Asian Beauty Secrets

Dr. Marie Jhin’s Skincare Magic Revealed in Roberto Greco’s Video Painting

Renowned San Francisco dermatologist Dr. Marie Jhin prescribes vital ingredients for holistic health, which serve as inspiration for a visual feast from photographer Roberto Greco, art directed by Tiffany Godoy. When Dr. Jihn, author of Asian Beauty Secrets: Ancient and Modern Tips from the Far East, embarked on her cultural tour of East Asia several years ago, it was part meditation on her own Korean-American roots, and part research project aimed at deepening her understanding of the difference between Eastern and Western beauty practices. What she found was a wealth of customs from Korea, China and Japan, rooted in ancient traditions that have stood the test of time. “Asian women are especially diligent and patient when it comes to their skin,” she explains, noting the importance of a lifetime commitment to natural cures, spa regimens and tai chi. Traditional Chinese medicine, for instance, has long believed in the healing power of food. These historically proven tools and beliefs are distilled in Greco’s lush display, portrayed in a dimly lit, luxuriant setting that takes its cue from Renaissance paintings. Here Dr. Jhin reveals some of the region’s most nurturing beauty habits, to promote internal harmony and external glow.

Korean ginseng
Daily intake of Korean ginseng is the perfect energy boost. Try it as a clear tea, boiled in filtered water with a dash of honey—Dr. Jhin does each morning, to combat fatigue brought on by stress and pollution. “It restores the body by rebalancing yin and yang, to promote the flow of qi, the body’s vital life force,” she explains.

Healing chambers
Korean steam rooms, or “healing chambers,” detoxify physically and emotionally. Built with natural clay, salt, and mineral stones like jade, they rid the body of toxins and enhance blood circulation, reactivating the body’s natural rhythm. 

Seaweed plus camelia oil
The delicious path to sleek and healthy hair in both Japan and Korea is a healthy dose of iron- and zinc-rich seaweed, used in soups or stir-fried for results within a few months. Top off the recipe by adding Japanese camellia oil to food or directly onto hair for extra strength and shine.

Bird’s nest soup
For extra-radiant skin, cook up a seasonal batch of rejuvenating bird’s nest soup. This centuries-old Chinese dessert is made from the saliva swallows use to build their nests, known to improve blood circulation and boost elastin and collagen production in humans. The unusual ingredient can be found at most Chinese Herbalists, and is traditionally served chilled or warm with rock sugar and red dates. 


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