Skincare, Asian Style
By Julien Sauvalle
Photography by Koji Yano
Styling by Sarah Crumb
When it comes to keeping up their appearances, men in Tokyo, Beijing, and Seoul are giving us Yankees a run for our money. Actually, their money: The men’s market for grooming products has been booming for more than a decade across Asia. In 2010, sales of men’s skincare in China outperformed those in North America, with no signs of slowing down. Meanwhile, South Korean men now spend more on makeup and grooming products than any other men in the world; these “flower boys,” as they’re called, are much more open to pampering themselves and won’t shy away from a touch of concealer to perfect their complexions. So what’s the major advantage of Eastern grooming products? All of their natural ingredients are rooted in traditional beauty remedies and gentle on sensitive skin. Here are our favorites and where to find them.
Benefit: A multipurpose antidote to skin irritation and burn
Try: VMV Hypoallergenics Shave Cream No. 1 for Fine Beards (4 oz., $22; VMVHypoallergenics.com)
Lava and Sand
Benefit: Its minerals cleanse skin and stimulate cell regeneration.
Try: Kyoku Lava Masque (5 oz., $22.50; KyokuForMen.com), which contains a volcanic mud and black sand complex to help clear up blemishes and reduce pore size
Benefit: Detoxifying and antibacterial
Try: Binchotan Facial Soap ($29 at Fellow Barbers; FSCBarber.com), an exfoliating charcoal-based soap that eliminates impurities
Benefit: Credited for good health and long life spans
Try: Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist (1.35 oz., $48; Tatcha.com), great for moisturizing dry skin
Benefit: Reduces fine lines, lightens dark spots, and boosts collagen
Try: Sulwhasoo Essential Skin Refiner for Men (4.1 oz., $60; Us.Sulwhasoo.com)
Benefit: Stimulates the body’s natural antioxidants to rejuvenate the skin
Try: Amore Pacific All Day Balancing Care Serum (2.36 oz., $200; AmorePacific.com)
Benefit: A natural moisturizer to leave skin super-smooth
Try: Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder (2.1 oz., $65; Tatcha.com) to eliminate dead cells and brighten skin tone
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