May is Asian American Pacific Islander(AAPI) Heritage Month and as an AAPI small business owner I couldn't be more excited to celebrate thenumerous contributions that Asian cultures have made tomodern day beauty and wellness.
In this article, I will be highlighting severaltraditional Asian beauty rituals and natural ingredients that have been the inspiration forFree Flow Botanicals’ line of beauty and wellness products.
True Beauty Comes From Within
There is a strong belief among many Asian cultures thattrue beauty comes from within.
And that drawing upon thesetraditional beauty rituals can support your health, skin, vitality – inside & out.
In Japan, where my grandmother was born and raised,true or unseen beauty is appropriately termed “mienai oshare.”
This term signifies that true beauty can be recognized and celebrated without being seen (externally).
It speaks toan internal radiance or glow that one exudes when is happy, healthy, and nourished – something that, to my knowledge, no single beauty serum or product can offer.
How can you achieve an inner radiance and glow?
The answer to this question lies in maintaining anourished and balanced lifestyle.
In Asian countries like Japan, Korea, China, and India, well-being and skin health rely heavily upon balancinglife force energy (i.e. qi, ki, prana).
And that focusing on thesedaily self-care practices would promoteoptimal health and well-being:
- Developing goodsleep hygiene
- Finding ways tomanage stress
- Getting regular movement and/or exercise
- Supportingnatural detoxification
- Eating wholesome, nutrient dense foods
This article focuses on eating wholesome, nutrient dense foods because Asian women understood that consuming specific foods, as well as applying them topically, paved the way to getting gorgeous, glowing skin!
Significance of Traditional Asian Beauty Rituals
As a clinical herbalist, holistic beauty coach, and skincare product formulator, I wanted to find a way to infuse the practices of myTaiwanese and Japanese cultural heritage into my products and services.
And that’s exactly how Free Flow Botanicals was born – offeringplant-based skincare products inspired by traditional Asian beauty rituals and healing practices.
So let’s begin by taking a deep dive intothe health and beauty benefits of the following plants / natural ingredients:
1. Matcha (Green Tea)
Green tea, consumed regularly by Japanese women to maintain inner beauty, remains an integral part oftraditional Asian beauty rituals.
Its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties help to promote skin health from the inside out.
Matcha, the powdered green tea leaves, have various benefits due to its high concentration of catechins and polyphenols.
Matcha also offers rejuvenating benefits to skin that’s been damaged by UV rays.
Holistic beauty benefits of matcha
There are a variety of benefits to using matcha in yourdaily skincare routine or beauty ritual.
Matcha (green tea) is an effective skincare ingredient which helps to:
- Tighten and firm your skin
- Reduce inflammation
- Even skin tone and texture
- Minimize or prevent acne through its antibacterial properties
- Improve skin quality, promoting a glowing appearance
From a holistic beauty perspective,matcha (green tea) delivers a powerhouse of nutrients to support a radiant inner glow, which is why green tea is consumed regularly by women in Japan and in various countries around the world.
Rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, matcha (green tea), acting as aninternal sun protection factor (SPF) can offer protection against prolonged UV exposure when consumed regularly.
Product Highlight: Matcha Buffing Grains
Matcha (green tea) powder is a key ingredient inMatcha Buffing Grains, which can be used as a gentle exfoliating facial cleanser or as a deeply nourishing facial mask.
Because Matcha is packed with chlorophyll, a potent detoxifier, it can helpguard against free radicals and slow cell degeneration.
Matcha powder, when combined with other nourishing ingredients like oats, almonds, and skin soothing botanicals, helps to leave your skin feeling soft and supple after cleansing!
Many Asian cultures have tapped into thenumerous beauty benefits of rice.
Whether used asrice water or rice bran, this nourishing seed isfull of essential nutrients and antioxidants including vitamins B and E, and squalene.
You can find different forms of rice bran in facial cleansers, exfoliants, my personal favorite – in facial oils & moisturizers.
Considered a beauty treasure in Japan, rice bran oil is a fantastic moisturizer that protects and hydrates the skin.
Let’s explore some of the beauty benefits of rice bran.
Rice bran, rich in omega-9 fatty acids, glycerides, and protein, helps to:
- Cleanse and soothe your skin
- Offer softening and moisturizing benefits for your skin
- Reduce signs of premature aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, and dullness
- Protect your skin by boosting microcirculation
- Brighten your skin by polishing away dead skin cells
Historically, Asian women have been using various forms of rice (i.e. water, bran) to nourish and tone their skin.
One use of rice in traditional Asian beauty rituals was in the form of rice water: both Chinese and Japanese women, notably geishas, have used rice water to tone their skin for centuries.
Product Highlight: Nourish & Glow Facial Oils
Nourish Facial Oil &Glow Facial Oil, both of which contain rice bran oil, arepotent moisturizers that absorb quickly into the skin, leaving it incredibly soft and supple throughout the day and at night.
Full of nutrients and antioxidants, and lightly scented with the natural fragrances of Jasmine and Geranium,Nourish Facial Oil is perfect for those with dry, sensitive, environmentally damaged, or mature skin.
If you need alighter oil for your normal, oily, or combination skin, thenGlow Facial Oil - created with Japanese Camellia Seed Oil, another traditional Asian beauty ritual secret -is perfect for you.
Native to Japanese waters,wakame is an edible seaweed that is not only incredibly tasty but alsoboasts many beauty benefits.
East Asian cultures have consumed wakame for centuries as a low calorie, low fat, and exceptionally nutrient dense food.
They can be found in soups, salads, and as a seasoning in many dishes throughout these cultures.
A staple of traditional Asian beauty rituals, which continue to place a strong emphasis on holistic health, beauty, and well-being,wakame has also found its way into a variety of skincare products.
Wakame, as a skincare ingredient, offers the following benefits:
- Full of essential fatty acids which helps to maintain a healthy skin barrier
- Promotes skin hydration thanks to its humectant properties
- Rich in algae polysaccharides, including alginic acid, which helps to seal in moisture
- High in amino acids, including glycine, which stimulates collagen production, softens fine lines and plumps up the skin
- Abundant in minerals, including magnesium and zinc, to support sensitive skin conditions and reduce redness and irritation
Product Highlight: Hydrate Facial Mist
This alcohol free facial mist is so nutrient rich that some might even consider it a serum.
Full of organic and natural plant-based ingredients including rose water, licorice root, aloe vera leaf, and wakame, ourHydrate Facial Mist works effortlessly to soften, soothe, and hydrate your skin.
I hope you've enjoyed reading this article and willjoin me in celebrating the many contributions that Asian cultures have made to the beauty and wellness industries as we know them today.
As seen with many Asian women whose lustrous, supple skin we often envy, Asian cultures truly understood that true beauty starts from within.
And that maintainingtrue beautywas more than using expensive beauty products and serums.
It meant living a balanced lifestyle:eating wholesome, nutrient dense foods; getting regular movement,developing good sleep hygiene,supporting natural detoxification, and finding ways tomanage stress.
Thesediet and lifestyle practices form the foundational pillars of self-care and help one achieve an inner radiance and glow (i.e.mienai oshare ortrue beauty).
And by using skin care products that contain superfoods that have been consumed in Asian cultures since time immemorial, you can be well on your way to boosting your skin vitality so you can glow from the inside out!
Have you tried any of these superfood ingredients, either in foods or on your skin?Comment below!
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