Southeast Asian BeautyCherie speaks with Thai native Vichida Vongvanij to hear about all things in the Southeast Asian beauty world!
Cherie is an online community of beauty lovers sharing their stories; whether that's their favorite products, makeup tutorials, or skincare routines. Download the app today to be a part of #BeautyWithoutBarriers and show the world what beauty means to you!Butterfly pea, kaffir lime, and ginsing root. You know these in food, but what about beauty? These are some key ingredients at the center of SEA beauty products - the latest star in Asian beauty. We had the chance to speak to skincare and makeup enthusiast Vichida Vongvanij. Her Thai background has greatly influenced her passion for all things beauty, and Cherie had a chance to hear more about her story.When did you first get involved with the Southeast Asian beauty world?I was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand but I did not actually get into the Southeast Asian beauty world until I started working in the beauty industry!How did Southeast Asian beauty gain traction in the beauty world?SEA beauty is a growing market. These countries have been a manufacturing base for international beauty brands for many years now. There are many Original Equipment Manufacturers there thanks to the strategic location, market size, and the abundance of raw materials they have. For example, there are over 2,000 cosmetic OEMs in Thailand and most of them are eager to grow locally and in the regional market. Due to that reason, many OEMs successfully launched their own beauty line and export to other countries.How do you source SEA beauty?Since I am currently based in Asia, I would meet people from all these interesting brands in person or via video call. There are many local SEA brands I have never heard of, so aside from researching via social media and doing the market research myself in person by traveling around SEA, I also contact people I know from those respective countries and ask them what local beauty brands are popular there and why.What are some SEA brands you love that people should know of?There are so many! I mostly know Thai brands since I am from there but here are some of my recommendations: Spa products: @thann_usa (TH) Home: @soganics (TH) Haircare: @skinsyrup (TH) Skincare: @rookibeauty (SG) @fyne_skin (TH) @mellownaturals (TH) @alliesofskin (SG but known internationally) Makeup: @rollover.reaction (ID) @supershades_cosmetics (TH) @orkidcosmetics (Malay Halal Line) @roseallday.co (ID) @sunniesface (PH) @esqacosmetics (ID Vegan Line) @blkcosmeticsph (PH) As you can see, there are sooooo many SEA cosmetics brands! I'm always looking for the newest and most innovative brands to share! How have SEA beauty products changed the way you approach products from other areas in the world?Aside from being a B2B hub for cosmetic manufacturers, Southeast Asia is also known as a huge vacation spot for tourists. I’m sure those who visited Thailand have tried traditional Thai massage, for example. The huge range of spa products and traditional beauty treatments from Southeast Asia is probably one of the most unique differences from other cultures. These products’ ingredients are derived from the country’s natural resource of fruits, rice, and herbs and are also heavily inspired by ancient traditional remedies. The practice of meditation and religious traditions also play a huge influence on Southeast Asia health and wellness industry.How have SEA beauty trends changed over the years?Even though this is a very traditional and harmful thought, “whiteness“ as the standard of beauty remains very strong in SEA. However, there are definitely more people embracing their natural skin tone and cosmetic brands coming out with more shade range. As the SEA society is rapidly aging, there is also a healthy demand for anti-aging products, and natural ingredients are becoming more popular. There is definitely a rise in organic or natural ingredients, beauty brands, and holistic approach to wellness as well. Finally, the rise in k-beauty and western indie beauty trends definitely have an impact on how SEA people do their makeup. The majority will still go for the full on glam, “makeup must last all day” look (since SEA consists of many hot countries), but more have been embracing minimal makeup style and going natural.If you could only choose one SEA beauty product to use for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?I cannot answer this for skincare and makeup products, that would be way too difficult! But if I had to pick one shampoo to use for the rest of my life it would be the Restorative Scalp Treatment Shampoo by Skin Syrup! It is formulated by Thai herbal experts and made with various herbs such as Ginseng Root, Kaffir Lime, and Butterfly Pea. I absolutely love it and have repurchased it many times!
