When the world shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I had plenty of time on my hands. But unlike most of Gen Z, I didn’t become addicted to TikTok. No, the poison I picked was Reddit. What drew me to it was the fact that anybody could find their niche, no matter how obscure or weird. With all of my newfound freetime, I explored everything on Reddit that piqued my interest and that’s when I discovered r/AsianBeauty. This subreddit became my skin’s saving grace by introducing me to the world of Asian skincare.
Reddit is a safe haven for those that want to participate, yet stay anonymous, on the internet. r/AsianBeauty is filled with product recommendations on people’s holy skincare grails. I find this subreddit to be more credible than beauty YouTubers or influencers, who have an obvious incentive to endorse certain products since big name brands sponsor them. However, the majority of redditors are anonymous, so they have nothing to gain when they review and promote products. Although this might be optimistic or a bit naive, it seems that the people that post in the subreddit genuinely want to help others with their skin.
What I like most about the subreddit are the personal, in depth testimonies from real people about their experiences with Asian skincare products. It’s much easier to understand the effects of a product when they’re being explained in layman’s terms. Each reviewer details their skin type, skin concern, how long they’ve been using the product, and how they applied it. Then, they delve into how their skin reacted to the product, and some people even give weekly accounts on how their skin is doing.
I also love seeing people’s before and after pictures that showcase the transformation that their skin went through. Even though I don’t actually know them, it’s heartwarming to see how much progress they’ve made. I struggled with severe acne in middle school, so I know exactly how liberating it feels to see it finally clear up. Additionally, it’s much easier to believe a written review about a product or routine when I can visually see its results.
The subreddit teaches its members about the properties of different ingredients and the science behind what makes them work in different products. Instead of just saying that something will work, they use logical reasoning to explain how an ingredient will react to and help out the skin. Although I’m not a biochemistry expert, I do know how to read, so it’s not difficult to figure out which ingredients would be best for my skin goals. For example, I learned about amazing ingredients like niacinamide, centella asiatica extract, and snail mucin (yes, snail slime) that helps the skin become smoother and brighter. Whenever I’m shopping for new products, I make sure that one of these ingredients is in it since I know what it’ll do to my skin.
Most importantly, r/AsianBeauty makes Asian skincare accessible to anyone that wants to try it. It’s a community made for skincare lovers by skincare lovers, not companies. Skincare was always intimidating to me because it was something that I thought I could only ask an expensive dermatologist about. However, learning from other ordinary people has helped me realize that skincare doesn’t have to be complicated or costly. They simplified the daunting Korean ten step regimen to the bare essentials, like a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. I discovered products that would suit my skin type and were affordable with advice that I got for free.
Although it helped that I was already interested in improving my skin, joining r/AsianBeauty gave me the push I needed to take the plunge into skincare. Even though it has over a million members, its message felt resoundingly personal. I can take a break from the pandemic, school, or other stressors for some much needed self care. (The glowy glass skin is also a plus!)