There are some vintage beauty tips we greet with hearty eye rolls. After all, there are new products on the market, new technologies have been invented, and most of us aren’t slathering on cold cream every night in order to land a beau. The skin-care rules our grandmothers cling to tend to be more relic than reasonable. So, we smile and nod, but don’t always take their advice to heart.
But, every once in a while, nanna will throw out an idea so brilliant, you wonder why you hadn’t thought of it before. Or, maybe it’s a technique you’ve watched her do time and time again since you were a kid. Each one of us likely has a trick up our sleeves that was passed down from Grandma. And, for that, we’re thankful.
Ahead, find the best (and, okay, occasionally just wackiest) beauty wisdom we’ve gathered from the coolest old ladies we know: our very own grandmothers. Modern skin care may have its advantages. But, like the cookies she’d bake you when you were younger, this advice was made with love.
“Dye your hair red until you literally enter the ground, travel the world, no such thing as too much jewelry, never mind the beer cans under the bed, the Pope is our spiritual leader but we treat his ideas as suggestions.”
“Before hosting or attending parties, my grandmother used to lie down in bed for 20 minutes with witch-hazel-soaked cotton balls on her eyelids to depuff, and look bright-eyed and fresh. I have distinct memories of replicating this when I was six years old, while The Twilight Zone played in the background. Only later did I realize that the witch-hazel treatment was grandma’s excuse to take a disco nap.”
“My whole family has been putting coconut oil in their hair every Sunday since I could remember. You put it all over your hair once a week, and leave it in for an hour, two, or the whole night. When you wash it out, your hair is extremely silky and strong. It repairs damaged hair and allows you to leave the house without styling, too!”
“Once you start shaving your legs, there is no going back.”
“My grandmother puts Greek yogurt on her face every morning with cucumber on her eyes while doing her laying-down exercises. She’s done it since I can remember.”
“My grandma always told us to go to bed with a clean face (no matter how tired we are), wear sunscreen under makeup, use moisturizer every night, and to ‘move’ (i.e. exercise).”
“The most important thing you can do to look and feel your most beautiful is SMILE.”
“My grandma, who was a Revlon hand model, taught us the importance of always having a manicure — that nail care is just as important as skin. Also, use lots and lots of Pond’s face cream!”
“My grandmother used Mentholatum on her lips every night. I still love the way it smells (acquired, I know) — and it really does work wonders on your dry lips.”
“Instead of typical moisturizer, my grandmother would rub olive oil into her hands after a long day of cooking and washing dishes. Since my olive oil sits fairly close to the sink in my apartment, I always reach for it once I’m done cleaning up. My hands have never felt softer — or smelled better.”