SKIN SYRUPRestorative Scalp Treatment Shampoo
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Toner, Peel, Serum, Mask? Four Ways to AHA
What is AHA? Alpha hydroxy acids gently removes dead skin cells, encouraging the regeneration of new skin. It is know for its ability to reduce hyperpigmentation, minimize pores and brighten skin. So how is that different from Glycolic Acid? Glycolic acid is actually a type of AHA! Known to be the “smallest”, most researched and gentlest AHA, glycolic acid does all of the aforementioned things and also acts as a humectant, leaving us with smoother, plumper skin. AHA vs BHA? So some of the products I’ll mention contain both AHA and BHA. BHA, particularly salicylic acid, is great for reducing acne but can be drying. BHA has better penetration into pores due it its affinity to oily sebum. That’s why they say BHAs are better for oily skin! How should I incorporate AHA/Glycolic Acid into my skincare routine? Whichever way you choose! Some prefer it in their daily routine whereas others prefer it 2-3x a week- the products mentioned below allow you different options. 1. AHA as a toner. The Ordinary - Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution When: Everyday if you want, AM or PM toning step. Price: $8.70 for 8oz Comments: I personally wouldn’t use this everyday especially if you have a broken skin barrier (it stings!) but it leaves me so hydrated and clean the next morning. Paired with a hydrating night serum, I’ve noticed a huge decrease in pore size and bumpy irregularities on my face. 2. AHA as a night cream/peel. VERSED - THE SHORTCUT Overnight Facial Peel When: 2-3 nights per week in my moisturizing step. Price: $9.99 for 0.5 oz Comments: If you have super sensitive skin, this one is for you. This acts as a lotion and has been the mildest form of glycolic acid I’ve seen. I don’t notice as drastic of a glow as TO’s toner or Good Molecules’s Overnight, but it works. Another con is the price...$10 for only 0.5oz allows for only 6-7 uses before repurchasing, whereas I’ve had that 8oz toner for almost a year with plenty left! 3. AHA as a night serum/sleeping mask. GOOD MOLECULES - Overnight Exfoliating Treatment When: 2-3 nights per week in my serum step. Price: $6 for 1 Oz Comments: this is my absolute favorite way of getting my AHA for only $6. I use only 4-5 drops as a “serum” in my regular night routine (see my old post). I would minimize using too many other acids with it! Creates a delicious glow in the AM, this mask also minimizes pores. It is not drying even though it contains BHAs! Would recommend for those who are dry, blackhead, and acne-prone. 4. AHA as a wash-off mask. The Ordinary - AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution When: 1-2 nights a week for 10 min before rinsing off. Price: $7.20 for 1 Oz Comments: This product is hyped and I’m not too sure why. It works as a wash-off mask but it’s drying (bc of BHAs). I would only recommend if you want to add a mask without changing your existing routine.
MY FACE MAKEUP ROUTINE for when I’m breaking out
For numerous reasons, I have been stressed lately which really shows on my skin. I already get the occasional breakout, around the time of the month, and sometimes from diet and eating food that probably isn’t GREAT for me. So with additional stress I eat more, crave more crappy food, maybe pick at my skin, etc. I also wear a face mask whenever I go out and with the heat and humidity of where I live, it just becomes a skin nightmare. I just made another post about how I’ve changed up my skincare routine. Here is my makeup routine for covering it up. Add warmth and color back into the face. COLOURPOP - Super Shock Blush in Count Me In NUDESTIX - Nudies All Over Face Color Bronze + Glow in Terracotta Tan I find that when I’m breaking out, my face can tend to look flat and pale. By adding some warmth and color back into the face, you look healthier and more radiant which will help a lot at disguising breakouts. The colourpop blush is a beautiful mousse-y texture that gives sheer color with a satin-finish. The cream bronzer is my holy grail! It’s super creamy, long-lasting and looks just. like. skin. Spot-conceal. MAKE UP FOR EVER - Full Cover Concealer Wearing a full-coverage long-wear foundation just isn’t the way to go for me. It ends up looking cakey and accentuating texture instead of disguising it. As the individual breakouts are the only areas I really want to cover, I don’t want to cover the areas of my skin that are actually smooth and break-out free! This concealer is super high coverage, a little goes a long way and very long lasting. I will sometimes use a pinpoint eyeliner brush or even just my ring finger to pat the product exactly where I need it! This TRULY gives the illusion of smoother, clearer skin. Lock it in. rms beauty - Un" Powder I love this powder because of its super fine and silky texture. It makes my skin look 100% poreless which is perfect for smoothing out texture on my skin! It also keeps my T-zone area shine-free all day without drying out my skin (as many mattifying powders do to me).
My acne fighting duo for under $20
Some acne honesty: Although these worked really well for me, they might not work for everyone. Your skin is unique and might react better to different products. It can be a really frustrating process, I totally get it! What worked for me was finding someone online who had a similar skin type and similar story when it came to acne. Just always remember to take it easy on yourself. Acne is normal and it doesn’t make you any less beautiful. My current skin situation: I currently have combination, acne prone skin. I had very clear skin for most of my life until I went off birth control over a year ago now. I tried almost everything to try and get rid of my acne, but it took months to find a solution. It was just earlier this year that I finally found a couple products that helped keep acne at bay! I barely gets zits anymore (bless) but when I do, it can be very discouraging. My skin scars very very easily and it takes at least a month to get rid of the scars left over from the acne. SO anytime I see a zit pop up, I reach for these two products which help me 1) get rid of that zit quickly and 2) minimize the potential for future acne scars. How I use these together: Benzagel - Acne Gel 5% (face wash version) I usually use this just at night time because I just do a water cleanse in the morning. But when I get a pimple, during the morning I’ll cover the zit with the face wash for about a minute then wash that off. Then I’ll proceed with the rest of my routine, but I’ll avoid using any vitamin c / spf on the pimple. And then this where I’ll add the.... COSRX - Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patch When I have a zit I will wear one of these during the day and a new one at night. It’s a grossly satisfying product because once you take them off, you can see the amount of oils that it has pulled from the skin / zit (you’ll see a white blob on the patch). The effects: After just 24 hours, the zit will almost fully disappear when I use the two of these together. The spot will be so much smaller than it is when I let the acne heal itself and the scarring is minimal, if noticeable at all. Which is amazing considering my normal pimples almost always scar (even if I DONT pop them). The best part: You can get both of these products for less than $10 CAD!
