I’ve always been incredibly curious as to how people with great skin got to that point! It must be an incredibly top secret Asian Skincare Routine? What is their secret skincare tips?
When I was in Korea I noticed that so many girls had such great skin (and I know everyone’s experience is different but I’m just sharing mine) and worldwide, Korea is now the country that the beauty industry looks to when looking at new and innovative products.
This is why I started becoming really obsessed with Korean skincare culture. Just a walk in the famous shopping areas like Myeong-Dong in Seoul, you’ll see women from all over Asia (Japan, China, Singapore etc.) hauling skincare like the world is going to end and it’s the last chance to buy beauty products, just kidding…maybe 🙂
From snail creams to placenta serums, Korea has everything under the sun when it comes to skincare. Since demand there is high for products, more money is poured into research and development of skincare products, and shoppers are also pickier because they have such choice. This means skincare products that aren’t that great don’t stay long on the shelves because in Korea, there are lots of websites dedicated to reviews of beauty products. I wish I could read these, but a lot of these sites can be found when searched on Naver.
These skincare secrets are my summary of what I have observed and also what I have read online about skincare culture in Asia, and also from my own experience being Chinese. I wanted to approach this topic holistically as well and talk about some general attitudes and principles too which you can apply as opposed to a lot of specific tips that may or may not fit into your lifestyle.
Lets explore these skincare secrets and tips together :)!!
Standards of skincare/time spent
What I noticed about Asians is that they have a very high standard of skincare, especially the face. It’s not enough to have pimple free skin, but also to have the right texture, tone, and brightness as well as small pores.
Where I feel western cultures like Australians focus a lot on their bodies, Asians just prefer to spend more time on their face and skin. One of the horror stories my parents used to try and tell me is that if I didn’t eat all my rice, I would get freckles, for the boys it would be that their wife would have freckles to the amount of the rice left in their bowl. Of course the punishment has to be about skin because in our culture nice skin is important.
It’s not a surprise that Koreans have started practicing skincare routines that are 10 steps long! It’s not just cleanse tone moisturise but they have complicated routines: Double cleanse, tone, lotion, essence, ampule, moisturiser, sleeping packs, face packs! I have a full post on this please have a look at my Korean 10 Step Skincare Guide.
Bottom line, nice, milky transclucent skin is just a priority of asian cultures.
Routines and habits
This leads me to the skincare routines and habits of asian women. Nice skin cannot be achieved without a little bit of hard work and consistent efforts (unless of course like my mum you were born with it!). And if you were born with it, I’m super jealous!
Many of us need to put in a little regular work to create nose smooth skin, much like going to the gym, a regular and helpful skincare routine is a must for nice skin. For a lot of asian women and especially Koreans, it is a priority for them to complete their skincare steps every day and have meticulous habits.
This is also not limited to their lengthy 10 step skincare routine, but also may include regular dermatologist check ups and regular being once a week or month. Much more regular then I ever had here in Australia. The standard here is you only go to the dermatologist if you have serious acne or a medical condition, not just to make nice skin.
These regular visits also ensures that they are recommended with the right skincare treatments. Lasers, light therapy and hyaluronic skin injections are regularly administered and recommended by skin clinics. These procedures are usually only used by women trying to bring youthfulness back to their skin, but in places like Korea can be a regular service done by young women just to keep their skin nice. This is a very high standard of nice.
Also due to the great demand for these services in big cities like Seoul, they are much more affordable (but mind you still not cheap).
There are also a lot of natural therapies that are aimed for nice skin and slimmer face such as acupuncture and herbal medicines.
Which leads me to Skincare education. You can imagine regular visits to the dermatologist can really build up your skincare knowledge, even if you didn’t know anything. And this becomes common knowledge as friends share with each other what they learn. Add in social media and you can start to learn things about your skin you’ve never known before! Sometimes I wish I could read Korean just so I can get my hands on all this information!
Also lots of beauty shows like Get it Beauty really get into great detail about skincare and what is great for your skin. And because their communication is quite direct, it’s not unusual for beauty sales assistants to tell you what is exactly wrong with your skin and recommend you the right products.
Another thing Asians are really fanatic about is sun protection. I know many of my friends make fun of asians carrying umbrellas during summer so that they can stay away from the sun, and many asians will wear sunscreen, rain, hail or shine (or even indoors).
Sun damage is never great for your skin, even if its just a bit. It can leave your skin with sun spots, pre mature ageing and also thicken and make it leathery. Even wearing sunscreen doesn’t protect your skin 100% and studies have shown sunscreen does not block Vitamin D absorption so there’s no worry about having a nutritional deficiency unless you don’t actually even go out!
Asians have invented some great ways to protect themselves from the sun, including pretty umbrella’s, and driving arm gloves!
Diet and Food Habits
Finally the most important thing is that you eat the right foods, because your skin is a reflection of how healthy you are on the inside. Asian foods tend to be more skin friendly because they have tea which is high in antioxidants, in addition they consume less dairy which is known to have hormones that may aggravate acne in many people. This is due to the hormones in cows milk, Here’s an extract from http://www.clearskinforever.net/milk-acne-does-milk-cause-acne/
“There is abundance of a hormone called IGF-1 in milk, which is really good for baby cows, but not for you. IGF-1 is a growth hormone. It makes baby cows grow up big and strong, but in humans, it tends to make your acne grow big instead. IGF-1 is one of several factors that cause inflammation in humans, and which eventually lead to acne (and the ugly redness and swelling that makes acne so annoying).
Milk and dairy products cause an insulin spike in humans that cause the liver to produce even more IGF-1, leading to even more acne.
Dairy causes your skin to produce excess sebum (oil), leading to – you guessed it! – more clogged pores, more acne, and a breeding ground for P. acnesbacteria, which feed on your sebum and spew out inflammatory by-products.
Dairy glues together dead skin cells inside your pores, so they can’t exit naturally, leading to clogged pores (and thus more acne).”
Finally there is no one answer to great skin, it is a process of good habits, diet and regular commitment to sticking to that routine you decide on developing and tweaking until your skin is happy! Keep trying different products and see how your skin reacts to it!
Having a commitment to having great skin is only the first step but really important! I wish you girls luck on your skin journey, it’s a life long one as your skin will also change with age and time!
Finally I’m a huge believe in face massage as it helps circulations and rids your face of toxin and bloating build up on your face! It has really helped my face slim down over time and regular massage. This is the feedback I have received from many of you girls too!
I’m now using this great massage tool that is hand crafted from gem stones which is natural and also will provide great energies into your life 🙂 It’s an upgrade from my plastic one and feels much nice and gentle on my skin for sure!
Check out the Unicorn Slim Face Massager