Rice powder with oil-controlling properties, moisturizing sesame seed oil... Chinese women across generations, like their Japanese or Indian counterparts, have trusted beauty secrets and rituals. The powder of fresh-water pearls – a beauty treasure as precious as it is rare – has been used for centuries to tone and illuminate the complexion, lighten age spots, smooth wrinkles and so on. The first written trace of its cosmetic use in China dates back to the Qing dynasty (1644-1912), when the Empresses and their ladies applied it to their faces in an ointment.
Also very attentive to their hair care, many Chinese women use homemade masks, with rice water, for example, to help fortify hair. In Changchun, one of the cities with the highest per capita cosmetics consumption in China, young women make their own hair care products from fresh ingredients1.
Beauty is also synonymous with a healthy lifestyle and diet. Foods are selected on the basis of their properties and benefits: green tea, ginseng, cherries, rice, cucumber, avocado and Chinese mushrooms all help slow the aging process, improve skin elasticity or keep away wrinkles.
1 The Chinese cosmetics market, 7 December 2007 china-cosmetics.over-blog.com
Did you know?
1/ The Four Great Beauties are four Chinese women from ancient times renowned for their beauty. They lived in four different dynasties, each hundreds of years apart. In chronological order, they are: Xi Shi (c. 7th to 6th century BC, Spring and Autumn Period), Wang Zhaojun (c. 1st century BC, Western Han Dynasty), Diaochan (c. 3rd century, Late Eastern Han/Three Kingdoms period) and Yang Guifei (719–756, Tang Dynasty).
2/ Unlike European women, Asian women like light, “moist” textures even if the product is sticky for a few moments after application.
3/ Chinese women often use traditional massage motions during their skin care routines. They do not spread the lotions onto their face, they help them penetrate by delicately tapping their cheeks, forehead and chin with their palms. L’Oréal has adapted its skin care lines to these rituals.