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5 Beauty Products From Our Ancestors


I have opened the windows on this November day, both realistically and metaphorically, the open windows are letting in fresh air and light into the dark crevices.

I pull out my kale to make my favorite coastal kale salad (very California of me). I wash each leaf, place them down on the cutting board, and one-by-one I begin to cut out the stem. Maneuvering the knife and leaves. It’s in this moment that I can’t help but wonder how my mother’s mother mother mother prepared her meals in the dense vegetation of Guatemala. And in this moment, I am with my ancestors. Back in my ancestral Guatemala nourishing my body. Taking from the earth putting into my body to eventually make it back to the earth. It’s quite a beautiful circle, really. I come from such a lineage of women taking and giving to and from the earth. It is going back to where we come from while simultaneously leaving for a new world.

Before I continue, this isn’t some preach to denounce what we know and move to the wild, it is about living in the modern world with our ancestors whispering into our ears on how to live beautifully in the midst of chaos.

We are all scattered around the world through migration and Diasporas, but our ancestors are always there. They laid out a guidebook for us survive in our chaos.

So when I talk about beauty, I talk about the beauty that our ancestors gave us. Each person has someone guiding him or her. We just have to be willing to listen. It is as simple as creating a meal or really letting go of toxic products that pollute your temple.

I have been making the transition to a more earth-based lifestyle. But really, it is a lifestyle that my ancestors knew about, and just now did I decide to start listening. Sure, my ancestors in Guatemala didn’t know about kale, but I’d like to think about the leaves they consumed to nourish their bodies in order to survive their own chaos.

So here’s my list of my top 5 beauty products that have grounded me in who I am and where I come from. Each product has been thoughtfully been made by a Latinx individual, in an effort to support small PoC businesses.

Charcoal Bar Soap: I prefer a bar soap since it’s more environmentally friendly as opposed to tossing plastic bottles every two months. The charcoal allows for a deep cleanse of the skin. Recommend using it only once a day

Rosewater: helps even skin complexion, great for toner, skin refresher, and overall mist.

Rosehip Oil: the accessory fruit of a rose plant has great healing properties for skin. Great for acne scar, wrinkles, or anything needing healing.

Tea Tree Oil: an alternative to acne spot treatment.

Benonite Indian Healing Clay: so many benefits from this healing clay-facials, body wraps, toothpaste, and even insect bites.

Hopefully, these products can help bring some self-healing into your daily life and feel connected to where you come from, no matter where that is.

+Meet Luisa
23, Anthropology B.A from the University of California, Santa Cruz, currently writing her first poetry book. Luisa often ponders Latinidad and Latinx nostalgia.

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