Since most shops are closed during this period of time, it provided me with the greatest opportunity to really spend quality time with my family, and especially my grandparents.
My grandma (mom’s mom) is now 77 years old, but her beautiful skin makes it all too hard to believe she’s not a lot younger than that. I remember when I was kid, people would think I was her daughter instead of her granddaughter. In fact, that still happens today, and she loves it, of course.
Last week when I was at my grandparents’ house, I explained to my grandma what Key To Radiance is all about, and suddenly, the light bulb in my head switched on!
“Grandma! Your skin is beautiful, I should interview you and talk about what you do to maintain it all these years.”
And then she goes, “Oh, is your ‘magazine on the Internet’ going to make me famous?”
(Oh, grandma. Lol.)
When I asked her for her beauty routine and skincare tips, it turned out to be very different from what I expected. In fact, some of her tips got me raising my eyebrows (like, really high ones). One of them was: “don’t wash your face with any type of soap in the morning.” And yes, I thought she was joking, too.
My grandma went on to explain that back in the day, there were no such things as toners or serums in her world. Her “beauty routine” was her diet; instead of deciding which beauty products to use, it has always been about what to eat to get healthy skin, just like the way her mother had taught her.
So what did she eat? Let’s find out.
According to grandma, she used to snack on roasted or boiled soybeans because they “moisturize your skin from the inside out.” Apparently, my grandaunt (grandma’s sister) used to have really dry, flaky skin ever since she gave birth to her first child, but consuming homemade soy milk (without any sugar) was the trick to rehydrate her skin. And because soybeans contain Isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen that appears to mimic the female hormone estrogen, they are believed to have the ability to reduce wrinkles and fine lines. After all, estrogen is the vital hormone that maintains skin elasticity. Grandma suggested I include tofu and unsweetened soy milk in my diet more.
High Vitamin C
It used to be a luxury in Taiwan for anyone to have fruits lying around at home back in the day. However, when grandpa’s business took off, grandma said she was then very fortunate to have access to fresh fruits! She would try to buy oranges, guava, papaya or pineapples, because they are good sources of vitamin C. Although strawberries and kiwis are her favorites, she would only have some when she’s visiting us in the U.S., because they’re more expensive in Taiwan. Vitamin C is a super antioxidant that is very much needed for glowing skin. It also has the ability to help your body produce collagen, which then keeps your skin firm and elastic.
(Grandma just pointed at her bitter melon soup and said bitter melon also contains high level of vitamin C. And she served me a bowl.)
Nuts contains vitamin E, which protects our skin and supports healthy skin growth. Grandma says some of the best choices include hazelnuts, pistachio, almonds, and walnuts. She makes sure that both her and grandpa have a small handful of mixed nuts every day because it is also good for the heart. “Just be sure not to eat too much of it though,” she warned, since they are high in calories.
Lastly, grandma pointed out that above all, the most important intake, always and forever, is water. Only by drinking enough water, can our skin stay hydrated. Sometimes, she would add lemon into her water, because lemon provides her with vitamin c as well.
What beauty tips have you gotten from your grandma? Let us know by leaving a comment below! Thank you for reading and have a great weekend ahead, everyone!
P.S. My mom emphasized that my grandma is also a very, very good sleeper. She believes her ability to sleep anytime, anywhere, must have contributed to her beautiful skin, too! Just FYI.