By Wendy Davila
Korean women have been the face of Asian beauty in media--for years prioritizing a smaller figure, slim face, pale skin, and of course the flawless skin. We tend to forget that Asia comprises 48 countries that are not only diverse in their culture but carry their unique beauty standards. Each country is diverse and has come up with regimes and techniques to enhance their already beautiful features.
It may seem as if the Korean beauty market has created the idea that only surgery can achieve beauty which is far from the truth. South Korea’s beauty market is estimated to be worth 13 billion dollars and continues to grow by the year. Even though they specialize in technology to enhance features and plastic surgery, at the end of the day the main focus is to brighten the features you have and accentuate your body, treat it like your temple. Many Korean women make sure to include the 10 step skincare in their daily routine, face steam massage, charcoal masks, and exfoliation with a hot washcloth.
If there is one thing every country can agree on, it’s that beauty stems from within. Not to sound like a cliche but beauty starts from health and how you take care of your body as a whole.
In India, beauty is more of a holistic concept in which there is a “360-degree” approach to it. Ayurveda is a holistic way of healing and it is what they use to heal from the inside out. For instance, if you suffer from acne they would tackle your diet and look into stress factors rather than slapping medication on top or trying to prescribe it. Your skin is a reflection of your gut’s health and is merely a symptom, so they would rather combat it. Some techniques are used commonly in India to feed their skin, mind, and body the sufficient nutrients it needs to shine:
Apply Vitamin C and E to your foundation to create a dewy, more natural look without making it look oily
Have regular manicures/pedicures to reduce the chance of creating a fungal infection due to the humidity - also keeps the nails from becoming brittle
Create a turmeric mask for a glowy look and add some honey and or milk if you have dry skin and allow it to sit for 10 minutes, then gently wash it off. Disclaimer: turmeric may cause coloration especially if mixed with water so if this does happen you can warm some coconut or olive oil and gently rub it off.
Use lightweight moisturizer during the night to keep your skin hydrated and dewy
Combat back acne by mixing honey and turmeric, both create an antibacterial exfoliant duo
When the mind, body, and soul are connected, beauty can shine from within. India’s beauty upkeeping techniques exemplify just that, accentuating your already precious features.
Sometimes all you need is something natural and cooling. In China, women use jade rollers to stimulate the blood flow in not only their faces but the rest of their bodies. It is believed that allowing the stagnant energy to move creates a detoxifying effect which then allows for healthier skin. Some other methods of achieving the perfect healthy glow are:
Drinking green tea every day, not only is it anti-inflammatory but it has positive lasting effects
Moong beans are a staple in a Chinese diet because of their antioxidants and nutrients which help aid in acne and other skin problems
Rice water contains amino acids, B vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which all aid hair growth when soaked in. Women also stated that it allows them to keep their hair color for longer and they didn’t see grays until they were in their 80’s
Rice water on the skin has anti-aging benefits, soothes sunburns, and ultimately gives you a brightening effect
Henna is used for many cultural celebrations throughout Asia but in Lebanese culture the paste doubles as a hair mask. It sometimes seems like a “cure-all” because it battles dandruff, adds life and color in your hair, and overall maintains the health of it. It’s all about simplicity beside the Mediterranean sea, as they have been able to benefit from all of the natural beauty and remedies that grow in that environment. Mint and cucumber are mixed as dark undereye circles and puffiness remedies. If your hair seems brittle you can always heat some olive oil and apply it to the driest parts of hair to bring back the moisture and lock it in. There seems to be a natural remedy for just about everything.
Asia has passed down many beauty accentuating regimens to fuel themselves and love themselves even more. If you are wanting to try some sustainably made products from Asia you can start by looking into these three:
Innisfree is a Korean based product that has made sure to make skincare products sustainable and ethically sourced from the way it was made all the way to bottle production while providing beneficial products.
Salma Loves Beauty is a woman founded, a business based on Lebanese skincare and specializes in using natural ingredients from farms in Lebanon.
Amritara is a Japanese based cosmetic brand that brings beautiful pigments to life and is used for makeup while keeping the harsh chemicals out.
Asian countries are built to be so different from one another culturally yet carry the same standard; that we are all beauty from the inside and we shine this outward. Each country has found ways of using its natural resources for enhancements and accentuations to bring out the best version of themselves.
Wendy Davila is an editorial intern who is knowledgeable in all things environment, sustainability and arts and culture.