One of the things we love about beauty is the wide range of products we can find all over the world. There’s a never ending plethora of lotions, serums, oils, washes or moisturizers that we can use to make ourselves absolutely gorgeous. But as easily as favorite products and regimens can vary from woman to woman, they can also vary from country to country. From South Korea to South Africa women are brought up thinking of their skin, and their products, differently. In America, we’re taught to start preventative measures in our late 20s, panic in our mid 30s and then we’re given the option to spring for Botox in our early 40s—we’ve got our routine down. But not all women are taking an American approach to skincare. From Turkey to Brazil here are some of the skincare secrets of beautiful women from around the globe.
French women take a laissez-faire approach to skincare, for them less is more—or at least they want it to seem that way. Many women learn their beauty routines or DIY concoctions from their mothers and grandmothers so that being “effortless” comes quite naturally to them—of course their skincare routine is anything but. For French women, beauty is more about highlighting their natural look and constantly taking care of their skin rather than hiding it behind makeup. They’re also very subtle when it comes to their beauty routine—services including facials, wraps and visits to the dermatologists are all done without any fanfare so their skin seems to be in a perpetual state of #iwokeuplikethis. For French women skincare is more about preventing, and then accepting, the aging process.
In Paris pick up…
The beauty professional’s must-have Bioderma Sensibio H2O Solution Micellaire. It’s a cult-favorite and the ultimate makeup-removing, skin-brightening toning water. Also try Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentré for extra moisturizing and skin-plumping properties.
Ah, the land of supermodels. Surely if any country has the secret to beauty it’s Brazil. Read an interview with any one of the country’s models and it’s easy to see what their beauty culture is all about. SPF-rich products and natural, beach-ready looks are popular, as are regular visits to the dermatologists. This is where Brazilian women get their customized skincare. Yeah, it’s a thing. Since there’s a law in Brazil stating that dermatologists can’t have a skincare brand, doctors will work with pharmacies to create an individual concoction for each patient. And that beats any one-size-fits-all tub of La Mer cream from Neiman’s. Here, they also use DIY beauty recipes passed down through the family, though they are more often used for hair than skin. Plus they’re big fans of using green juices and water to improve their complexions. Supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio will even buy fresh coconut water right on the beach to help hydrate her skin.
In Rio de Janeiro pick up…
BestBronze Autobronzeador Spray. Not every woman in Brazil is risking skin cancer for that golden goddess look. This is one of the country’s most popular self-tanners and is approved by dermatologists and loved by celebrities. For the best in anti-aging try Golden Care Revitalizante Antiaging Corporal, a lightweight silky formula that softens as it battles signs of aging.
In South Africa, women love to use skincare that contain regional ingredients, and natural oils are some of the most popular products in their arsenal. Even South African celebrities use natural oils for DIY skincare routines including coconut, almond and olive oil to keep skin and hair hydrated and radiant. Marula oil in particular has been used traditionally as a moisturizer by the native Tsonga tribe for generations, and today has found its way into many South African beauty products. Not ones to shy away from trying new beauty trends (makeup in particular can be natural or bold and colorful much like the US), much of their skincare routine, even that purchased in department stores, contains natural ingredients known for its beautifying properties.
In Cape Town pick up…
African Botanics Pure Marula Cleansing Oil for a rich and moisturizing wash. Fruit acids and chamomile oil in this cleanser help to exfoliate and moisturize lackluster skin. To improve skin’s texture and reconstruct collagen and elastin bonds while you sleep, try Dr. Gobac Night Lift—it uses over eight different natural extracts and oils to repair the complexion.
South Korea is known as the country where skincare miracles happen, everything comes in pretty packaging and natural beauty is king (or queen in this case). Korean skincare has caught on like wildfire stateside, and some American retails are actually starting to offer these products in stores. But despite having access to a similar number of their skincare favorites, their outlook on skincare is very different than ours. While Americans tend to work on the problems once they arise (remember when you spotted your first wrinkle?), Koreans focus on prevention, and establish a multi-step method early on (oftentimes taught to them by their mothers) that they follow religiously over the years. Korean skincare is also tailored to specific issues instead of one do-it-all product.
In Seoul pick up…
Su:m37’s Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick for a face wash that uses coconut, lemon peel, green tea seed and olive oil to gently cleanse and moisturize the skin. It does sell out often so be sure to pick one (or two!) up as soon as you spot it. For the ultimate exfoliation try Skin Food’s Rice Mask to reveal smooth and radiant skin.
In Turkey women have been following much of the same beauty routine for centuries—and it seems they’ve perfected it. Known as the bridge where Europe and the Middle East connect, these women have embraced the best of both worlds. Can you say #flawless? To this day many women still visit Turkish bathhouses, but instead of being places to catch up on conversation and discuss the day’s news (that’s what Twitter is for) they’ve evolved into beauty spas that still offer traditional skin-clarifying steams and refining body scrubs. While this isn’t a daily routine, it remains a must-do for holidays and special occasions. Isparta-grown Turkish roses are also popular in their skincare routine and are used frequently for their oil and fragrance. While many women still use beautifying routines passed down from their mothers, it’s becoming more popular to use products from Europe and the US.
In Istanbul pick up…
Bebak Aci Badem Kremi. It’s a drugstore product and found almost everywhere, but it’s been a beauty favorite since it hit shelves in the ‘30s. It’s an almond-butter moisturizer and can feel a little heavy on the skin (use it at night or on dry skin), but it’s super moisturizing and smells like cookies. Using the fragrance of Turkish roses, Rosense Rosewater Cleanser Eau De Rose is a light, natural cleanser that removes sebum without drying skin.
Russian women are known for their glamour and ability to dress to the nines on a daily basis, and they view their skincare the same way. They want the best and most luxurious of everything. (And who could blame them?) With a dry, cold climate, heavy moisturizers are very popular and used to prevent aging and improve the skin’s glow. In an effort to maintain their flawless complexion, whitening creams to prevent and reverse age and sun sports are quite popular. Seeing a dermatologist, cosmetologist or beauty professional regularly is just another part of the skincare routine. While many American women go inconsistently or when issues arise, Russians tend to see it as a way of maintaining and constantly checking on their skin.
In Moscow pick up…
Russian Blanche’s Siberian Petals Cellular Youth Serum. Founded by a former Miss USSR, the brand uses the best in cellular technology to improve skin’s appearance and restore it to its former youthful glow. During MBFW Russia, insiders like to pick up Chistaya Liniya lip balm and moisturizers. The line is organic and uses herbs, fruits and flowers to keep skin hydrated.
Sunblock, sunblock, sunblock. In Australia sun-kissed, toned skin is the norm. An active, outdoor lifestyle is key and the Australians tend to focus on what goes into the body as much as what goes on it. Natural products are popular, as is skin brushing (which caught on here for a short time, but hasn’t really taken off) and most of their skincare routine falls on protecting themselves from the sun. As UV rays do tend to make spots crop up from time to time, whitening skincare products to lighten spots and freckles are pretty popular. Australian products have just started to become more popular in the States and brands from Down Under are slowly starting to make their way over. While America may not need the same about of sun protection as Australia, daily protection can help prevent cancer, spots and pre-mature aging.
In Sydney pick up…
Lucas Papaw Ointment. This cream has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and can help soothe dry, irritated skin or relieve sunburn, plus it’s a staple in almost every Australian home. To take a little of Australia home with you, grab A'kin by Purist Orange Blossom & Chamomile Refreshing & Soothing Toner. It’s made with purified Australian water and uses a blend of chamomile, rose, and citrus to refresh skin.