Photo: Getty Images
Ever since I was young, I received compliments on my skin texture and color from many. I never got a pimple, even when I was a teenager. Sometimes, random people would look at my face and make comments like, "how beautiful your skin is," or "how do you keep your skin so smooth and shiny?" Over the years, as I got into my 40s and 50s, I started getting more compliments like, "you don't look a day older than 30," or " how do you maintain such young-looking skin?"
I was proud of my skin tone. I felt so happy when I heard positive points from people about my skin. Of course, I attribute more credit to my genes than my maintenance. My mom was a beautiful lady with flawless skin, even in her 70s. She did not look a day older than 60 when she passed away at 74. People often asked me if my mom was my sister. I felt proud whenever somebody asked me that question at parties or gatherings. Now, my kids get the same questions. I’m often taken for their older sister or wife or girlfriend. They feel pride in introducing me as their mother to their friends.
I never really did anything to my face to look young. For years, I only used moisturizers like POND’S cold cream, pure sandalwood powder or an Indian cream called Fair & Lovely. Most of my childhood, I went without a single cream on my face, except for a puff of talcum powder.
Over the weekends as a young Indian girl, I was required to replace course rice powder mixed with a pinch of pure turmeric and sesame oil or peanut oil for soap. Turmeric is supposed to have antioxidants, and it also is said to act like an antibiotic. People in India believe using turmeric bleaches the face naturally. When a young girl gets her first period, she is given turmeric to use as a custom so she won't get blemishes from pimples and body heat. She is also asked to reduce the amount of oily foods she eats, and she is given mild food without too much fat in order to reduce body heat. Coconut is part of the diet for a young girl who starts her period in order to produce naturally oily skin. I always used egg whites, lemon juice and turmeric to firm my face. I also used cream from milk or yogurt with turmeric to smooth my face.