Having Asian skin has many advantages. Your skin is less prone to pre-mature aging, e.g. wrinkling and sagging, than light Caucasian skin is, meaning you will on average probably look younger than your peers of, say, Irish or Celtic descent. Your skin burns less easily than light Caucasian skin does and is therefore less prone to sun damage and skin cancer.
But there are also some challenges that come with having Asian skin and some myths that need to be corrected.Having Asian skin has many advantages. Your skin is less prone to pre-mature aging, e.g. wrinkling and sagging, than light Caucasian skin is, meaning you will on average probably look younger than your peers of, say, Irish or Celtic descent. Your skin burns less easily than light Caucasian skin does and is therefore less prone to sun damage and skin cancer.
But there are also some challenges that come with having Asian skin and some myths that need to be corrected. By being aware and following a couple of tips, you will ensure that your skin will look amazing and healthy for a long time.
Asian skin contains more melanin than light Caucasian skin does.
remember, that just because your skin tone is light, like that of a lot of fair-skinned Asians, it doesn’t mean that your skin is not dark “on the inside”.
This means that Asian skin has a built-in SPF in their skin that helps prevent burning of the skin by the sun, and it also means that your skin will tan more easily than light Irish or Celtic-skin-types do. While this built-in SPF helps prevent sun damage, premature skin aging and skin cancer, it also means that your skin can get discolored more easily when irritated by harsh cosmetics or aggressive dermatological procedures. Whether you are buying an acne-spot treatment or choosing to get laser treatments at a dermatologist office to get rid of wrinkles, err on the side of gentle and gradual.
Also, remember, that just because your skin tone is light, like that of a lot of fair-skinned Asians, it doesn’t mean that your skin is not dark “on the inside”. This means that even though your skin may look light, it probably still contains more melanin than light Caucasian skin does, and therefore may get discolored more easily. So if your skin is light but you have Asian ancestry, tell your dermatologist, so that the best treatment can be chosen for your skin type, or consult with a dermatologist who specializes in the treatment of Asian and ethnic skin.
Asian skin is often more on the oily side. That is because Asian skin tends to have more sebaceous glands (glands that produce oil) than Caucasian skin does. If that means you are constantly fighting break-through shine on your skin, make sure that you use oil-free moisturizers. However, don’t make the mistake of using overly harsh cleansers or products loaded with alcohol, to rid skin of excess oil.
First of all, your skin will go into overdrive to produce more oil, and second, you may irritate your skin and cause a whole string of other problems (e.g. breakouts and redness). The key is to stick to gentle cleansers and oil-free hydrators that provide your skin with essential water while curbing oil production. Oily skin obviously does not have issues of dryness, but it can become dehydrated, i.e. lack water. Just think of how your skin feels after a long flight: it looks shiny on the surface from all the oil but feels strangely parched and tight underneath. When choosing a hydrator or moisturizer, stay away from oils and instead look for water-binding ingredients that add hydration, not oil, to your skin, e.g. hyaluronic acid or glycerin. If you have some dryness around the eyes or isolated spots on the face, just use a more emollient moisturizer on those spots.
Oily skin can be more blemish-prone than dry skin, especially during times of hormonal fluctuation or stress. Here is where people with Asian skin need to be aware: Because Asian skin has more melanin, i.e. tans more easily, it also can get discolored more easily than Caucasian skin.
Ingredients that have a gentle astringent (i.e. oil-curbing) effect include pomegranate extract, cinnamon and ginger extracts and witch hazel. For an immediate mattifying effect, look for products containing silicone that also smooth out little imperfections and create a perfect canvas for an oil-free foundation or powder foundation. Of course, don’t forget to keep oil-blotting paper as well as pressed powder in your purse to touch up throughout the day. Some oil-blotting papers have translucent powder on one side – “ a convenient 2-in-1 solution. Just be aware that if your complexion is medium to dark, translucent powder will look too light and unnatural on your skin.
Oily skin can be more blemish-prone than dry skin, especially during times of hormonal fluctuation or stress. Here is where people with Asian skin need to be aware: Because Asian skin has more melanin, i.e. tans more easily, it also can get discolored more easily than Caucasian skin. Common over-the-counter creams and lotions containing salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide (the 2 most popular anti-acne ingredients available without a prescription) help treat blemishes but they can also irritate the skin and leave dark marks on the skin. When choosing blemish treatments, read the ingredient list and opt for a lower dose of active ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. For example, instead of a 10% benzoyl peroxide acne spot treatment, opt for one with a 2.5% dose. Instead of 2% salicylic acid, opt or 1% or 1.5%. Also keep in mind that using all medicated products in your skincare program, from cleanser to toner to moisturizer to spot treatment, may overload and irritate your skin. If your occasional blemishes turn into full-blown acne, you should consult a dermatologist so that it will not result in scars and discoloration.
Lastly, just because Asian skin has a built-in SPF doesn’t mean that it does not need broad-spectrum sun protection. The rate of skin cancer amongst Asian people is definitely lower than it is amongst fair-skinned Caucasians, but statistics show that Asians are still at high risk. Therefore, follow the ground rules for proper sun protection. Apply broad-spectrum sun protection with at least SPF 15 every day, rain or shine, and stay out of the sun during peak hours. That way, you will protect your skin from the risk of skin cancer, but you will also help prevent any dark-spot discoloration and allow any discolorations to clear over time.
Of Japanese and German origin, Yoshiko K. Roth’s fascination with skin health began in her childhood with the discovery of her chemist father’s dictionary of dermatological diseases. This early childhood curiosity propelled her to launch a career in the world of skincare. After attending University in Germany and receiving her MBA from NYU Stern School of Business, Yoshiko joined Eau Thermale Avene, France’s #1 dermo-cosmetic skincare brand/pharmacy skincare brand and was instrumental in the company’s rapid expansion in the USA. “I have always been fascinated by how people in different countries take care of their skin. Wherever I travel, I spend hours in department stores and drugstores studying products and speaking to the sales associates,” says Yoshiko. Yearning to find a brand that speaks to her Asian heritage, Yoshiko re-directed her passion and knowledge for skincare to a company she could call her own by co-founding JUARA. “The Indonesian herbal tradition and beauty rituals have opened my eyes to an approach to skincare that I find is both timeless and cutting edge,” she says. Today, Yoshiko continues to introduce the West to timeless Eastern ingredients as JUARA’s head of sales and marketing. Her skin care line www.juaraskincare.com