THE ABCS OF ASIAN SKIN CARE
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Asian Skin Characteristics and Special Needs
Asian skin, like skin of other ethnic origins, can have a wide variety of characteristics, depending on the region and ethnic group. However, there are certain general trends observed in concerns faced by people of Asian origin regarding their skin.
Hyperpigmentation: With increased cellular activity to produce melanin, Asian skin tends to be more prone to hyperpigmentation than Caucasian skin. This makes sun protection an absolute must in an Asian skincare regimen. The emphasis on skin brightening and even-toning products in Asian skincare routines is a direct response to these concerns.
Combination Skin: As far as skin type is concerned, combination or oily-prone skin is most commonly found among Asian skin types. Skin can feel oilier in the T-zone area, but it can also become dehydrated, emphasizing the importance of maintaining the skin's moisture balance. This skin type can react to the climate by developing redness in cold and windy weather, while heat and humidity can lead to increased sebum production and the appearance of blackheads.
Sensitivity: If you are Asian or of Asian descent, there is a higher probability that your skin reacts to cosmetic products. Studies have even shown that the incidence of retinol sensitivity is higher in Asians than in Caucasians. Therefore, it's crucial to choose skincare products suited to your needs, avoiding abrasive cleansers and favoring soothing formulas enriched with ingredients such as green tea, chamomile, or rosewater.
Finally, it's essential to remember that these characteristics are generalizations, and that each individual can present significant variations in their skin depending on genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Therefore, it is crucial to adapt skincare to the specific needs of each individual, regardless of their ethnic origin and skin type.
Asian skin care: a different approach
Asian skincare, with its emphasis on oil-based cleansers, sleeping masks, and a carefully curated routine, offers a unique and effective approach to achieving healthy, glowing skin.
Originating in Japan and popularized by Korean beauty experts, layering is a beauty ritual widespread in Asia. Characterized by the meticulous layering of products, often organic or natural, in a specific order to maximize benefits for the skin. This is why it's often referred to as "millefeuille skincare." In short, layering encompasses a series of skincare products with unique properties that help enhance the skin. Here are the main steps of this ritual:
Purify with precision
- Make-up removal: Begin with an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup, sunscreen, and impurities.
- Gentle cleansing: Follow up with a gentle water-based cleanser suited to your skin type to remove residue and excess sebum. Deep cleansing is essential to maintain clean skin.
- Exfoliation (1-2 times a week): Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, revealing softer, brighter skin. Gentle chemical exfoliants such as glycolic acid are popular for this step.
- Toner: A moisturizing toner balances the skin's pH and prepares it to receive subsequent products. Unlike Western toners, which can be astringent and drying, Asian toners are typically hydrating and pH-balancing. They prepare your skin to absorb the subsequent skincare products. Look for toners infused with ingredients like green tea, hyaluronic acid, or rosewater for added benefits.
- Essence: Essences are the heart of an Asian skincare routine. These lightweight, watery serums are designed to hydrate, brighten, and rejuvenate the skin. Common ingredients found include:
- Hyaluronic acids to hydrate the skin,
- Plant extracts such as aloe, green tea, chamomile or ginseng, which can soothe, revitalize or protect the skin,
- AHA or BHA to exfoliate the skin,
- Antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E to protect skin against free-radical damage,
- Niacinamide to reduce the appearance of pores, brighten skin and diminish dark spots…
- Serums and Targeted Treatments: Use serums containing specific ingredients targeting your individual concerns, such as acne, pigmentation spots, or wrinkles.
- Masks (1-2 times a week): Moisturizing, soothing or treating masks are commonly used in Asian skincare rituals. Fabric masks are particularly popular in Korea.
- Eye Contour: An important step. A specific eye contour product, such as a cream or serum, is gently applied around the eyes. These products are formulated to be gentler and lighter than other facial products, as the eye area is thinner and more delicate and is more easily marked.
- Moisturizing Cream: Apply a moisturizing cream to seal in moisture, nourish the skin, and prevent hydration loss to maintain skin suppleness. You can opt for a different moisturizer in the morning and at night. The Fluid Cream and The Cream by Le Domaine can perfectly complement each other.
- Lip Moisturizing: Don't forget to moisturize your lips with lip balm to keep them soft and smooth.
- Sleeping Mask (Night Routine): Sleeping masks are a Korean skincare trademark, providing overnight nourishment and moisture to your skin.
- Absolute protection: Daily sun protection is essential to prevent UV damage. Asian sunscreens are often lightweight, leaving no white residue. Consider using a sunscreen with SPF 30 or 50, chosen to suit your skin type. If it's incorporated into a tinted cream, it becomes even more effective. Why is that? Tinted creams block out some of the visible light (blue light).
Completed with light face massage, brushing the body with soft brushes to remove dead cells, and the regular practice of steam baths, layering is one of the key ingredients of Asian skincare. This Layering ritual may seem complex, but many people find that these steps help maintain healthy skin and prevent the signs of aging. It is also an opportunity to slow down and take the time to take care of yourself. However, if layering is too much for you, you can always adapt the ritual to your lifestyle. Why not use it only at night, or on weekends? For a simpler ritual, you can always explore our Routines.