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We Owe These Skincare & Beauty Trends To East Asian Culture

We so often buy beauty products or partake in a trending makeup look, without truly understanding where it actually comes from. AANHPI culture dominates the skincare and beauty industry. One of the best ways to celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month this May is to spend some time educating ourselves on trends that derive directly from AANHPI traditions. 

There are many popular Western skincare and beauty trends that have been taken from AANHPI culture, especially Korean, Japanese, and Chinese beauty regimens. Remember when Gua Sha suddenly exploded around 2020 to 2021? Well, Gua Sha didn’t spawn overnight. The Chinese beauty tool has actually been used for centuries and is not only for beauty, but was believed to have medicinal properties as well. Gua Sha is just one of the many examples of overlooked skincare tools and trends that come from AANHPI voices. In honor of AANHPI Heritage Month, I’ve curated some iconic beauty trends we owe to East Asian culture. I guarantee that you’ll recognize some of these products from your very own makeup bag.

Gua Sha


Here is my mom and I’s gua sha routine🫶 We’re using a jade and ride quartz gua sha tools! #guasha #guasharoutine #guashafacial #massage #facial #fyp

♬ original sound – Aylen Park

As mentioned above, we’ve seen many Western celebrities, from Kendall Jenner to Emma Chamberlain, use Gua Sha in their skincare routines, however, this flat jade stone has been around way before Kendall Jenner used one in a Vogue makeup tutorial. The practice of Gua Sha can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty in ancient China. Gua Sha was originally used to alleviate pain and detoxify the body. Now, TikToker Aylen Park uses it to relieve tension and help with blood circulation. “Doing this consistently has definitely helped with the tension relief and a more contoured and lifted look,” Park said in a TikTok.

Jade Roller

Jade rollers can also be attributed to ancient Chinese culture, with claims that Empress Dowager Cixi, an incredibly powerful Chinese woman in history, used the tool during her rule towards the end of the Qing Dynasty around the 1860s to the early 1900s. In Chinese practices, jade was called the “stone of heaven.” People believed it to be a source of good luck and of healing. Jade rollers are rolled across the face for their cooling effect and for lymph-draining. Stephanie Zheng, the founder of Mount Lai, a traditional Chinese beauty brand, shared in a TikTok how jade rolling has been in her family for generations and was passed down to her from her grandmother. “Jade rolling is an ancient beauty practice that was used for youthful, beautiful skin,” she said in the video. The next time you use your jade roller, keep this history in mind!

Igari Makeup


go-to makeup lewk for my low visual weight girlies 🫶🏻 products used: @Dior forever skin concealer 2N Decorte powder translucent @Lovely Causemetics liquid blush ‘almost ready’ @Issy Cosmetics brow gel ‘clear’ @happyskinphil off duty palette ‘neutrals’ @blk cosmetics face stick ‘pearl’ Cezanne double eyelid liner @rom&nd global glasting gloss in 02&03 #igarimakeup #makeuptutorial #glowyskin #lowvisualweightmakeup #lowvisualweight

♬ kiss me – audios

Igari makeup derives from Japanese beauty. This trend originated in Japan in 2018 after Igari Shinobu, a Japanese makeup artist, popularized the look. Igari makeup is a heavy blush technique that focuses on flushing not only your cheeks, but the bridge of your nose as well. Vibrant blush is all the rage in 2024. TikToker Aika Agustin showed off her interpretation of Igari makeup, adding rosy blush, a soft brown liner under the eyes, and using a brightening highlighter pencil in the space between her liner and her lower lashes. The results are gorgeous. 

Makeup Spatula

I’ve been noticing Korean makeup spatulas all over my FYP recently. The most popular I’ve seen is the spatula from PICCASSO, which is from a Korean beauty brand. These stainless steel tools are for applying a very thin layer of foundation to create a more natural and smoother makeup look. Beauty vlogger Jenny Moon posted an in-depth TikTok on how to efficiently use a makeup spatula and it’s literally life-changing. 

