*Produced by SilverKris for Bs Natural Beauty*
Drawing on principles from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Taiwanese beauty – or T-beauty – is all about holistic wellness and using natural ingredients as much as possible. In fact, Taiwan was the first country in Asia to ban animal testing in 2016. With its cruelty-free formulations backed by scientific research, it’s no wonder the T-beauty market is booming – from 2016 to 2019, the Taiwanese beauty industry grew at an average of more than 13%. While all that is dandy, what do everyday Taiwanese women do to achieve beautiful skin? We zero in on their top tips, here.
1. Use sun protection – liberally
If there’s one item you always need in your beauty stash, it’s sunblock. This is especially crucial for those who live in a sunny place like Singapore. The sun emits harmful UV rays, which causes skin damage such as wrinkles, dark spots and rough skin. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can also increase your risk of skin cancer. Taiwanese beauty experts recommend applying a layer of sun protection on your face, neck and other exposed areas before you leave the house each day and re-applying every three to four hours as necessary.
2. Stick to a four-step skincare regime
From targeted eye creams to special facial serums, there’s no dearth of skincare products out there and it can get confusing trying to decide which works best for you. Thankfully, T-beauty is fuss-free and uncomplicated – in fact, the Taiwanese skincare ritual has just four main steps. In the mornings, start with a cleanser to wash any grime or excess sebum off your face. Next, use a toner to double-cleanse and to prep your skin for the third step, moisturising. Moisturise your face twice a day to keep your skin hydrated and reduce the appearance of blemishes. Finally, for added hydration, the Taiwanese love to add a sheet mask to their evening skincare routine. Simply pop it on your face for 10 to 15 minutes every evening to give your skin that added glow.
3. Massage your face daily
Another beauty ritual Taiwanese women swear by is using gua sha stones to massage their face daily. Gua sha comes from the Chinese word for “scraping” and harks back to an ancient TCM practice of using a flat, smooth-edged tool to gently scrape the skin as a form of tension relief. Today, Taiwanese women continue to use gua sha stones – typically made of jade or rose quartz – to massage their face, usually just before bed. A daily facial massage is said to improve blood circulation and promote lymphatic drainage, which can result in a brighter and more radiant complexion.
4. Be mindful of what you eat
One of the core tenets of TCM is that “food is medicine, medicine is food”, which basically means that having a diet that is rich in nourishing ingredients is just as, if not more, important than any products you can apply on your skin. Some ingredients to stock up on include the antioxidant-rich snow fungus, which helps with skin repair and boosts collagen production; wolfberries, which are rich in phytochemicals to protect your skin against the effects of harmful UV radiation; as well as licorice root, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
5. Add nutritional supplements to your diet
One easy way to make sure you’re getting the best nutrients for your skin is to add nutritional supplements to your diet. Popular Taiwanese beauty brand Ruijia has now reached our shores with their collection of all-natural and preservative-free beauty supplements. It all started in 2013 when Taiwan native Zeng Wan-Yuan was plagued by a chronic injury but could not find the right nutritional supplements for her needs. Zeng set off on a quest to develop her own health supplements, and that’s how the first series of Ruijia collagen was born in 2014.
Why collagen? That’s because the dermis (the thickest layer of your skin comprising fibrous and elastic tissue) is made up of 70% collagen, which acts as the “building blocks” of your skin. Hence, it’s important to keep collagen levels stable so as to support the dermis structure and ensure your skin remains strong and supple.
Ruijia collagen powders are made using the highest-quality fish peptide collagen from Japan and are formulated to ensure the optimum molecular size for absorption. Made only with natural ingredients, these collagen powders come with zero sugar, artificial colouring or fragrance added. Choose from four different variants, colour-coded for easy reference – Blue is the standard variant for those with a normal skin type; Green is for those who experience dry skin and need an extra boost of hydration; Pink comes with acerola cherries to help with skin brightening; and Yellow contains red algae powder to promote cell regeneration and is targeted at women with mature skin.
Apart from the collagen powders to support skin health, Ruijia has also recently introduced a new product to support a healthy gut. According to recent studies, there is a direct relation between your gut health and the condition of your skin. If your gut is sluggish or inflamed, it could lead to breakouts, skin redness or a generally haggard appearance. On the other hand, people with healthy gut microbiota tend to also have a healthier fatty acid profile in their skin, which means they have skin that’s well-protected and more moisturised.
Ruijia’s vegetarian enzymes supplement is made with 136 types of fruits and vegetables, which helps strengthen your digestive tract function and improve gut health. Complementing the vegetarian enzymes is the newly launched cranberry probiotics, a unique formulation of patented Cran-Max cranberry and Roselle calyx designed to protect against urinary tract infections. As always, all Ruijia products are made with no food additives or preservatives and can be consumed by all ages.