When it comes to skin care, every country around the world has their own approach, along with one-of-a-kind tricks and tips.
From Chile to Korea to Bulgaria, here are 10 useful skin care tips from 10 different countries around the globe.
France: Micellar Water
Micellar water is an incredibly versatile product that has been used in France for decades.
What is it?
It is a type of cleanser, and while it may look just like water, it actually works in quite a unique way…
Micellar water contains a gentle surfactant, which is a chemical that cleans away dirt, bacteria and makeup. This clusters up into tiny balls, known as micelles, when you pour some of the micellar water onto a cotton pad, making them extremely effective at cleansing the face.
In addition to how well it cleans the skin, the other big benefit to micellar water is the fact that it is gentle enough to be used on all skin types, making this a cleanser perfect for those who have sensitive skin.
Bulgaria: Rose Oil
Did you know that Bulgaria is the leading producer of rose oil in the world?
This is all thanks to their Rose Valley, featuring 1895 square kilometers of the Damask Rose, an ancient variety of the flower that is revered for its medicinal properties. The flowers are harvested at a specific time, ensuring that their beneficial properties are completely retained, and can then be transferred into the oil or water created from the flowers.
As you can imagine, with all of these natural resources around, roses play a big part in Bulgarian skin care routines.
But how exactly does rose oil help the skin?
It has a few different benefits, such as:
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Encourages skin cell regeneration
- Reduces redness
- Calms and soothes the skin
- Moisturizes the skin
This is an ingredient that you could either add in to the end of your skin care routine, applying it to your face after your moisturizer, or, alternatively, look for a product that has already been formulated with rose oil.
Keep in mind that this ingredient can sometimes be quite pricey, and rightly so…
To produce just one ounce of rose oil, tens of thousands of rose petals are needed, in order to ensure that the oil is adequately potent. If you find rose oil available at a bargain price, make sure that you check for pureness, as well as for the origin of the roses used.
Sweden: Saunas and Cold Water
The Scandinavian countries are known for their love of saunas, and not only is this such a relaxing tradition, but it also does the skin plenty of good too.
It causes the body to sweat, which then boosts heart rate and blood flow. In addition to this, your pores will open up to release all of the toxins that the sweat has flushed out from your pores. This increase in circulation, as well as the detoxifying effect that saunas have, result in a clear and glowing complexion.
Of course, the key to this is making sure that you submerge your body in cold water after stepping out of the sauna, even if this may just be a quick cool shower.
Why is this important?
Because the cold water will rinse away all of the salt and toxins that your sweat has purged from your pores, while also closing your pores back up.
The popularity of saunas has taken off in countries all over the world, and, no matter where you live, you are likely to be able to find a sauna at a gym or health center near you.
Israel: Dead Sea Mud
If you are familiar with face masks, then you have likely already heard of Dead Sea mud before.
For those who haven’t, the mud that comes from the Dead Sea has long since been used for skin-healing and other medicinal treatments.
Because it contains especially high concentrations of salts and minerals, including:
The many minerals in Dead Sea mud means that it can help with everything from eczema and psoriasis to acne, while also regulating the skin’s pH level and stimulating the way in which the skin naturally exfoliates itself.
For those in Israel who have direct access to the Dead Sea, this mud makes a regular appearance in skin care routines, with many even bottling some of the mud to bring it home with them.
For the rest of you who aren’t living near the Dead Sea, the popularity of this mud means that it is now being sold all over the world, usually as a face mask.
Japan: The Tapping Method
Do you usually rub or massage your skin care products into your skin?
For most people, the answer will be yes, followed by “how else am I meant to apply them?”
Well, according to the Japanese, the secret is to gently tap the product into your skin instead.
For a couple of different reasons…
Firstly, rubbing at your skin, especially in the more delicate areas, causes stress to your skin, resulting in it stretching. As you age and your skin loses its supplies of collagen and elastin, it will have a much harder time bouncing back to its original position.
Secondly, when layering skin care products, patting one product over the top of another allows each product to be absorbed individually by your skin.
Of course, the act of patting the skin is beneficial too, due to the way in which it boosts circulation and encourages blood flow. This means that more blood, along with the oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries, is being delivered to your skin cells, giving you a brighter and healthier complexion.
Korea: Maintenance Facials
Korea is known for being pretty advanced when it comes to skin care, with many Korean skin care routines consisting of up to 15 different steps.
In addition to spending this time each day on their skin, Koreans are also big believers in maintenance facials, which are actually quite different to the facials indulged in in the Western world.
