According to a dermatologist
We’ll be the first to admit it - looking after your skin can be seriously complicated. Besides there being different skin types (such as combination, dry and sensitive), your skin can behave and react differently at certain ages and stages of life, such as when you’re pregnant or going through menopause. On top of that, genetics play a big part in how your skin should be looked after.
Asian skin, for example, usually produce a greater amount of oil than Western or African counterparts (and therefore are more prone to acne), and due to higher levels of melanin present in Asian skin, signs of ageing usually come through as hyperpigmentation (like freckles or age spots), rather than fine lines and wrinkles.
So what’s the best way to look after Asian skin specifically? We spoke with Dr Simon Lin, a dermatologist who specialises in general dermatology and aesthetic dermatology in Taiwan, for his tips on looking after Asian skin.
Simplify your skin care routine
When it comes to looking after Asian skin, the first thing that comes to mind is an extensive skin care routine, such as one that involves 10 or more products. It turns out that this shouldn’t be the case: Dr Lin says you only need a gentle cleanser, toner, moisturiser and sunscreen. “Simple is best, [but] simple is not equal to doing nothing,” he says. “Your cleanser should be as simple as possible. If you overdo your cosmetic care, you can cause damage.”
Go easy on the actives
Just because Asian skin is more likely to be oily, doesn’t mean you should overload your skin care routine with AHAs or BHAs to clear the surface of congestion. “So many people believe in the benefits of active ingredients,” says Dr Lin. “So many dermatologists have patients who have acne problems and recommend a salicylic cleanser and salicylic toner, and it’s too much. I think that if you are going to use [active ingredients], you should only add them to one product in your routine.”
Make sure you apply sunscreen
Sun damage, in the form of hyperpigmentation like freckles and uneven skin tone, is a leading sign of ageing in Asian skin due to increased levels of melanin. So, Dr Lin recommends wearing sunscreen daily, even if you’re not spending an extensive amount of time outdoors. “Sunscreen loses its effectiveness after a while so you should reapply every two hours,” he reminds.
Try a laser treatment
To further counteract hyperpigmentation, Dr Lin suggests looking into getting regular laser treatments, like PicoSure, to fade stubborn spots. However, he notes, “not all lasers are created equal - some have higher wavelengths that can actually cause more damage than good. If you use a high-energy laser to treat pigmentation [in Asian skin], it will damage the structure. Asian skin is more prone to having hyperpigmentation afterwards and a longer recovery time. PicoSure [which is safe for Asian skin] was introduced to the Asian market because it encourages skin rejuvenation but not damage.”
Getting a laser treatment soon? Here are the things you should avoid after your appointment.
What’s your favourite product to use on Asian skin? Let us know in the comments below.
Main image credit: Getty
Iantha is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor, and has been part of the team since the site launched in 2016. Besides pinot noir, she has a healthy obsession with fake tan smell, wispy false lashes and CND Shellac in the shade Romantique. Her words and styling can also be found in Virgin Australia Voyeur, Women's Health, and previously in SHOP Til You Drop and Cosmopolitan.