I don’t usually take skincare that seriously, but when it’s necessary, I slip inside the slimy black hole of Asian beauty.
I was warned that it could get impractical because of its “10-step routine.” Or that trying it out could lead to unrealistic expectations—thinking my skin would resemble Song Hye-kyo’s Laneige-boosted whiteness.
Thanks to Reddit, Google and Real Life, I’ve found out that this region-specific skincare is not all hype and exotic; it’s an education.
Here’s a quick module on Asian skincare facts:
Brightening vs. whitening
Don’t confuse brightening products with whitening ones, or else you’ll feel cheated. Asian cultures are notorious for peddling the idea that white skin is the best skin. But whitening products aren’t exactly the most beneficial to your skin.
If you’re not vying for the title “whitest girl alive,” what you may be looking for are products that brighten your acne scars and other discoloration. Look for products that highlight this benefit.
I personally love Aloe Derma’s Nutraceutical Brightening Essence.
Ingredient list matters
Asian skincare puts a premium on ingredients; makers of Asian brands are aware that consumers are literate in fillers, sulfates and other potential acne triggers.
To fully commit to the Asian beauty lifestyle, you should have the patience to scour through ingredient lists.
In Asian skincare lingo, moisturizing is all about babying your “moisture barrier.”
Skin is made of layers that help maintain defense systems powered by water. When UV (ultraviolet) rays or harsh cleansers distress your skin, the barrier’s repair mechanisms may get overwhelmed and eventually break. You’ll end up with dull, dry skin.
It’s impractical to layer on creams in humid weather, but moisturizers may come in thin lotions like Swanicoco’s AC Control Care Emulsion or heavier water like Aloe Derma’s Moisturizing Aloe Vera Juice.
Letting your skin drink up all this moisture may help rejuvenate it.
Acids are good.
Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston were slightly right: There can be miracles—but only when you use acids.
Acids are hardworking ingredients that help treat specific concerns and speed up your skin’s cell turnover rate.
There are many kinds of acids; some are in-depth exfoliators like alpha hydroxy (AHA) and beta hydroxyl (BHA) acids, which can be found in products like CosRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid and BHA Blackhead Power Liquid.
Others are moisturizing like the hyaluronic acid in Hada Labo’s Gokujyun Lotion; mandelic acid in My Scheming’s Mandelic Acid Brightening Mask lightens the skin.
Sunscreen is not only for the beach.
The Philippines has only two seasons: hot and hotter. In this country of perpetual summers, it’s important to slather on sunscreen to protect your skin.
To avoid premature wrinkles, keep away from the sun’s UV rays that may worsen your hyperpigmentation and burn your skin, especially when you’re using acids like AHA that increase your skin’s photosensitivity.
I never go out without bathing in Biore UV Perfect Face Milk with SPF50+ PA+++.