What makes someone beautiful? How you answer that question could very well depend upon the culture in which you were raised. Different standards of beauty from culture to culture dictate which types of beauty products will rise in popularity, as women – and men – across the globe strive to achieve their perfect definition of beauty. From symmetrical faces and tan skin in the west to long necks and pale skin in the east, there are as many different definitions of beautiful as there are people to define it. This results in the development of different products. Here are a few of the most popular beauty products from around the world.
Perfect, Pale Skin
In many East Asian cultures, the perfect ideal of beauty is flawless, white skin. This is because, in regions with tropical climates where the sun is constantly beating down – like Thailand, Singapore, and South Korea – it is considered a symbol of status to be able to maintain the impeccable complexion of a porcelain doll. When seeking skin-lightening beauty products, however, it is important to avoid some of the more harmful chemicals, like Mercury and Hydroquinone, which are not only toxic, but can actually make your skin more susceptible to harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Conversely, in Western culture, a tanned complexion is the epitome of class, status, and beauty. ABC News reported that tanned skin was related to an ideal of health and beauty. But just like some skin-lightening creams, hitting the tanning bed can be detrimental. “People think that tanned individuals are more attractive, healthier looking, and it’s incredibly difficult to get someone not to do something that they perceive as providing them with a positive perception… Especially younger people who have a hard time seeing themselves as getting older and having to deal with these risks,” says dermatologist Dr. Audrey Kunin in an article for ABC News. Instead of hitting the tanning bed, many Westerners – particularly in America and Canada – are opting for shimmery, mineral bronzers to give their skin a healthy glow.
In cold, mountainous countries, it’s common for people to suffer from windburn. So many of their most popular beauty products are geared toward maintaining a healthy, dewy complexion, free from redness and the appearance of irritated, blotchy skin. Switzerland in particular is known for producing a myriad of skin-calming products that utilize such ingredients as shea butter, jojoba seed oil, willow bark, and watercress extract. The rise in popularity of this type of product is out of pure necessity, given that the wind is rough and potentially damaging in the Swiss Alps.
It is said that ‘the eyes are the windows to the soul.’ In cultures where women choose to or are expected to cover themselves, there is an even greater emphasis on the eyes. From kohl to eye-brighteners, Middle Eastern cultures tend to focus on the eyes and the skin and lashes surrounding them. More popular products use plant-based hyaluronic acid, as it hydrates and firms the skin around the eye area, leaving it smooth and makeup ready.
In Mauritania, large women are considered the ideal; in the United States, thin reigns supreme. In Africa, many tribes value scarification, piercing, and skin-stretching. In some parts of Asia, completely flawless, unblemished skin is considered perfection. But regardless of the culture, or the products that are birthed as a result of that culture, natural ingredients are key to long-lasting, pure beauty.
INNOSPEC understands the varying definitions of beauty from region to region and is invested in the “inner beauty” needs of every woman and man. To learn more about INNOSPEC and the latest global beauty trends, visit INNOSPECINC.com.
Skintrium.com, The Most Common Ingredients In Skin Bleaching Products, July 26, 2013
ABCNews.com, A Healthy Tan: Darker Skin Rated More Attractive, December 8, 2010, Courtney Hutchison
Huffingtonpost.com, 8 Must-Have Beauty Products From Around the World, July 24, 2015, Michelle Persad
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