A flawless complexion, wrinkle-free face, graceful figure, shiny hair — the beauty-related dreams of Asian women are no different from those of the Europeans. They achieve perfection by gaining from tradition but also from the modern techniques in cosmetology.
To look young and healthy is important to Asian women. Hence the popularity of anti-wrinkle cosmetics applied even by women in their 20s. The reason for this is the not yet so popular in the Western world, anti-ageing philosophy, that is preventing the effects of ageing rather than repairing what the passing time has done to the skin and the body. Asian women apply even more than ten cosmetics each day. For example, they can use up to 3-4 different products for eye skin care during a single beauty ritual, which they perform each morning and evening. They pay great attention the skin cleansing.
Asian women, when it comes to beauty care, appreciate the newest high-tech advances in cosmetology and aesthetic medicine treatments just as much as natural ingredients and rituals used for centuries in beauty care in these cultures, green tea or massage for instance. Asian women are indeed obsessive about photoageing, hence the popularity of high-SPF sunscreens as well as protection from the rays of the sun… under a parasol during a walk on a hot summer day. For them, beautiful skin is skin bearing no signs of suntan, and as pale skin is the ideal hence various types of skin lightening creams and masks are in high demand.
The way’s to a man’s… beauty is through his stomach
Asian women know that what we eat has an immense influence on beauty. And this does not only concern keeping a slim figure, but also the realisation that even the most expensive cosmetics will not work unless they receive appropriate support from within. Asian cuisine is thus not only tasty and healthy, but is also good for beauty. It is packed with fruit and vegetables — sources of vitamins including vitamin C and E - strong antioxidants fighting free radicals responsible for ageing.
The Asian women’s diet is also rich in fish, which apart from their rich nutritional value, are a great source of unsaturated fatty acids (omega-3). These acids not only contribute to the prevention and symptom relief of the so-called modern-age diseases, but also promote the regeneration processes of the skin, alleviate its irritation, relieve swelling and postpone the ageing processes. Seafood, in turn, aside from omega-3 contains many vitamins (especially B vitamins) and minerals such as selenium, zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, fluorine. They are important not only for the proper function of the body (e.g. calcium — bone building), but also improve the condition of the skin by enhancing its elasticity.
Soya makes another crucial element of the diet of Asian women, and similarly to fish and seafood is a source of omega-3 acids and B vitamins, but also contains isoflavones — natural phyto-estrogen. After entering the body they mimmic the action of oestrogens. This way they can support the hormonal balance in women, and through this they can also affect the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid in the deeper layers of the skin. Above all though, they are strong antioxidants. As a part of a ’beauty diet’ the fruit of the jujube plant are also popular in China, also known as Chinese dates, as well as lotus seeds or ginseng root, while in Japan - algae.
A healthy diet is enriched by Asian women with dietary supplements. Their application in Asia is highly widespread.
The natural allies of beauty
In beauty care of Asian women, tradition and nature play a crucial role. In Chinese culture, the word ’balance’ is particularly highlighted. Hence, the idea of stress, accumulation of tensions, which negatively affect one’s health and beauty seem unfamiliar there.
Face massage plays a big part of the beauty care of Asian women. Stroking, patting and pinching of the skin improves the facial oval, relaxes the muscles and prevents the appearance of wrinkles. The beneficial properties of soya are experienced by the Asian women not only by its consumption, but also through the application of cosmetics with soya as the main ingredient. Soya is particularly effective in anti-ageing cosmetics. Its active ingredients improve the tone and hydration of the skin.
Another cosmetological hit made in Asia is green tea. For centuries now it has been considered a source of health and youth. Its remarkable properties have been applied also in cosmetology, mainly thanks to polyphenols. These compounds exhibit antioxidant properties (remove free radicals), which in addition work more potently than vitamins C and E. As a result of using of cosmetics containing antioxidants, the connective-tissue of the skin and blood vessels become stronger, and the skin is better protected against UV radiation. This is the reason green tea extract is often used in preparations, which are designed to combat ageing. It is also effective Inca semantics for young skin helping to decrease excessive sebum production responsible for greasy skin. Green tea is also applied in anti-cellulite cosmetics, shampoos, conditioners, and thanks to a beautiful fragrance, in body lotions and perfumes. A home method for beautiful hair of Chinese women is, for example, a hair rinse prepared from two cups of green tea and a dozen drops of rosemary oil.
Pearl, camellia and nightingale
Among natural Asian cosmetics, jasmine proves highly popular. Jasmine oil softens the skin, but at the same time reinforces its protective barrier, relieves irritation, replenishes the lipid deficits. Importantly, it hydrates not only the epidermis but also deeper layers of the skin. Pearl powder-based cosmetics are very commonly used by Chinese women. In traditional Chinese medicine it is applied also as a supplement. Pearl powder is thought to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, but above all medicinal and ’body-cooling’ properties. Cosmetics containing pearl powder, according to Chinese women, help fight wrinkles, improve skin tone, whiten and protect from the sun. Whereas Japanese women tend to have a soft spot for cosmetics with camellia oil. They rub tsubaki — extra virgin camellia seed oil, into hair and nail skin, as well as apply to the face, neck, neckline and body. It helps fight stretch marks, changes in the skin colour, and superbly nourishes the skin. However, the true export blockbuster of Japanese cosmetology is a mask made from…nightingale droppings, which intensely hydrates, smoothes, lightens changes in the skin colour, reduces wrinkles and improves the look of the skin.
For the sake of a beautiful body
Asian body care is, apart from cosmetics, mainly massage, but also physical activity. Various types of Asian massage, according to traditional Chinese medicine, restore harmony and energise. They are meant to improve both mental and physical performance. One of the most popular ones is the shiatsu massage, in literal translation ”massage with a finger”, which is customised to the individual needs of the body. Shiatsu massage is performed on a mat laid out on the floor, without the use of oils, in loose-fitting clothing. The masseur during the treatment performs repeated thumb pressing of each part of the body, thereby regulating the flow of the qi energy of the patient. This is supposed to provide good mood, but also benefit the looks since the massage improves the function of the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems.
Public exercise is specific to Asia, and particularly China. In the open, in parks, the Chinese collectively engage in various forms of exercise — from tai-chi, kung-fu, yoga to special exercise for seniors. All these forms of exercise according to the Chinese, affect the harmony of body and spirit, improving the entire physiology of the body, ensuring health, fitness and thereby beauty.