Douyin Makeup


Full breakdown of how to douyin makeup- one of the biggest makeup styles on Tik Tok today 🎀 #makeuptutorial #kpop #softgirl

♬ original sound – BUNNY

Douyin, a Chinese video app similar to TikTok, is where this Chinese makeup look blew up, hence the name ‘Douyin Makeup’. Now, Douyin Makeup has entered Western TikTok with numerous tutorials. At the core of Douyin makeup is looking “ethereal, soft, and doll-like,” according to Beauty TikToker Sharon Pak in a TikTok video. Pak emphasizes the importance of little to no cheek contouring and straight brows. She defines the fat underneath her eye, called the agyeo sal, for a more youthful look. Then, she uses a shimmery eyeshadow on the tops and inner corners of the lids and adheres some spiky lashes. Apply blush only to the apples of your cheeks and a glossy lip and you’re done!

Gakkou Makeup 


Japanese School No makeup Makeup Tutorial #nomakeupmakeup #schoolmakeup #makeuptutorial @TIRTIR Tone Up Essence, @Dasique Global pro concealer palette, @rom&nd global Juicy Lasting Tint, Han All Fix mascara, @CANMAKE_USA Marshmallow Powder

♬ original sound – JennZe

Gakkou is a no makeup, makeup look that originated from high school students in Japan. No makeup, makeup looks are always exploding on TikTok, so it’s no surprise Gakkou makeup is taking the app by storm. However, Gakkou makeup isn’t a trend for these students. “Gakkou” is a Japanese word that translates to “school.”

Some school systems in Japan don’t allow their students to wear makeup to school, so Japanese students have found a way to get around the no makeup rule and express themselves. Beauty TikToker @itsjennze showed us her version of Gakkou makeup. Color correctors and brow powder are key to achieving this look. She also praises CanMake Tokyo’s Silky Loose Moist Powder, which she uses to set her minimal makeup and reduce shine. 

MEDIHEAL Toner Pads & Sheet Masks


Korean skincare products that are actually worth your money🇰🇷 These Mediheal Toner Pads are perfect to use as sheet masks targeting different skin concerns on different areas of your face! I’ve been using them as sheet masks day and night 💯 #koreanskincare #medihealtonerpad #mediheal #tonerpad #kbeauty

♬ original sound – Helen 헬렌

If you’re on #BeautyTok as often as I am, odds are you’ve seen people fawning over toner pads and sheet masks. MEDIHEAL, a Korean beauty brand, is responsible for creating super viral toner pads and face masks that meet your skin type’s specific needs. TikToker @itshelen.c showed off which specific toner pads she likes to use for her face, including MEDIHEAL’s collagen pad, madecassoside blemish pad, and tea tree pad. Jenny Moon also praised MEDIHEAL’s sheet masks in a TikTok, explaining the importance of using one that is personalized for your skin type. Need deep hydration? Try the N.M.F mask. Have dry skin? The collagen mask is your new bestie. 

Gradient Lip

A gradient lip look is a Korean makeup staple. Beauty Tiktoker @_lilyis provided a tutorial on how to achieve this look. Use a nude base to begin, then follow up with a medium lip tint on specific sections of your lip, and blend. LANEIGE, a Korean skincare company, has great lip tint and gloss options for the iconic gradient lip.

These are far from the only popular East Asian skincare and beauty trends. The best way to celebrate AANHPI month is to continue researching and amplifying AANHPI creators whose contributions and culture are so often overlooked, but so often popularized in the Western world. 

Zetta Whiting

Chapman '24

Zetta Whiting is a Her Campus intern who writes for the Style verticals of the site. She has published articles in the Voice of Orange County, ChapBook Magazine, and 60 Seconds Magazine, ranging from local government news to student life stories. Zetta had the opportunity to interview the authors of the Goddess Girls and Disney Fairies series for 60 Seconds Magazine, where she uncovered what it takes to be a successful children's book author. This spring, Zetta will be graduating from Chapman University with a BA in English journalism and a minor in dance. She plans to move to the East Coast and attend graduate school in the fall, studying publishing. In her free time, she enjoys reading young adult fantasy novels, taking dance classes, and listening to Beyoncé.