In Asia the range of cosmetic products is impressive, especially from Korea and Japan, but China also produces quite a bit of skin care products. As most of people know in China it is very common to built your skin care routine around whitening. Therefore, for foreigners like me it is a challenging process to select what’s worth a buy as there is plenty of choices in independent stores, Watsons and Mannings.
How to choose?
Of course, to be on the safe side, you can just bring your own skin care products and use them here, however, what about the time when you permanently based here and need some stuff? Also, you can just probably go to Sephora and buy ultra expensive stuff (don’t forget the luxury tax!). But what I normally do is, I would just try some of the stuff from Watsons and also ask my friends/colleagues what they use. Some of the products are actually really great for hydrating, and that’s surely what you need in Beijing. So what are the things that I pick?
Step 1: Cleansing and masks.
There is a great and affordable Korean brand, which has a strong presence in Beijing – Nature Republic. The skin care products all seem to be very attractive in terms of packaging and smell. Also, when you actually buy it and use it, you see that it also works on your skin.
My favorite daily wash is the Mango Foam cleanser from Nature Republic. I looove mangos that is why I pick this smell, however, you surely get more choice. In Beijing after a day outside, you do need to make sure you properly clean your face. when you use Mango Foam cleanser, your face is so clean you might hear a sound 🙂
Times to times, like once or twice a week I use the black sugar cleanser/mask from Skin Food. Five years ago when Korean skin was not that well know yet, it was the first brand I tried. I had a banana mask, which I just loved so much… So, of course, this time when I went to Mannings and saw Skin Food Black Sugar mask, I did not think for a minute – I got it. And now I can tell that it does it job. It does clean your face, and also helps you to get rid of dead skin. I have not really used it as a mask, but I did use it as a peeling.
Finally, my occasional treat is the cotton masks by the Nature Republic, which are a great deal – buy one get one for free. There is plenty of choices for the fragrance and components but I always focus on the effect. As my main purpose it to keep my face hydrated, I got the acai berry and shea butter masks. I do them once-twice a week and well, to be honest, I feel better but for a short while. But I think it is still a good product.
Step 2. Facials.
Well, another important step is the skin care, meaning tonics, creams etc. After I clean my face as shared before, it is time for skin treat. So I normally start daily with another mask from Water360 by Watsons – Mineral Spring Hydra Soothing Mask. It is a very pleasant gel consistency, which can be easily applied and then washed off. I do not really follow any guidelines, I just put it on and wash it off before heading to bed. It actually makes your skin feel nice and “well fed”.
After that I am normally using the Water360 by Watsons Mineral spring toner, which is an important step to balance your skin ph before using cream. The cream I use is also from the same line – Mineral Spring Intensive Moisturising facial cream.
Again, what I love about it is that it is more like a gel, which doesn’t make your skin feel heavy or blocked. It is light and pleasant. You feel like it protects your skin throughout the day but you don’t feel the cream itself. I am actually loving it, and it will be something which I am going to buy again and again and bring it to other countries for use.
Step 3. Hair care.
Another important thing for all of us, girls, is the hair care. For me, it is extremely important as my hair is quite difficult to deal with. First of all, let me tell you, in five month that I spent in China my hair got really dry and unattractive. So I took a very serious decision of cutting it. So now I put some attention on it.
I am not going to speak about shampoo and conditioner as every one like different stuff. For me Head and Shoulders works just fine. But I use Ultra Doux shea oil as post-wash treatment before my hair dries.
Another thing I use basically twice a day is a Hydro Collagen Express Repair Spray by Schwarzkopf. It has been around a month since I cut my hair and it still looks good, even considering we are in summer right now.
As for the hair mask I just simply use coconut oil before washing my hair. I believe this most natural product better than any masks (even though it is challenging to wash it off).
Step 4. Body care.
I am very simple on this. I simply use anything I like by smell. However, it does not work always well.
Aloe vera is a great one for after sun in summer. Olive oil body cream is great when you really feel like you need a huge hydration boost. And finally the manning cream I use for its fragrance.
Honestly, on this I think it is very difficult to say what works the best. It is all about preferences…
Step 5. Additional stuff
Some other products that I use time to time would include, first of all, is SPF cream. AH’s mom and aunts look great as they always put the SPF protection on. Since I moved here I also started doing the same. I use the Japanese Solanoveil SPF50+ by OMI. It is not sticky and quite pleasant.
Lip balm – my choices are EOS and Lucas’ Papaw Ointement are both amazing. EOS I love for the taste and convenience of use, while Lucas’ Papaw actually does a great job not just as a lip balm but also for small cuts, dry skin and bites. Both you can now buy in Watsons or Mannings.
Teeth whitening – I am one of not very lucky people, my teeth are not naturally white, so times to times I have to do something about it. I have decided to try the Crest Whitening Strips. I have to say they are alright, but you might experience some pain. For me, I found the best way to use it – once a week to maintain it.
Beijing is oversupplied with skin care products, it is just a matter of your interest to find the ones you’d like. Here were my choices, what else you might suggest?