As I’m getting older, I’m starting to appreciate and take care of my skin more. My skin has always been very sensitive – the tiniest thing can irritate it – so I always look for products that are gentle.
But looking after your skin can actually be quite boring. Western creams usually come in minimalistic, plain packaging, and to young people, I don’t think they provide much incentive to start looking after your skin in your teens. In fact, I used to look at my mum’s face cream and think how boring it looked, whilst all my teenage cosmetics were fun and colourful.
When it comes to skincare and innovative beauty products, the Asian beauty market is light years ahead of the Western market (some say up to 12 years ahead in technology!). When BB creams first hit stores over here, they’d existed years before in places like Korea and Japan. The products are so cheap, that Asian women can afford to look after their skin a lot more then we can.
Ever since a make-up artist used a Korean animal face mask on me last year, I couldn’t believe the quality and effect of something so cheap had on my face (it cost about $3). She swears by Asian beauty products and the difference they make to your skin, and since then, I’ve been fascinated by them!
It’s a bit of a shame we’re so behind in the beauty department, but luckily, there are a few niche stores that import interesting new products we’d usually know nothing about. I went to visit oo35mm, which is a small store tucked away in NYC’s busy Chinatown.
I was a bit frazzled when I first walked in oo35mm. For such a tiny shop, there were hundreds of products stacked tightly together; all cute, girly and fun, accommodating all skin types, but equally confusing. I ended up staying in there for about 45 minutes looking at all the cute things!
Even though they’re imported, their products ranged from cheap ($1) to more expensive ($40+). For those with acne prone skin, there are tonnes of products to help get rid of blackheads and acne scars. The shop assistant was so friendly and helped break down the products to me. There is literally something for everyone.
I wanted to buy some more animal face masks and there were literally hundreds to choose from. Some had English instructions on the back, but the cute illustrations are easy enough to follow. I chose two dog masks (dogs are my favorite animal!) and one with snail gel in it that is meant to be great for wrinkles.
My personal favorite purchase was this dog mask, that left my skin feeling silky smooth and hydrated afterwards. It leaves a squishy, collagen residue on your skin that is so refreshing.
I also got these snail gel pads, which felt horribly slimey and kept sliding down my face. Not sure I’d want to try these again:
With so much to choose from, I think all women should give Asian beauty products a try. Try a face mask and see what you think!