Since the rise of social media, beauty fans across the globe have been sharing tips with one another, from how to get perfect tousled, beachy hair (thanks for that, Australia), to getting perfectly glassy skin (Korea, our skin regimes got a LOT more time-consuming after the whole 11-step thing, but we thank you very much for introducing us to essences). And then there’s the red lips with zero foundation combo that we got from immaculate French women, the glowing skin paired with eyeliner and nude lips that Spanish beauties love to channel, and the undeniable allure of the minimalist, eco-friendly Scandi approach.
And while we’re very much into the idea of a global network of the beauty-obsessed adopting the tips that suit them from loads of different places, every now and then, the spotlight will shine on one corner of the world. This is Thailand’s time. By no means the first Asian country to inspire devotion from beauty fans, Thai beauty is nonetheless distinctly different to it’s famous forerunners: less demanding than Korean regimes, and more holistic than Japanese routines, this one involves a host of things that we can really get on board with like eating lots of fresh food, focussing on skin health, and getting a regular massage.
Here’s a break down of the rules of Thai beauty that you’ll definitely, definitely want to adopt:
Have a massage
Ever been for a Thai massage? You’ll know that it is a superior kind of treatment, often involving being stretched, sometimes with the addition of long strokes up and down the body that are said to improve the energy flow around the body and really reduce tension. But how does this feed into beauty? Well, being rested and having good circulation always means good things for glow, plus tension-free shoulders are much less likely to hunch, causing poor posture.
Spice up your life
Turmeric is a mainstay of Thai cuisine, and given that it’s recently come to the fore for its health benefits, it’s well worth flagging as a potential addition to your diet. And while the various incarnations of it - think turmeric lattes - are faddy, the reverence for it is deserved: turmeric acts as an anti-inflammatory and contains antioxidants, both of which will slow cellular ageing and therefore help skin to look bouncier and healthier.
… And herb it up, too
Native lemongrass is often used in Thai meals both for its zingy flavour and in order to tap into its powerhouse properties - it contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, and C, as well as potassium, calcium, and magnesium, so you need to add this one to your plate if you want to look more radiant. Also, try applying it topically in its oil form if you have acne - its antiseptic properties make it a dab hand at reducing inflammation and taking the sting out of spots.
The genius beauty remedies you can make in your kitchen for free
Get your hands on a serum essence
So savvy Thai beauties may have relaxation and diet nailed, but they’re also pretty into their skincare - a fact to which top Thai bloggers can attest. The main focus is on using lightweight formulas that pack in actives like essences and serums, with @pearypie swearing by layering the two and then finishing up with an SPF. @feonalita similarly uses lightweight serums to make her skin look dewy, before swiping foundation only where needed.
Think illuminating when it comes to makeup
This is key: Thai bloggers love makeup, but they apply it in a way that highlights a feature either with a burst of colour or a subtle winged eye. The trick here? Choose to play up your lips or eyes, then soften all your other features so that the overall effect is hazy and pretty. Your inspo here: @farsarika, @MayyR, and @wonderpeach.
Glossy hair FTW
If you’ve looked at any of the Instagrams of the above bloggers, you’ll notice that they all have glossy, tumbling hair that suggests pure hair health. If yours is more limp than lustrous, two things will help. First, grab a good hair mask that you can apply before washing so that you don’t have to sit around in the bath waiting for it to do its thing (Philip Kingsley Elasticizer is cult for good reason, and the Living Proof Timeless Pre-Shampoo Treatment is basically glossy hair in a bottle). Second, use a good quality heat shield to stop the sun and styling from wreaking damage.