Sheet masks, serums, beauty oils, home remedies… the East has had a major influence on the beauty industry in the last five years, and the whole world is more than eager to try out their next export. Now, you may have read many articles that talk about beauty secrets Asian women swear by, but, have you ever heard them straight from a local?
We caught up with television journalist, author, travelling enthusiast and blogger Suzanitta of Suzannita’s Journal to reveal beauty rituals Asians are obsessed with—ones that still remain undiscovered by the rest of the world. Suzannita is from Palembang of Indonesia’s South Sumatra province, and has grown up swearing by skin care remedies that were passed down from generation to generation.
Over To Suzannita
Asia’s a gold mine when it comes to beauty rituals that have been tried-tested-proven, and have stood the test of time. Here are some that I think are worth borrowing:
Beauty Secrets From Japan
- The beauty of a Geisha’s smooth porcelain-like skin really attracts Asians. The secret is to use powder made of natural ingredients like rice floor, and infuse it with Nightingale bird droppings.
- If that’s too out there for you, try something simpler. Geisha’s make use of camellia oil to remove their makeup. It is very rich in fatty acids, works well and dissolves even long-lasting makeup, and leaves your skin feeling plump and full; the fatty acids promote the production of collagen and hydrate the skin.
- Japanese women use silk cloths soaked in sake as a skin compress to firm up the face, brighten their complexion, and hydrate the pores.
- They also use rice water and rice powder to remove dead skin cells. The husk and residue serve as soft-textured exfoliators that help get rid of dirt and impurities, and promote cell renewal without irritating the skin.
- Nori, or the Japanese seaweed (think sushi) is more than just an appetising food ingredient. It’s packed with minerals, iron, zinc, selenium, and copper, which can accelerate hair growth and smoothes dry ends.
- Lastly, Japanese women drink Matcha or green tea regularly because the antioxidants are anti-ageing and help flush out your body, which in turn gives your skin a healthy glow.
Beauty Secrets From Korea
- Most Korean women dedicate an hour to skin care every day with as many as 10-15 steps packed in.
- Korean women always indulge in double cleansing: First, they clean their face with an oil-based cleanser, and then with a water-based one.
- They keep changing their skin care products according to season, age, needs, hormonal changes, and even breakouts.
- They also use BB cream with a high SPF to protect their skin and look flawless every day.
- Koreans use ginseng to relieve skin inflammations, maintain the moisture level in the pores, and promote elasticity.
Beauty Secrets From India
- Indian women usually have gorgeous thick hair. They massage their scalp using warm coconut oil, leave it overnight, and wash it off the next day. The high protein content and fatty acids in coconut oil help keep their locks shiny, strong, and bouncy.
- For a brighter complexion, Indian women make use of a face mask where they combine turmeric and honey. They apply it on the face, let it dry till it begins to harden and peel, and then just wash it off.
- Also, they define their gorgeous eyes with kajal (kohl) made from organic charcoal or carbon which is mixed with a binding agent like ghee (clarified butter) or plant-based oils.
Beauty Secrets From China
- Reflexology, the alternative therapy of massaging targeted zones in the feet and hands, is very popular in China. It’s great for your health and your skin too, as it facilitates blood circulation which makes the skin more resilient and vibrant.
- The popular Vampire facial where you inject your own blood back into your face to reduce signs of ageing was originally a Chinese practice.
- Like the Japanese, women in China also make use of camellia oil to nourish their skin, treat discoloration, and get rid of stretch marks.
- Not many know the benefits of green beans for beauty. Chinese women use them as face masks—you just have to smoothen them out, apply directly to the face and leave the mix on for 15 minutes before you wash. It’s really good for acne. You can add yogurt to the mask for anti-ageing and hydration benefits.
- The Chinese also use rice water as a toner. It has a tightening effect.
Beauty Secrets From Indonesia
- The royals of Indonesia used to add spices like saffron, salt, ginger, and cinnamon to their baths to invigorate the skin, and women do so even to this day.
- They also use body scrubs, especially rice scrubs, to get rid of dead cells and brighten their skin.
- They use honey as a lip mask to get a moist, fuller-looking pout. Some even make use of natural dyes from roses instead of lipsticks.
- Indonesian women rely on a lot of traditional herbs to keep their skin healthy, and body in shape. “Jamu” is one such traditional herb, and some others include turmeric and lime.
- They mix flowers like roses, jasmines, or even lavender in oils or water cans to serve as a natural perfume.