Ingredient Breakdown: Peptides
Collagen is a protein made up of amino acids, imparting bounce and firmness. But collagen can be broken down by free radicals (hello, oxidizing fragrance/volatile essential oil compounds), smoking, UV rays, and age. Age contributes to collagen loss also because your body makes less collagen peptides after some time in your 20s. Topical collagen-containing products don’t work, as collagen molecules are too big to pass through the epidermis. Instead, use peptides to help it act younger and make more collagen! Peptides (also made up of amino acids) are small enough to get to the dermis where collagen is made. In response, skin should start making more peptides to form more collagen. Copper peptides are considered particularly beneficial, though the main benefit over normal peptides is their wound healing capability, making them wonderful for those with acne, on top of their anti-aging benefit. DRUNK ELEPHANT - Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer contains 9 varieties of peptides, including copper peptides, as well as a variety of amino acids, fatty acids, and humectants. I love this gel-cream, it’s wonderful as a multifaceted moisturizer that is light enough for oily skin and helps fight signs of aging. PAULA'S CHOICE - Peptide Booster contains 8 peptides, amino acids, fatty acids, and a variety of humectants. No copper peptides, instead incorporating a variety of antioxidants, helping to contribute to the calmness of skin and prevent free radical-induced breakdown of collagen. An amazing anti-aging serum with a texture that sits between creamy and silky, sinking in quickly and giving my skin quite a bit of plumpness. This would be the best of the bunch for a multifaceted anti-aging peptide product. The Ordinary - "Buffet" + Copper Peptides 1% contains seven peptides -one of which is a copper peptide- plus a variety of amino acids and hyaluronic acid. It’s a simple yet effective serum that is a bit tacky and smells of metal, but the results are worth it. Applying it to a scab/large acne lesion nightly speeds along its healing noticeably- plus I see less hyperpigmentation develop afterwards. I can’t recommend this enough as a budget-friendly entry into peptide serums!
Battle of the Face Cleansers
My skin type is combo oily that can lean more dry during the weather changes or just randomly. My skin concerns are acne, oiliness throughout the day and also dehydration. I’ve ranked the face washes I currently have open right now based on how they worked for me personally (starting from favorite). My all time favorite is COSRX - Low PH Good Morning Gel Cleanser because I can actually tell a difference in my skin, unlike the other cleansers and can be used AM and PM. . COSRX - Low PH Good Morning Gel Cleanser Key Ingredients: Tea Tree and Beta Hydroxy Acids (work together to refine pores, control oil, and soften skin). Texture/Consistency: Gel that turns to foam Scent: Very strong Tea Tree scent Price: $14 for 5.07 oz Experience: I use this as my AM cleanser and it does a good job of removing the previous night’s skincare and having a new base for my AM skincare. It foams a lot, so only need a small amount of product. Since I’ve been using this, my face has gotten more smooth and not as oily throughout the day. I knocked off a star since the scent is so strong of tea tree. Repurchase/Recommend?: I will repurchase this and recommend this because it’s a great value and only need a small amount of product. My combo oily skin also agrees with this formula, I’m so excited to use it this summer and see how and if it helps my skin. . MARIO BADESCU - Glycolic Foaming Cleanser Key Ingredients: Glycolic acid (exfoliates the skin and dissolves dulling dead skin cells to help refine pores and retexturize uneven skin), and a soothing blend of chamomile, marshmallow, safe, St. John’s wort, and yarrow extracts (work together to provide additional rejuvenating benefits that help re-balance and leave skin radiant). Texture/Consistency: Gel that turns to foam Scent: Price: $16 for 6 oz / 177 mL Experience: I use this maybe 2-3 times a week (as directed for oily skin) and haven’t noticed much of a difference in my skin. It performs just like any other cleanser to me. I use it as my second cleanse and it’s just meh. Honestly not impressed with this and glad I got it as a free sample. Repurchase/Recommend?: I would not repurchase or recommend this, I haven’t noticed any special benefit over any other cleanser. . philosophy - Clear Days Ahead Oil-Free Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment Cleanser Key Ingredients: Salicylic Acid (helps prevent breakouts). Texture/Consistency: Gel Scent: Very strong orange scent Price: $22 for 8 oz Experience: Even after using this a couple times a week as my second cleanse at night, I’ve only seen a minimal amount of reduction in my acne and can’t contribute it solely to this. The scent is so strong that I can smell it for a while after washing my face. It can be difficult to completely wash off the face. Repurchase/Recommend?: No, too expensive for what it does.
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