Is ancient wisdom an effective answer to the modern lifestyle? Aishwarya Sawarna Nir tried to find the answer to this through her endeavour Global Beauty Secrets that curates and creates products borrowed from the beauty rituals of women around the world and brings it to the personal spaces and the comfort of our homes. To know more about the ideas behind this enterprise SheThePeople.TV approached Aishwarya for a conversation. Some edited snippets from the interview:
How did the idea of global beauty secrets come about?
I was always inspired by my grandmother. She had these natural remedies for skin like haldi, besan or dahi. It is because of those natural beauty rituals that I understood the importance of self-care. As I travelled around the world, I discovered that women had these diverse traditional beauty rituals with which they nurtured and cared for their loved ones, just like my grandma.
It is these journeys together, that inspired Global Beauty Secrets, which was to recreate all the natural beauty traditions of women around the world and bring it to the personal spaces and the comfort of our homes.
Do you think natural beauty is a myth, as far as the modern trends about make-up, filter cameras are concerned?
I don’t think natural beauty is a myth because your skin is your foundation and everything else is an embellishment. So in that way, I think natural beauty is fundamental. Even I used makeup on my skin for a while, but when I started working on my foundation, my skincare and my wellness, I got visible results without much make up.
Why do you think natural beauty products are secrets and not as open and readily used as the artificial ones? Is it because of a lack of awareness about the benefits of natural beauty products?
There is so much in the world to be explored that some of the miracles of the nature remain hidden. Hence it exists both ways. There is not a lack of awareness about the benefits either. People are beginning to embrace nature and the simplicity of it. They are beginning to understand the benefits of nature and going back to it.
With the increased pollution across the world, how do you think the reserve of natural beauty products is affected?
Definitely the pollution is increasing and affecting the environment. But there are sustainable brands that have come up who aim at giving back, in some way or the other, whatever they take from the natural resources. If this is implemented well, I don’t think resources will be depleted. If we work on sustainable sourcing, we can preserve the resources effectively.
The obsession with facial beauty overshadows the basic need for skincare. Please reflect.
It is not an obsession with beauty or need for skincare as such, but the way we approach beauty needs to change. Beauty isn’t about looking perfect for others as much as it is about understanding that you are perfect already and then you work on nurturing that for yourself. So skincare is the right word with an emphasis on ‘care’- you should care about yourself as much as you care about the beliefs and values others have about you.
Beauty isn’t about looking perfect for others as much as it is about understanding that you are perfect already and then you work on nurturing that for yourself.
Can you share some important skincare ideas using natural beauty products?
I will stick to the basic skincare routine – mask, cleanse, scrub, tone and moisturize – which can be done using natural beauty products. You should cleanse, tone and moisturize daily. Tone the skin to close all the pores and moisturize because your skin needs a good level of hydration because of all the seasonal change while travelling that you undergo. Scrub and mask at least twice a week to remove all the build-ups on your facial skin because of the excessive pollution and the lifestyle that you lead.
What should be some essential natural beauty products on our tables to protect our skin from the harmful pollutants?
Primarily, a charcoal face mask. It drives away the pollutants like a black magnet as the Greeks called it. But do not use charcoal peel-off masks because they will strip your skin of all the essential oils. Go for charcoal masks with a clay base, these are much more soothing and gentle with your skin. You can also go for natural exfoliators like Adzuki Beans or gentle clay-based, mineral-rich cleanser and exfoliator like Rhassoul clay.
Since global beauty secrets bring together natural beauty secrets of different countries, what is the most common ingredient or product used globally?
Ingredients like lavender, yoghurt and charcoal have become very popular globally. They are found in almost every household, in kitchens and courtyards around the world which means people are increasingly aware of their benefits. Yoghurt is popular as a snack in many parts of the world apart from being used on the skin. Lavender is something that is increasingly being used in aromatherapy and charcoal is a popular trend in India, Korea and the USA.
India is the land for many natural beauty products. Are natural beauty products as popular in India?
Definitely, natural beauty is the most popular category in personal care right now in India’s personal care industry.
What advice would you give to women today as far as the idea of beauty that devalues self-love is concerned?
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and you yourself are the beholder. Beauty starts with you. If you will not see yourself in that light, you cannot expect the world to see you in that light. Self- love is not only about embracing all your whims and eccentricities, but also giving yourself good nutrition, right products and the best of everything. Beauty will then become an important part of that journey. It will be more beautiful and enriching rather than the one that will tax you out or take something away from you like your self-confidence or self-love. If you truly love yourself, you will care for yourself.
Self- love is not only about embracing all your whims and eccentricities, but also giving yourself good nutrition, right products and the best of everything.
With the modernisation that is taking over nature, do you think the reserves of natural beauty products are shifting to the lost generations of grandmothers?
I think that we have access to so many options today that people just want to go back to the days of simplicity when they also had access to all these natural beauty rituals and remedies. These rituals and remedies are time tested. They have already worked for them in the past and will continue to do so. Asides the utilitarian benefits of these rituals, I think I also must mention that grandmas are perhaps a reserve of culture, knowledge and heritage that we are increasingly letting go of in the modern lifestyle. Many people, therefore, are realizing this and trying to preserve this knowledge by embracing it in their daily lives.
Rudrani Kumari is an intern with SheThePeople.TV.
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