While Western facials are considered to be a special treat, Korea is filled with neighborhood skin maintenance shops that offer up this service.
What exactly do these maintenance facials involve?
Here are some of the most common treatments carried out during a Korean facial:
- Chemically exfoliating
- An ampoule or essence
- A sheet mask
- A moisturizing mask
- Isolated extractions
While Western facials are designed to be comfortable and enjoyable, Korean facials solely focus on aiding the skin in becoming more contoured and firmer, meaning that the pressure used for some of the techniques is quite strong.
One final tip that you can adopt from Korean facials is…
These facials aren’t just applied to the face. Instead, they also extend downwards to the neck and chest, which are areas that are often neglected when it comes to Western skin care. The skin here is just as delicate as the skin on the rest of your face, so take a note from the Koreans and give your neck and chest a facial too.
How often do Koreans usually go for a maintenance facial?
About every two weeks, which is why the facials in Korea are usually quite affordably priced.
If you can’t afford a fortnightly facial where you live, the steps for a Korean facial are easy to carry out yourself at home.
Iceland: Pure, Natural and Native Ingredients
The people of Iceland have to deal with an extremely harsh climate, and this can really take its toll on the skin. With cold and dry winters, biting winds and quite a water-centric culture, Icelandic women usually have to work quite hard to keep their skin moisturized, hydrated and protected from the environment.
How do they do this?
By making the most of the pure and natural ingredients that grow within their own country.
Many of these ingredients come from some of the least-touched places on Earth, meaning that they are packed with goodness and don’t contain any of the impurities found in the skin care ingredients grown in more populated areas.
Never considered incorporating Icelandic ingredients into your skin care routine before?
Here are some of the best ones to try:
- Sea Buckthorn – contains skin-healing and rejuvenating properties, while also slowing down the skin aging process
- Cloudberry – a tart orange fruit rich in vitamins A, C and E, along with essential fatty acids
- Icelandic Kelp – packed with a wide range of vitamins and minerals, and known for their moisturizing and anti-aging benefits
- Blue Lagoon Geothermal Water – named as one of the 25 wonders of the world, the geothermal water from the blue lagoon is packed with algae, silica and minerals, all of which encourage the skin’s natural collagen production while strengthening the skin’s protective barrier
Chile: Red Grapes
Chile is famous for its grape production, and in addition to creating some of the world’s best wines from these, many Chilean women also make use of these grapes for their skin.
Homemade face masks with the grapes as a star ingredient are popular, but how do these grapes actually benefit the skin?
Well, grapes are packed with an antioxidant called resveratrol.
This ingredient has been in the spotlight quite a bit lately, with research showing that its antioxidant abilities could actually be greater than that of vitamins C and E.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to go crushing red grapes over your face to experience these benefits.
Thanks to its increasing popularity, resveratrol is now formulated into a variety of skin care products, giving you plenty of choice if you would like to experience the benefits of this potent antioxidant.
China: Sun Protection
When was the last time you stepped outside without protecting your skin from the sun first?
For most of you, the answer will probably be quite recently, but this would be completely different if the question was asked in China.
The Chinese have long since revered pale and smooth skin, with the importance of sun protection being drilled into them from the earliest age.
Rather than laying out and toasting their skin in the sun, the Chinese tend to be highly diligent about sun protection.
Not only do they make sure that their skin is constantly protected with a layer of sunscreen, but a wide-brimmed hat will feature in most outfits, followed up by a UV-blocking umbrella if the sun is particularly strong that day.
This may seem like overkill, but the sun is responsible for up to 90% of facial wrinkles, and smooth, youthful skin is something that the majority of Chinese women aim to achieve.
Even if you don’t want to wear a hat and an umbrella, it would still be worthwhile to take a tip from the youthful complexions in China and make sure that you are always wearing an adequate sunscreen, each and every day.
Vietnam: Rice Water Toners
Vietnam grows large amounts of rice, making it no surprise that the women of Vietnam have found a way to use this rice to benefit their skin.
By creating rice water from it. This is packed with antioxidants that have a number of different effects, including:
- Heals acne and prevents future breakouts
- Detoxifies the skin
- Minimizes appearance of pores
- Clears sun spots and hyperpigmentation
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Lightens and brightens the skin
The best way to make use of rice water is through a toner, although face masks containing this ingredient would also be extremely beneficial.
It is always interesting to take a look at how different countries around the globe approach skin care. From the sun-protecting efforts of China to the pure and natural ingredients of Iceland, these tips could really make a world of difference to your skin.