Asian skin care-it’s not a new trend.
I won’t bore you with my “I used to live in South Korea” stories but for a period of time, I certainly did live there. While I did have access to all the ‘western’ skincare brands, me being my adventuresome self, always ventured out to try new things. Fast forward to today, I live in the global metropolis of Toronto and work in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). My office is located in the heart of a city/town that has a predominantly Asian population. So it’s no wonder I gravitate back towards products I’ve known and been using for years. I have some favorites that I thought I would share with you.
This Mild Papaya Peeling Gel from the Face Shop is how I rid myself of dead, dry, calloused skin on my feet. Now that I am using my feet a lot more (more working out, ballet class), they need this more than ever! I tend to follow it up with a VERY thick body butter and some warm cozy socks. This product is ideally for the face and I do use it there, but also use it on my hands and feet. Don’t worry, this a very gentle fruit acid….so it won’t burn you (although I’d still test on sensitive skin first) but don’t be shocked when all that dead skin comes off as you rub the product around.
Another favorite of mine from the Face Shop is the Herb Day 365 Cleansing Foam in Lemon. I’ve long been a fan of the Face Shop’s Lemon Brightening sheet mask so it’s no surprise to me that I love this so much. It removes dirt without drying and stripping skin and leaves me visibly brightened. The price point is great too and this line is often on sale for ~ $6.95 which isn’t terrible. This is a ‘hidden gem’ underdog type of product.
My undereye area has always been a ‘challenge’ for me. Challenge is an understatement during a Canada winter. This Ultimate Hydra Perfection Contour Brightening eye product from Racinne gives instant hydration in a light gel, almost serum texture. I love the applicator-it’s like a little spatula!
This Lip Sleeping Mask from Laneige is one of my more recent finds. In addition to my undereyes, my lips take the brunt of the cold winter months. I adore this mask and use it every night. It comes with a spatula to apply and spread the product around. I wouldn’t be able to wear lipstick if it weren’t for this product. I wake up in the morning with soft, hydrated lips!
Another ‘recent’ find is the Llang Redgin Magic Oil. This is a wonderfully light, hydrating facial oil used after washing but before essence. It absorbs quickly into the skin and works in harmony with your other face products. Why is it called magic oil you ask? There are at least 8 recommended modes of use for this oil according to the product instructions on the back of the box: 1) mixing with water for washing your face; 2) steaming your face with a wet towel which contains water mixed with a few drops of the oil; 3) spraying it as a mist mixture on the face (when mixed with water); 4) direct application on the face and neck for massage; 5) after-shower body care as a body oil; 6) as an oil which can be applied to the damaged ends of dry hair; 7) application on dry hand cuticles; 8) application on hands and feet. Yes it’s worth it.
The Face Shop Chia Seed Water is my current ‘essence’ -this is applied post Llang magic oil application (see previous product). The Chia seed line is for those with oily skin (mine is normal to oily) and I have to say I’ve tried their chia seed moisturizer and this water, and I prefer the water. It’s so light that I don’t worry about it making my face feel greasy when I apply my serum and moisturizer afterwards. It also is the ‘right’ amount of moisture.
This wouldn’t be an Asian Skincare post without some kind of ‘sheet mask’ mention. I have used quite a few of these over the years and I have rarely used one I didn’t like. However, I find these sets really give you a good value for your money. This particular one is the My Beauty Diary Wonderland Teatime set. It contains 15 masks (this particular set is the ‘brightening’ set). I got this as part of a Chinese New Year sale and I may have paid $16.00 for it. Sheet masks are a wonderful way to get some relaxation time and some extra hydration. Pop one of these on for 15 minutes and then massage in the serum after you take it off. Fantastic. I often use these during my epsom salt baths.
And there you have it. My skincare favorites from Asia. I know that if you’re reading this, you are more than likely an aficionado or have at least tried some skincare from another country. What are your favorites? I’d love to hear about them!