Ever wondered how Korean women get their flawless complexions, or how Australians achieve perfectly tanned skin? Part of it has to do with genetics, of course, but that’s not the whole story: they’re also privy to secrets passed down through generations, as well as lessons learned over the years – tips and techniques that can easily be copied by any of us, no matter where in the world we may be. From India’s magic ingredient to an Italian grandmother’s clever tricks and the go-to beauty plant of Florida, we ask beauty and skincare experts across the globe to share their favourite secrets when it comes to looking good and feeling confident.

South Korea: Know Your Skin Type

“When people think of K-beauty, the famous ‘10 step’ routine usually comes to mind first. In my opinion, it’s not necessarily the number of products that’s important, but rather knowing your skin type and how to use each product to cater to your particular skin. Cleansing methods – which tend to be different in the East compared to the West – are one of the biggest differences I’ve found in the beginning of my skincare journey, and it changed the game. 

“Double cleansing, using cleansing oils/balms, not only melts off your makeup effortlessly without the harsh rubbing, it also hydrates and helps clear clogged pores as well. Korean toners are different, too; they are less of a step meant to clean off soap residue, and are more focused on regulating the pH level of the skin and hydrating it, prepping the skin for the absorption of serums or essences. All these methods have been used for decades in the East. Many are now being adopted by the West, while Western trends are seeping into the East, like the use of retinol!” 

Christina Ho of Christina Hello

United States: Magical Aloe Vera

“Growing up in Miami, I was always in the sun. Even with sunscreen, it was inevitable to get burned now and then. My family’s trick? Aloe vera plants. We kept one in our front yard and would snip off leaves to instantly soothe our skin. The fresh gel that oozes out from aloe leaves alleviates sunburns much faster than aloe products from the store. It also helps with acne, since it has anti-inflammatory properties. And you don’t need to live in Miami to grow an aloe plant! Though they do best in warm weather, you can also keep them indoors in a colder climate.” 

– Sydne Summer of Sydne Style

Australia: Hydration Before And After

“One of my favourite tips is to always apply a hydrating spray, toner or essence before serum (after cleansing, of course) when applying skincare. This is especially important if you have dry skin, as this step will help hydrate the skin before you then add more moisture with your favourite lotion or moisturiser. As they say, if you know, you know!” 

– Emily Crawford of Why Hello Beauty

Italy/Slovenia: No-Water Cleansing

“My mother, my grandmother and my great-grandmother never washed their faces with soap and water. Shocking, I know! It was always a milky cleanser wiped off with a soft tissue. Skincare was always done at the vanity and never in the shower or above a sink. 

“Having tried many cleansing methods myself, I can see why this one was worth passing down: the results were evident in their exceedingly youthful looking skin. They instinctively knew that soap and water would be too harsh for their skin. Today there are hundreds of wash-off cleansers on the market that are non-stripping, but this method is still great for drier skin types, those with a weakened skin barrier, or for anyone who wants to indulge in a relaxing ritual and not one that is rushed in between brushing your teeth over the sink!” 

– Sarah Palmyra, Skincare Expert


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India: The Many Benefits of Turmeric

“Bright, glowy, happy things come to mind when we think of the colour. And that symbolises the importance of the Haldi Ceremony in Indian/Hindu weddings. A paste is prepared with turmeric (haldi), sandalwood powder, almond powder, lemon juice, mustard oil and milk mixed with fresh rose water to carry out the auspicious ritual. This paste is applied all over the bride and groom with mango leaves a few hours before their wedding, so that their skin is bright, healthy and glowing. 

“Along with haldi’s healing and anti-inflammatory properties, in Hindu rituals it is also supposed to protect the couple from the evil eye (buri nazar). On the other hand, its yellow colour signifies good luck and a happy life ahead. This ceremony is very important, and later the same ubtan powder is applied to everyone in a playful manner to bless them with a prosperous and happy life.” Try turmeric ubtan at home to get glowing skin.

– Isha Khanna, Professional Makeup Artist

Mexico: Time-Saving Glow Up

“Have an important event coming up and want your skin to glow in no time? A sheet mask can work miracles. Fabric masks are soaked in a nourishing serum that will keep your skin hydrated, fresh and luminous. Leave it for several minutes while you go do something else. To boost the effects, apply a toner before to prepare your skin – this way, the mask will act optimally, and your skin will take advantage of all its benefits, as if your skin had gone through an entire rejuvenating routine. Skin – and time – saved!” 

– Isaí Ortiz of The Biologist’s Blog

Taiwan: Spa Facial At Home

“Once you know what ingredients and products work best for your skin, you can skip the spa facials and give yourself that special event glow at home. After your usual cleansing routine, start your home facial with a charcoal mask (if you have oilier skin) or an exfoliating scrub (if you have more dry or rough skin). Follow it up with 30-45 minutes of a hydrating, nourishing sheet mask. Seal the radiance in with your favourite moisturising cream, and look luminous anytime you want!

“Very few of us get enough sleep, but no one wants to rock up to a morning meeting with puffy eyes. Keep a tub of hydrogel eye patches in your refrigerator. Apply them as soon as you wake up in the morning, and leave them on for 15-20 minutes while you hit the snooze button or start your morning routine. The cold eye patches will quickly smooth and depuff your eye area, for a fresher, more alert look no matter how tired you may be!” 

– Jude Chao, Author of Skincare For Your Soul and Founder of Love, Jude

China/Australia: Sunscreen For Ageless Skin

“Sunscreen, period. As a Chinese-Aussie, I was pretty lucky to be intertwined between two cultures when it comes to beauty. Growing up, my tiger (and I say this with a lot of love) mom would remind me daily to apply sunscreen to protect my skin from the harsh UV rays in Australia, especially when going to the beach. I’m so thankful that my mom disciplined me from an early age, as no one ever gets my age right. I’m telling you, that’s a compliment as I would rather look 20 now at 26 years old, than look 60 when I’m 50. Slowing down the skin’s ageing process is really as simple as applying sunscreen daily.” 

– Catherine Jia of Project Catherine

Spain: Honey, Honey, Honey

“Clean your face with honey in the morning. It has great benefits for both young and mature skin. Honey cleans pores in depth, reduces inflammation and heals acne. It doesn’t remove the beneficial lipid layer (the protective fat that is so rare in dry and blotchy mature skin), and its preservative powers increase the skin’s elasticity.

“On wet skin, apply a little honey to the cheeks and forehead. Using gentle circular movements, spread the honey all over the face, eyelids, lips and T-zone (brow, nose, chin). After 1-2 minutes of light massaging, soak a cloth in warm to hot water (not burning hot!), put the cloth on the face, and tap without rubbing to remove the honey. Rinse the cloth several times and repeat the movements. Let the skin breathe and recover its pH for 10-15 minutes. Apply your serum and sunscreen. (It goes without saying: do not do this if you’re allergic to honey.)”

– Eugenia Efimets, natural rejuvenation specialist from Yoga Facial Fit


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Lebanon/Venezuela: Proper Hydration

“Are you using a hyaluronic acid serum regularly to hydrate your skin? Did you know that if you don’t use it correctly, you can dehydrate your skin instead? Hyaluronic acid retains water in the layers of your skin, but it is recommended to apply something to moisten the face before hyaluronic acid, such as a thermal water, toner or essence, so that it absorbs that water and not the natural water of your skin. Also, after applying this active ingredient, you must apply a moisturising cream to seal all that water on your face, because if not, the water that the hyaluronic acid retained will evaporate, and your skin will dry out and dehydrate!” 

– Shiraz Farage of Shiraz Farage Blog


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