I was introduced to pearls at a very young age. As a child, my mother would feed me a tiny spoonful of finely ground pearl powder every day. Not knowing what this tasteless powder was, I often asked my mother why she was feeding me chalk. She would laugh and say, “This chalk is the Rolls Royce of all beauty treatments! You’ll thank me one day.”
During my teenage years, when my peers were struggling with skin issues like cystic acne and eczema, I had fairly clear skin with the exception of oiliness and clogged pores (thanks to the hot and humid climate in Singapore). As an adult, I began receiving compliments on my skin and questions about my beauty secret. I had no idea what my beauty secret was, until I started researching everything I used and consumed as part of my regimen. This was when I learned that my mother was right (as always) - integrating pearls into my beauty ritual helped keep my skin elastic, blemish-free and calm, despite dealing with PCOS.
I began sharing my story with the Taiwanese and Chinese women around me to see if this was indeed part of our culture, or just something strange that my mother did for me. One told me her mother would mix pearl powder into her smoothies, while another recalls her mother mixing pearl powder into a homemade facial mask mixture to help calm her skin and prevent sun spots after a long day at the beach. After hearing these stories, I gained a new appreciation for pearls - to me, they represent a mother’s gift of beauty.