Cover These Asian-owned beauty brands deserve a spot on your radar (Photo: Courtesy of Youthforia)

Looking to refresh your beauty routine? Discover your new favourite products in our roundup of Asian women-owned beauty brands that address diverse skin tones and skincare needs

The beauty industry wouldn't be what is today without the influences of Asian beauty brands. From viral Korean make-up trends such as glass skin and rosy cheeks, to ancient skincare practices featuring gua sha tools and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) ingredients, there’s no denying that Asian beauty rituals have played a key role in shaping the industry.

In the spirit of International Women’s Day, we’re putting a spotlight on Asian-owned beauty brands to support now and always. Keep scrolling for stories of inspiring female entrepreneurs who have changed the way we experience beauty and get ready to up your beauty game. 

Read more: Sunday Riley on Her Sustainable Skincare Empire and What Beauty Really Means

1. Tatcha

As someone who has suffered acute dermatitis, Tatcha’s Vicky Tsai has gone to extensive lengths to help people heal their skin and find their confidence. “I created Tatcha as a love letter to Japan because my experiences there healed my skin and soul. Before Tatcha, I spent my career in the corporate world. I became disillusioned with the work I was doing because I wasn’t clear on how it was making a positive impact in the world,” Tsai said in an interview with Forbes.

Tatcha is one of the most popular Asian beauty skincare brands on the market today, renowned for its unique combination of ancient Japanese beauty rituals and modern technology. The brand has developed a cult following for its extensive range of products that feature high-quality ingredients and deluxe packaging, including bestsellers Dewy Skin Cream and The Rice Wash.

Don't miss: Why Improving Your Skin’s Health During Covid-19 Matters, According to Tatcha Founder Vicky Tsai

2. Glow Recipe

Any bona fide K-beauty lovers should be no stranger to Glow Recipe. Founded by Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, this brand is known for its fruit-powered formulations that look as good as they make your skin look.

With a mission to bring the latest skincare innovations of South Korea to the world, the creative duo is big on fusing natural ingredients with innovative technologies to empower people to love and transform their own skin. From cleansers to serums and masks, there’s bound to be an option here that ticks your boxes.  

Read more: How to Choose the Best Skin Toner, According to Glow Recipe Founders Sarah Lee and Christine Chang

3. Then I Met You

Then I Met You is fuelled by the Korean concept of jeong—"a deep feeling of empathy affection that one can develop for people, places and things." It's the brainchild of Charlotte Cho, who co-founded Soko Glam. 

Cho’s philosophy of crafting transformative products to make people look—and feel—beautiful is evident throughout her award-winning skincare range, which are made with natural ingredients and packaged in 100 per cent recycled materials. One of the must-try hero items is the Living Cleansing Balm, a soothing oil cleanser that’s packed with antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamin E that effectively dissolves impurities while nourishing the skin.  

4. Superegg

Inspired by the centuries-old Asian beauty practice of using raw egg masks to improve skin elasticity, Superegg comes from lifestyle influencer and licensed esthetician Erica Choi. She decided to launch her own business after a decade in the luxury beauty, fashion, and hospitality industries.

All of the products Choi created for her line are carefully designed with the planet in mind, and formulated to match an egg’s nutritional value using 100 per cent vegan ingredients with an aim to help users achieve healthy complexions. As a sustainability advocate in the clean beauty space, Choi has pledged to work towards refillable packaging options by 2025. 

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5. Lanshin

Sandra Lanshin is passionate about spreading the wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). With more than a decade of experience as an acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist, Lanshin’s beauty brand revolves around her mission of offering innovative products to encourage people to incorporate TCM into their daily lives as self-care practices.

Aside from gua sha tools that can help facilitate lymphatic drainage and improve the appearance of congested skin, Lanshin also prides itself on offering an extensive array of skincare solutions ranging from cleansers to facial oil and serums for all skin types.  

6. Kulfi Beauty

Priyanka Ganjoo founded Kulfi Beauty after struggling to find joy in experimenting with makeup in an industry with scare South Asian representation. Ganjoo is dedicated to using her own brand to celebrate and empower South Asians with products designed to address their specific needs.  

“At Kulfi, for every product we’re developing, we’re involving a panel of diverse South Asians across ages, skin tones, lifestyles, and makeup styles. I can go into great depth to understand the preferences of South Asian consumers, and that will show up in the shades we decide to make, the formula, and the product assortment,” Ganjoo said in an interview with The Zoe Report. Smudge-proof eyeliners, for instance, feature creamy textures and rich pigments in a range of beautiful hues. 


