What's your family's beauty secret


I love a good story, and when it has something to do with different generations of women sitting down to share and gossip about skincare or makeup, so much the better.

I remember my mother telling me about her dry-skin dilemma. At 25, she had four children under the age of 5. She recalled how her hands were often raw and bleeding ‘ this was, of course, the era of cloth diapers ‘ and she spent much time hand-washing them. I’m also sure those hard-working palms spent an exhausting amount of time in a sink full of dishes. (It was also pre-dishwasher moments in our household.)

My wise and weathered grandmother, who had traveled to Canada in 1929 with my grandfather at the age of 18 from Denmark, gave her a tip: Bathe in milk.

It did the trick.

Years later when I would see various skincare lines espousing the healing properties of milk proteins, milk lipids and whey, I would think of my grandmother’s advice. Unfortunately, I never did have the chance to ask her how she discovered this nugget of beauty wisdom, but since she lived through the Great Depression as a very young mom and started a new life in Canada with very little in her pocketbook, I’m sure it would be a good story.

I’d love to hear your beauty wisdoms and the stories that go with them. From all the beautiful and far-reaching cultures where your families originated, whether it’s a tip from your Nonna, who swears by putting olive oil on her cuticles and hair to make both healthy and strong, or it’s the blunt advise delivered from your Chinese mother-in-law about a ginger remedy for getting rid of a post-partum baby tummy, please share. Drop me an email at


— Deborah Fulsang

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