Photography: Olumes

Ever notice that our mothers and grandmothers have perfect, unblemished skin that’s effortless to maintain and oh-so desirable? There’s a reason why some of them they might disapprove of modern skincare products and instead, swear by traditional beauty rituals to address various skin concerns. Here’s why.

Beauty treatments that have been passed through generations work wonders for the skin due to their all-natural properties. Think skin-soothing Turkish rosewater, skin-brightening turmeric masks from India and Cleopatra’s anti-aging saffron-infused milk baths. The good news is that ancient beauty rituals are making their way into the modern beauty world as beauty entrepreneurs tap into their cultural background and ancestral practices before sharing them with the world. Here are four beauty brands that’ll convince you to ditch the harsh skincare routine and welcome heritage-driven products to your beauty vanity.

1. Kushan

Named after founders, Kush Linfield and Shan Shan Lim, the eponymous lifestyle brand is all about slow beauty which leverages on Ayurvedic rituals – ancient Indian traditions and ingredients. Even though Ayurveda is gaining momentum in recent years including in the Western world, this ancient Indian treatment has been embedded in South Asian heritage since time immemorial, thanks to its powerful healing properties.

Apart from the Indian Rose Toner and Sayang Facial Cleanser, we’re eyeing the 100% natural Pure Series 2.0: a range of powder masks packed with ingredients that originate from India. Each one is designed to address specific skin problems; Sandalwood to prevent signs of ageing and soothe acne-prone skin, Fuller’s Earth to detoxify skin, deep-cleanse clogged pores and balance sebum production, and Wild Turmeric to brighten and revitalise dull skin. Pro tip: mix them with rose water, milk or even honey to enhance the potency of the masks!

Shop Kushan here.

2. Olumes

With a name that translates to ‘beautiful’ in Kadazan-Dusun language, Olumes isn’t just another homegrown clean beauty brand. At the heart of the brand is Kalalit extract, a well-kept Kadazan-Dusun beauty secret which goes back to many centuries. Having struggled with skin issues herself, founder Aerin Gabor chanced upon Kalalit water during a trip to her grandparents’ place in the foothills of Mount Kinabalu. Among the Kadazan-Dusun elders, it’s believed that Kalalit water possesses healing powers and a few splashes of it contain the ability to unveil a flawless complexion. How amazing is that?!

Rooted in Borneo, the Kalalit extract (or should we say Malaysia’s very own ‘miracle water’?) is the star ingredient in the label’s products that’s infused with other premium active ingredients to curate a collection of multi-action skincare that targets multiple skin issues at once. As Olumes continues to garner attention for its distinctive ethos, the brand launched its MissOlumes line recently, offering affordable yet efficacious skincare products that are catered towards young adults. BRB, adding to cart now!

Shop Olumes here.

3. Tanamera

As you may have guessed, Tanamera means ‘Red Earth’ in Malay, a name befitting of the brand’s truly natural, tropical spa range that’ll instantly whisk you off to the tropics! Drawing inspiration from diverse Asian beauty treatments such as Malay, Arab and Javanese, Tanamera specialises in new-age versions of long-cherished traditions by formulating products with rich blends of tropical herbs and essences which are ethically sourced from tropical rainforests.

Among Tanamera’s variety of culturally-rich products, our top pick would be the Ageless Face Serum, which contains organic rice extract, a breakthrough ingredient that promotes skin cell renewal to unveil radiant skin from within. We’re also loving the 3-in-1 Black Formulation Facial Soap that’s a game-changer for acne-prone and oily skin! If you’re up for some me-time this Malaysia Day, get your hands on some Tanamera products and indulge your senses in your mini home spa.

Shop Tanamera here.

4. Zawina Morocco

Influenced by Morocco, home to a myriad of wondrous beauty traditions, founder Camilia explores the skincare rituals of her homeland and seeks to bring the experience of an authentic Moroccan beauty regimen to the comfort of your home. Zawina, which means ‘beautiful’ in Arabic, boasts extremely effective and glorious earthy products that give a sense of luxury and are reminiscent of traditional Moroccan hammams.

Produced in small batches to preserve freshness, the artisanal skincare label prides itself on its organic, cold-pressed argan oil which is an essential in skincare, body care and hair care among Moroccan women. And in addition to that, one of the keys to Moroccan beauty, the rare rhassoul clay that’s sourced from the Atlas Mountain in Morocco and incorporated into Zawina’s scrubs and mask. So, what’s great about Zawina Morocco’s offerings, you ask? They’re multi-functional and designed to deeply nourish, balance and restore skin for that glow-from-within complexion. Wholesome skincare in minimal steps? Consider us SOLD!

Shop Zawina Morocco here.

Text: Katherine Thivya
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