Great-Grandmother’s Dressing Table… In a Modern Version

The Power of Simple, Freshly-Prepared Liniments and Balms

It is with great sentiment that I recall a strange piece of furniture that used to occupy my aunt’s and other ladies’ bedrooms in the past: a dressing table with a large three-winged mirror, full of mysterious bottles and vials, tempting by their consistency and scents…

I am aware that the content of many of them was made by my aunt. The supplies of beauty stores were rather basic and of limited diversity; but women have always known how to deal with such situations and they were always able to prepare greatly efficient cosmetics on their own. These were simple, two- or three-ingredient liniments but they worked miracles, e.g. the grandmothers’ melon and cucumber cream which had to be prepared laboriously for 10 hours, but it is said that the preparation paid off the effort put into making it.

Well, one can sigh over the past and recall it with sentiment, thinking proudly about the progress that we have made in the modern times. But unfortunately, this illusory progress, relying on synthetic chemicals, has prompted me to do this search: my sensitive atopic skin rebelled and almost “forced” me to return to the forgotten past and to my aunt’s, my grand-mother’s and my great-grandmother’s dressing table…

Slowly discovering old recipes, forgotten scents and the power of ordinary herbs, I observed how my skin and hair recovered; our great-grandmothers knew what they were doing, even though the term “ecology” was unknown to them. This old, forgotten knowledge, relying on newer semi-finished products (we no longer have to use beef tallow or spermaceti, as we have various natural cosmetic butters and multitude of unrefined oils) results in the fact that simple and natural preparations pamper the skin and what is under the skin – dermis, blood vessels and muscles – in a word, our entire body. The never-ending number of wonderful, natural cosmetic oils will let us enjoy beautiful skin without chemical toxins…

So let us take a look to the grandmother’s dressing table in “Ziołowy kantorek” (in Eng. ‘Herbal old-fashioned shop’)…