7. B.Y.O.B (Blend Your Own Beauty)

Started by Skin Need’s founder Christal Leung, B.Y.O.B is a cruelty-free Hong Kong label that formulates bespoke solutions for Asian skin types. Created with busy urbanites in mind, her line features two basics—masks and serums—which are effective and easy-to-use for visible results.

Leung also wants to bring new perspectives and educate the public about the importance of keeping individuality in our beauty routines. “The mainstream market is driving us down the same rabbit hole of looking for one miracle product to help us achieve a single manufactured concept of beauty,” Leung told Tatler. “You need to think more critically, choose your products wisely, and practice a personalised routine for not only better skin health but also for better mentality. I want people to feel more worthwhile as they are and celebrate their skin’s individuality.”

Read more: Hong Kong Beauty Entrepreneur Christal Leung Talks Personalised Skincare and Her Road to Success

8. Mango People

Sravya Kalyanapu created her brand Mango People cosmetics in five years after becoming fed up with failing to find a lipstick on the market that matched well with her skin tone. Using only natural and sustainable ingredients, she combines clays and pigment-rich fruits and flowers used in South Asian beauty practices to create her products, with a goal to make people feel beautiful in their own skin. As well as offering inclusive beauty products, she’s eager to grow her brand to be a place for equal representation, sustainability and transparency within the industry. 

9. Skin Inc.

Singaporean Sabrina Tan was one of the beauty pioneers to make personalised skincare big in the industry. Launched in 2008, her brand Skin Inc. is renowned for launching the world’s first customised serum cocktail bar concept which offers serums tailored to an individual's unique skin needs and lifestyle.

The brand was then catapulted to cult status thanks to its results-driven skincare solutions and game-changing beauty devices—including the hero item, Optimizer Voyage Tri-Light++!—which delivers spa-standard facial treatments at home with a combination of Nasa-inspired LED Chromotherapy and sonic therapy technology. 

Don't miss: Give Yourself a Luxurious At-Home Facial Experience With These Beauty Gadgets

10. Snow Fox

For years, Phoebe Song struggled with inflammatory rosacea, and conventional treatments didn’t satisfy her skin needs. And so in 2016 she started her own cruelty-free skincare line, Snow Fox, to address the issue. Australia-based Song went to her native Taiwan to develop the formulas, drawing from traditional Asian methodologies.

The resulting range of clean skincare products includes her bestselling Arctic Breeze rescue sheet masks, and she is making a foray into haircare with 100 per cent plastic-free, waterless shampoo and conditioner bars using native Australian ingredients. 

11. Pop Neutral

With first-hand experience of the physical changes the body goes through during pregnancy—such as stretch marks, dryness and skin sensitivities—Nadia Nasimuddin launched Pop Neutral in 2020.

The mother of four developed a range of nourishing, firming scrubs, creams and oils—including her signature Stretch Mark oil—that use minimal, cruelty-free ingredients, making it suitable for even the most sensitive skin. 

Don't miss: Nadia Nasimuddin on Creating Pop Neutral, The Body Care Collection for Mothers

12. Youthforia

Fiona Co Chan founded Youthforia in 2020 with the idea of creating make-up so fun to wear that you don’t want to take it off, and so good for your skin that you can sleep in it. She took her cruelty-free testing up a notch by sleeping in all the lab samples herself, and convinced her husband to take part in her research. Guided by the principles of green chemistry, Co Chan avoids using synthetic polymers in her formulations, including the BYO Colour Changing blush oil and Pregame primer.

13. Tower 28

Amy Liu grew up during the 1990s in the US; as well as having limited access to products that worked for Asian skin, she also struggled to find formulas gentle enough for her chronic eczema. Her initial approach was to turn to clean ingredients, but she found that could be hard on her skin.

“When I looked at products that were safe for sensitive skin, a lot of those … were pretty medicinal,” she said on style podcast Glossy. After 15 years of working her way up at other female-founded beauty brands, including Kate Somerville and Josie Maran, Liu introduced her make-up line Tower 28 in 2019. All of her products, including bestsellers BeachPlease Luminous Tinted Balm and Bronzino Cream Bronzer, are gentle enough for even the most delicate skin. 


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