Many Koreans use a multi-step routine to keep their skin healthy. It’s an intensive process that requires commitment but delivers results.
The Korean routine starts with double cleansing, with a makeup remover/oil cleanser application followed by a water cleanser to remove any remaining residue.
Next up is an exfoliator (optional for those with sensitive skin), a toner that balances pH levels, and essence, a hydrating serum that helps with skin repair.
You’re not finished: the remaining steps include an acne booster treatment, a sheet mask, some eye cream moisturizer, and finally sun protection. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a time-tested regimen for improving your skin.
The African continent is a diverse place, with various climates and skincare solutions to match. Shea butter comes from the Karite Nut tree, which grows in West and Central Africa, and has softening, moisturizing, and protective effects on the skin.
Many West Africans also add orange oil, made from the pressed skin of oranges, which lifts the mood and can fight dryness.
Egypt also has a history of creative skincare regimens, like Cleopatra’s milk and honey bath (milk helps regenerate skin cells).
Some Egyptian women still apply honey to their skin, which makes it glow. And Central Africa incorporates sugar into skincare, not just meal preparation, as the natural alpha hydroxy acids found in sugar cane can fight acne and keep the skin hydrated: applying sugar cane juice to your skin can reduce blemishes and prevent aging.
The countries of South America have their own methods of dealing with skin problems, many of them drawing on the continent’s unique and rich supply of natural resources.
Take Ecuador, where many people swear by white clay from the Amazonian basin. A thick mask of clay can moisturize your face and clear up blemishes.
Colombians have another unique recipe for skincare, a mixture of ground oatmeal, honey, milk, lemon juice, ground flour, rose water, and pink clay that they apply to their entire bodies (face included).
They aren’t the only ones using foodstuffs for skincare: Venezuelans frequently mash up avocados and use them as a face mask. And in Paraguay, the popular herb yerba mate isn’t just used as a substitute for tea; it’s applied to the face in the morning as a cleanser for a glowing complexion.
People in Nordic countries have to deal with extreme climates (their winters are horrifically cold, while their summer days can be up to 18 hours long) so they emphasize products that protect the skin from the elements.
They use skin creams with little to no perfume and rich, creamy textures, including creams loaded with omega fatty acids to protect the protein in the skin. Meanwhile, French women use a regimen of milk cleansers, toners, and moisturizers to keep the skin glowing, emphasizing a “natural” look.
If you find that your makeup is aggravating your skin condition, consider switching to the French regimen and letting your skin standalone – you may be surprised by the result!