When it comes down to who the products are made for, Western products are usually made for Caucasian white skin or African American dark skin while Asian products target obviously the Asian yellow skin. Across ethnicities, there are differences in our skin beyond the usual oily, dry, normal or combination types. So if you are Asian or have Asian blood somewhere in your ancestry, here are 5 main differences about Asian skin to note beyond the unmistakable difference in colour.1. Sensitivity
Asian skin has a thinner stratum corneum. This means that the barrier we have to protect the underlying tissues from infection, dehydration, chemicals and stresses from the environment is weaker. As such, the Asian skin is more sensitive to environmental factors and chemicals. A change in climate or facial product used will affect us more than it will on white or dark skin.
When it comes to our skincare regimes, it will be wise to choose gentler products and treatments. Harsh treatments may cause adverse reactions on our skin. We have to take extra care to screen through the ingredients list to make sure they are void of substances that may be too strong for our skin. Of course, natural or organic products are the best, and you can read how to identify such products in our previous post here.2. Loses moisture easily
Asian skin has the highest Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) values. TEWL measures the amount of water lost through our skin in non-sweating conditions. This is also due to our thinner stratum corneum mentioned in 1.
It will be wise to include more hydration in our skincare regimes by choosing products with water-binding ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, silk or aloe. Adventurous people can look for products with horse oil for moisturising too.3. Tends to be more oily
Skin can be both oily and dry at the same time. Asian skin has more sebaceous glands that produces oil that clogs the pores easily. The climate, weather and humidity levels matter too, so when moving to a drier climate, do bring along more moisturisers!
We can’t control the climate, weather or humidity levels but we can make the choice to protect our skin. Plan to exfoliate your skin once or twice a week but make sure that the products you choose are gentle enough. Harsh products that strip away our natural skin lipids will cause our skin to produce more oil.4. Hyperpigmentation & scarring
Asian skin’s thinner stratum corneum means that the skin is less resilient, furthermore Asian skin has a greater number of melanosomes that are distributed throughout the epidermis. These melanosomes also tend to be smaller and more compactly grouped. In other words, Asian skin has a built in SPF of sorts that prevents sunburns but tans instead. It also means that Asian skin is more prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, acne-induced hyperpigmentation and sun-induced melasma.
In Asia, being fair with clear and bright skin shows off our social status. So there is no lack of products with whitening and brightening properties that help with hyperpigmentation problems that you can choose from. We can start using gentle skin brightening products from our early twenties. Shying away from the sun is one thing but UV rays are everywhere so, the best thing to do is to put on sun block before heading out. Once again, (sorry for the nagging but) please choose gentle products for acne care and stop picking!5. Ages less easily
Yay for Asian skin, we have more collagen due to thicker and denser dermal layer which means wrinkles appear later.
This doesn’t mean that we can start our anti-aging adventure later though. The first sign of Asian aging however is not wrinkles but age spots from freckles and hyperpigmentation, which brings us back to point 4 and the Asian craze over brightening and lightening products. Also, it is important to ensure that our skin has enough collagen so look for products that will boost collagen production with ingredients such as Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) or Coenzyme Q10. Read about the ingredients here.
This is just 5 general differences that Asian skin has. It is not meant to be a differing viewpoint on what kind of skin people have but rather a complement. Within Asian skin, there are people with dry skin, others with oily skin etc. Everyone is unique so our skin is too. We hope this post helps you to understand a little bit more on the type of skin you have!