Natural ingredients in skincare and makeup have been at the forefront of beauty for years—though it feels like they’re *just* starting to be talked about. Beauty lovers are beginning to become more mindful about what types of products they apply to their face, and more and more people are reading the ingredients list on the back of their favorite products. On that note, modern Asian beauty is dedicated to incorporating natural ingredients: all that have incredible benefits for users. Learn how Asia uses these ingredients, and how you can start using them in your own routine.
Rice is a Staple for a Reason
Rice is one of the most prominent foods in Asia. It’s a staple (in *many* cultures) and it serves as the base for meals all across the continent. Rice also has skincare benefits – what can’t it do? – and has trickled its way into an unorthodox role: an important Asian skincare ingredient. Rice is especially popular in Japanese skincare; it’s often used as a skin conditioner as well as an antioxidant. When in a finely-milled powder form, it can be used as a gentle exfoliant. Fermented rice skincare products are also known for their toning and anti-aging properties.
Nice, Natural, Native Plants
Native Asian plants, such as bamboo, are also utilized in cultural beauty trends. Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing crops in Asia—it symbolizes strength, beauty, and loyalty. Charcoal is derived from the bamboo plant, and it detoxifies and purifies oily skin. Charcoal is widely found in beauty products—including ones on shelves in the U.S.—as its porous structure allows it to absorb beneficial properties. Bamboo extract is also used in haircare, as well as oral care, for its balancing and anti-inflammatory advantages.
Flowers Have the Power
Each country in Asia has a *vast* landscape of different flowers. Not only are flowers culturally considered the epitome of beauty, but they possess amazing skincare benefits as well. Camellia Japonica is a sought-after ingredient in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese beauty practices. This flower is an antioxidant as well as an emollient, meaning it allows for more of a “slip and slide” feel on the skin (no tugging!). The seed oil is used for moisture, and it can often be used on the hair and body for nourishment.
Holy Basil—also known as Tulsi in Indian culture—is used not only in spiritual rituals, but in beauty, too. The extract of Tulsi has incredible benefits, such as being antimicrobial, which means it protects against fungi infections. This herbal ingredient is meant for people with sensitive skin or hair, as it is often found as an anti-dandruff ingredient.
Although people in Western culture are incorporating more and more natural and ethically-sourced ingredients in their beauty products, Asia has had centuries upon centuries of natural beauty practices. These Asian ingredients allow us to be more mindful: not only concerning what we are ingesting into our bodies every day, but what we are applying on our face, body, and hair. It is riveting to see how we can enjoy the natural benefits of our every-day world, from flowers to rice, in our diet, as well as our beauty routines.