Ethnic skin care: Asian skin care basics
Simple skin care basics and regime to keep asian skin beautiful.
Asian skin has long been prized for its translucent glow and porcelain-like finish. Normally it is yellow in color due to the extra melanin present but the tone can vary from light beige to very fair. It is soft and because the pores tend to be tiny it can be exceptionally transparent and smooth in its appearance. Because of this it is easily prone to flaws due to acne, sun damage or other scarring that produces inflammation. Good basic care and preventative measures will assist in keeping it blemish-free for a lifetime of beauty. The regimen that follows is simple and easy to maintain.
In the morning a gentle, hydrating cleanser is suggested.
After drying the skin massage in a moisturizing cream containing hydroquinone (this helps fade any dark patches) and a sun protection factor of at least 15 to prevent new patches from developing.
At night a gentle cleanser should be used again and any of the anti-aging creams containing retinols, alpha and beta hydroxy acids or vitamin C. If a dermatologist is seen a prescription strength preparation of any of these may be used.
A nutritious diet is also recommended including eight to ten glasses of water a day and plenty of fruits and vegetables high in anti-oxidants.
Avoiding sun exposure is also recommended as with any skin type.
Asian skin can be very sensitive, reacting to chemicals such as preservatives, fragrance or alcohol. These should be avoided if they cause irritation. Products claiming they are hypoallergenic should be sought. Because of this and the higher melanin content there are also many cosmetic procedures that shouldn’t be used on this type of skin. Microdermabrasion, laser procedures and deep chemical peels can cause mild trauma or uneven pigmentation to occur. These procedures should be approached with caution. Injectable procedures such as Botox to relax the skin and acupuncture can be effectively used without as much negative consequence.
Whiter, lighter skin is prized among Asian women. There are some different types of preparations that can be used to achieve this look to some degree. Hydroquinone is an agent used to “bleach” the skin actually preventing the production of excess melanin. Over-the-counter preparations usually contain about two percent of hydroquinone while prescription creams contain about four percent. Hydroquinone in the lower percentage should be tried first to avoid irritation. Alpha hydroxy tetronic acid is a molecule, which is very similar to vitamin C. Although known for its bleaching properties, vitamin C can be irritating. Alpha hydroxy tetronic acid’s anti-oxidant action is stronger than vitamin C but much less irritating, which would make it a better choice for Asian skin.
Some botanical skin lightners are mulberry extract, chamomile, and licorice extract. Rice powder when made into a paste with water can inhibit melanin. It also contains a high concentration of PABA, ferulic acid and allantoin, which are all very effective sunscreens.
They say beauty is skin deep. Simple, proper skin care for Asian skin or any skin type, for that matter, maintains and improves its appearance. When it comes to skin, beauty isn’t just in the eye of the beholder, it’s in the regimen used to take care of it.