How often do we overlook the ancient beauty practices of a destination when we travel? Pretty sure that most of us pay it no mind when we’re caught up in discovering the sights and sounds — and, of course, the food. But if you, like us, are self-professed beauty junkies, spare a thought to some of the local beauty products you may find out about.
They make for excellent presents to bring home, and hey, big-time beauty brands use much-loved beauty ingredients from around the world too! Just take a look at some of these. You’ll be surprised at how good these ingredients can be for you and your complexion.
Semangkuk wood from Malaysia
Find it in: POP Neutral Lymphatic body Tool, RM79
Okay, so we’re not talking extracts in this instance. But the POP Neutral Lymphatic Body Tool is made from locally-sourced semangkuk wood to make it lightweight and have the perfect finish for you to gua sha your body to your heart’s content.
Best used paired with body oil, the end result is a smooth-flowing lymphatic system that, in turn, means a better complexion from top to toe. We take care of our faces, so let’s not neglect the skin on the rest of our bodies.
Plus, it’s a super relaxing ritual to add to your beauty routine, making it almost spa-like — you can take our word for it! It’s something we set aside to do at least once a week, and we sure do appreciate the me-time.
Buy it here.
Bakuchiol from the Himalayas
Find it in: Supergoop! Daily Dose Bioretinol + Mineral SPF, RM215
Here’s one that ALL the beauty influencers are raving about. If you don’t already know what it is, bakuchiol is a plant-derived ingredient that promises the pros of adding retinol to your skincare touring with none of the cons (redness, itching, dryness, and the like). So, If you have dry or sensitive skin, this is the perfect alternative!
This vegan skincare ingredient is derived from the leaves of the psoralea corylifolia plant and is a powerful antioxidant that’s long been used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. These days, you’ll find it in many products, like this awesome Supergoop! Daily Dose Bioretinol + Mineral SPF.
What we love most about this is that it performs triple duty — protects from the sun while evening out the skin tone (with its light and fast-absorbing tint) and offering the skin-loving anti-ageing benefits of bakuchiol. It’s been a week, and we can’t fault it! Our fave ways to use it are either on its own daily or under a foundation for protection against the elements.
Buy it here.
Durian and mangosteen from Malaysia
Find it in: B&B Labs CustoMask, RM130 (box of five)
Yes, you read that right. Durian and mangosteen! Malaysia is one of the world’s most biodiverse locales, making it a treasure trove of highly beneficial ingredients for the skin. And surprisingly, the king and queen of fruits are among them! Containing enzymes that allow the skin’s microbiome to thrive, you can expect overall healthier and happier skin with its inclusion.
Of course, the goodness of these wonder fruits isn’t easy to come by. Not for the skin, at least. And before you try rubbing the actual fruit on your face, please don’t. You’ll be able to enjoy these ingredients extracts in any of the B&B Labs’ products that feature E-Cology Plus+. This complex is also featured in the brand’s range of CustoMasks, most of which we’ve tried.
What really blows us away is that these sheet masks deliver salon-level results in the comfort of your own home. Since our skin is always changing its immediate needs, we usually have a few kinds on hand, although a quick skin analysis quiz will help you determine which mask is best suited to you.
Buy it here.
Rose Otto from Turkiye
Find it in: Aēsop Lucent Facial Concentrate, RM440
More than just a pretty scent, roses offer myriad skin benefits. The inclusion of rose essential oils in your skincare doesn’t just make a product smell divine; they aid in fighting soothing inflammation and calming blemishes. And this is a precious ingredient, as the distillation process takes millions of petals to yield small amounts of oil. This is why Rose Otto is so expensive as an ingredient.
Commonly sourced throughout the Middle East, like Turkiye, Iran, and Morocco, you’ll find the Rosa Damascena Flower Oil (another name for the rose otto) in the Aēsop Lucent Facial Concentrate. Those with oily or combination skin will benefit most from this light-as-air brightening concentrate designed for daily application, and its nourishing rose otto inclusion. To protect skin in hot, humid climates like ours, Vitamin C and Niacinamide complete the formula to balance the skin and even it out.
Buy it here.
Camellia from Eastern and Southern Asia
Find it in: Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum, RM525 (50ml) and RM370 (30ml)
There are over 2,000 species of camellia flower, and they’re native mainly to Japan and countries in South Asia. Rich in vitamins A, D, and E, it’s easy to understand why this beautiful bloom is a sought-after skin ingredient too. Vitamin A stimulates the production of healthy skin cells, vitamin D aids in repair, and vitamin E helps your skin to retain hydration. So, if you’ve got dry skin, then the camellia flower ought to be your ingredient of choice!
When the Hydra Beauty Micro Sérum was first launched, it was groundbreaking. Reinventing the way hydration is delivered to our skin, it’s technically two serums in one — featuring droplets of active ingredients whose purity remains intact while suspended within another serum, thus ensuring potency with every pump.
Formulated with a precious camellia extract (the camellia alba plena, to be precise) within the micro-droplets of this serum, applying this is an ultra-sensory experience. It’s lush yet light, nourishing yet quickly absorbed. You needn’t bear the weight of a super-rich serum to infuse your skin with continuous hydration with a bottle of this, which is why we’ve gone through multiple bottles of the stuff!
Buy it here.