Thai women know a thing or two about beauty, from their famous smiles to their shiny hair and seemingly ageless skin. To find out just how women from Thailand get and keep their youthful glow, we reached out to Thai dermatologist, Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, MD, of Marmur Medical, as well as a few Thai cool girls for the inside scoop on the beauty secrets from the “Land of Smiles.” While we expected to find some tips on sun protection (an anti-aging must), we were surprised by the major role that diet plays in a Thai beauty routine. For the must-know Thai beauty secrets for youthful, glowing skin, keep reading.
1. Add Turmeric To Your Diet
Whether consumed or slathered on your skin, turmeric is a major part of the Thai beauty routine. Not only is turmeric “a powerful antioxidant, which helps regulate the immune system, and, in turn, can reduce skin inflammation,” but it also “contains a mineral called manganese, which has been shown to support collagen production,” Levin says. So just how do Thai women integrate turmeric into their skincare routine? According to Levin, Thai women eat turmeric in many of their dishes, and Pomme Hongsananda says she drinks it in a beverage composed of turmeric, lemon, apple, and ginger.
2. Collagen Is Key
Joy Laohaprasit says it is “very common for Thai women to take collagen daily.” Be it a mask, pill, drink, or papaya, which Levin says is a “known ingredient for collagen production and skin regeneration,” Thai women are all about upping collagen production naturally.
3. K-Beauty Products Are A Must
“The popularity of K-pop, Korean soap operas, and, of course, Korean beauty brands has crossed not only the Pacific Ocean to the U.S. but also has expanded to other Asian countries, and Thailand is no exception,” says Levin. Laohaprasit agrees, saying that “some [beauty] influences are from local ingredients passed down from old royal customs, but mostly all beauty tips are from Korea now.” So just what products do Thai women love? The consensus seems to be everything from face masks to toners and creams.
4. Eat A Balanced Diet
According to Hongsananda, “You are what you eat, and packing your diet with lots of nutrients, rather than processed food, does make a huge difference on the beauty glow side of things.” So just what do women in Thailand eat to get that gorgeous glow from the inside out? According to Laohaprasit, Thai women eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and stay away from red meat. She further adds that it is common for Thai women to steer away from alcohol opting for green tea, water (often coconut), or juice.
5. Make Your Own Face Masks
There are quite a few food-based skincare remedies in Thailand, and a common way to capitalize on that is with a DIY face mask. Laohaprasit says many of her Thai friends have told her to “combine yogurt, honey and lime” if experiencing oily skin. However, if you are in need of hydration, a mix of “cucumber and smashed up tomatoes” will do the trick.
6. Always Wear SPF
According to Levin, “Sun protection is imperative in a tropical country like Thailand.” Not only do Thai women wear sunscreen, but Levin says “avoiding sun exposure between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. is routine.” Hongsananda and Laohaprasit also agree that sun protection is of the utmost importance. In fact, Hongsananda says it is so important that she makes sure to “apply at least SPF 50" on her face and shoulders.