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Skincare secrets from around the world

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Wash your face before bed, moisturise, wear SPF – sound familiar? There’s a lot more where that came from. From rose water to mesotherapy, there’s no worldwide shortage of beauty recipes for glowing skin. As much as beauty ideals can vary internationally, constants such as clear, youthful skin are a common theme everywhere. We take a look at a few countries to see how skincare varies around the world...

an image of 2 hands with a small amount of cream

Russia

Moscow-based lifestyle journalist Arina Holod says: “Everyone here is pretty much obsessed with the way they look, and tries to take good care of their skin, to moisturise in the summer and nourish in the winter.

“On average, women of different ages see a dermatologist or a beautician at least six times a year. Younger girls go in for a professional skin cleansing, while older women would rather have mesotherapy, laser treatments, microdelivery peel and, yes, Botox.”

Mesotherapy is proving to be a popular anti-ageing cosmetic treatment, targeting problem areas with microinjections of conventional or homeopathic medicines, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Microdelivery, on the other hand, is a peel often undertaken at home to reverse the effects of sun damage and ageing.

China

Shanghai-based fashion and lifestyle writer Effy Fay says: “Asian ladies HATE tan in general; thus, during the summertime, skin whitening and sun block are the most essential skincare.”

In a beauty culture in favour of a natural look, less is better. Fay says: “In order to have a nice skin tone, first things first: enjoy beauty sleep. If you can’t afford a luxury-sleeping schedule, Asian women welcome BB or CC (and soon DD) creams due to their lighter coverage. They give a natural look as well as having a lazy, user-friendly nature.”

Nigeria

Shea butter, which comes from the nuts of the African karité trees in the Sahel region, has long been a beautiful skin secret of the Nigerian woman, among others. Chock full of vitamins A and E, shea butter has been hailed for its moisturising properties for skin and hair, and even wound-healing abilities.

Now, it’s also a serious source of employment. For centuries it's been called ‘women’s gold’,and now the UN Development Programme estimates that nearly three million African women work with shea nuts and butter in some capacity*.

Brazil

If reputation alone wasn’t enough to know that Brazilians take beauty muito seriously, the World Cup 2014 crowd shots would have done the trick. In a culture globally admired for and enamoured with beauty, Brazilian women are spending more than ever to achieve their ideal.

Native Brazilian lifestyle journalist Gabriel Weil says: “When it comes to beauty, Brazil tends to look everywhere but to its own stunning, natural beauty. Brazilian women will do (and pay) anything for straight, lighter hair, bigger breasts and other Americanisms.

“Regardless of budget levels, Brazilians are regular salon-goers, spend fortunes on beauty products and don't spare expense and time investment when it comes to looking their best. Brazilian women hardly ever age gracefully. They remain as young as possible for as long as they can. This is what gracefulness is all about for them.”

Bulgaria

Devora Neikova, a Bulgarian-born journalist and blogger, says: “Beauty is a big industry in Bulgaria. Women there take pride in their appearance and go to great lengths to look their best, even if it's just to pop out to the shops or grab a bite to eat. Make-up is bold, especially for nights out, although many women favour a more natural and pared-down look for the day.”

When it comes to skincare, Bulgarian women opt for a special ingredient that’s close to home. Neikova says: “Cold creams and toners are a beauty favourite, especially those made from Bulgarian rose oil. After all, Bulgaria does produce 70% of the world's rose oil! No matter what, you will seldom see Bulgarian women looking less than their best.”

While the fountain of youth will continue to be an elusive beauty quest, the range of skincare methods of women around the world will always be a fascinating cultural glimpse into how they feel their best.

*http://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/august-2013/shea-butter-nourishes-opportunities-african-women

Formulated with active colloidal oatmeal, the AVEENO® range of moisturising products (Daily Moisturising Lotion, Creamy Oil, Hand Cream) hydrates and soothes dry, sensitive skin, leaving it feeling comfortable, soft and smooth from day one.

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