Asian Americans Recover Exciting Beauty Trend: NPR Pi News

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Gua Shaw, a facial massage technique in traditional Chinese medicine, has gained viral popularity thanks to social media influencers in the West.

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Gua Shaw, a facial massage technique in traditional Chinese medicine, has gained viral popularity thanks to social media influencers in the West.

Thanja Ivanova / Getty Images

Growing up in Detroit, Founder of the skin care brand Rushi Roy kept the cherished parts of his Indian culture to himself.

The main Indian ingredients – lots of turmeric in family meals and the coconut oil she used to condition her hair – caused disgrace outside the home of her Kolkata-based parents.

“Women tell me I like the smell of curry or that my hair looks like I haven’t bathed in years,” she said. “Things like that, I started to pick up over time and integrated myself as appropriately as I could.”

Before she went to school she started washing “greasy” coconut oil from her fibers. When a fourth-grader called a “fungus” that was “disgusting” on her hands, she stopped eating bright yellow stained yellow food on her fingernails.

So, the 32-year-old, who recently saw Hair Oil Trending on Dictok, said, “This is what I thought to myself: Damn, I’m so ridiculed for how bad my hair is, and now all these beautiful women do it.”

From hair oils to yellow masks to qua sha facial massages, traditional Asian health practices that Roy once mocked have become very popular in Western culture in recent years.

A welcome opportunity to reduce cultural divisions

While it is important for Roy not to get lost in the excitement of Asian cultures, he sees it as a positive thing that rituals that once alienated him are now being adopted by the new generation.

“It gives me so much pleasure to imagine that the young Indian women in my position now do not feel marginalized in the way I did,” she said. “It’s a sense of relief in so many ways, my two cultures, my two upbringings, finally finally so firmly connected.”

Rushi Roy says part of her mission as the founder of Ayurvedic skin care company Avrani is to educate Western audiences about the history and benefits of Indian health practices.

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Rushi Roy says part of her mission as the founder of Ayurvedic skin care company Avrani is to educate Western audiences about the history and benefits of Indian health practices.

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It was only after business school that Roy realized he was empowered to embrace his Indian roots. Roy, then a believer, returned to Homespan Rituals, launching his own skin care brand in 2017. As co-founder of Aavrani, he and his mother now sell products with the same ingredients modified in DIY Recipes. For various skin problems.

Influencers on social media are renaming Asian-inspired techniques as health professionals and founders in Asian diaspora seek to preserve the integrity of their cultures.

“If we – brands like us are real at how we follow this – do not do that, stories and culture will be lost,” Roy said. “Then, we think, you know, Gwyneth Paltrow who invented yellow, in fact it’s like something very sacred to our heritage for centuries.”

Opportunity, a burden to adjust cultural allocation

Hair oiling – a 5,000-year-old ritual from South Asia that involves massaging the scalp and hair with oil – is now popularly known in the United States as “hair slacking” by beauty writers and influencers.

“Is the hair dull?” Posts with such titles and results showing Day 1, Influencer content referring to “slacking” terms on social media, doubled the number of posts between May 2021 and April 2022 over the previous year, and about 600% more video views, according to Influencer marketing company Trackr.

Shalini Seneviratne, The man who grew his hair soaked in oil along with two older women in his family in Sri Lanka says it’s disappointing that the Western media has taken on the “new, fantastic name” of legalizing hair oiling.

“I do not think so [South Asian] Cultures often benefit as these things become more trendy, ”he said.

Seneviratne is trying to change that. In March, he launched the Wildpatch, a coconut oil brand, as a symbol of his Sri Lankan heritage.

“I thought it was really an opportunity to change the story and show how South Asian stories should be,” he said.

To ensure that South Asians benefit from the Western reputation of their exports, his company receives products from Sri Lankan farmers. “It is very wrong not to lend where it should be and it is very wrong not to support whose culture I promote,” he said.

Gua Shah Has accumulated a similar fadish following. Celebrities like Hayley Bieber and Kardashians are fans. Miranda Kerrin sells beauty line tool. Analysis of Tracker’s Influencer Accounts indicates that video views of qua sha content have increased by 40% since May 2021 compared to the previous year.

Gua Shaw expert Sandra Lansin Xiu considered the subtle line between cultural cross-cutting and cultural allocation when it comes to practicing facial massage, rooted in ancient Chinese medicine.

He noted how a simple Google search in this practice draws pictures and articles showing Asian faces and traditional Chinese medical practitioners of minorities. “I see this as a painful contradiction,” he said.

“When you think about who sells these gua sha tools, who teaches you, where feelings of exclusion and culture destruction work, I think I personally enjoyed it,” he said. “Anyone who teaches and sells qua sha should be trained and have some kind of cultural connection in practice – but that is not always the case.”

Complete Asian health approaches are renamed as quick fix beauty tips

“Qua” means “scraping” and “sha” means “red”, which occurs when a tool like a flat jade stone is used to “scrape” the face, Chiu said. This technique was first used by Gua Shah thousands of years ago to reduce pain in the body and to prevent fever and other ailments.

Sandra Lanshin Chiu, a Chinese medical practitioner, worries about Gua Shaw’s “whitewash” of facial massage technique. On social media, he teaches followers about its ancient origins and how to safely practice Gua Shaw.

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Sandra Lanshin Chiu, a Chinese medical practitioner, worries about Gua Shaw’s “whitewash” of facial massage technique. On social media, he teaches followers about its ancient origins and how to safely practice Gua Shaw.

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Nevertheless, writers, brands and influencers have billed this technique as an alternative to Botox, along with other claims of its cosmetic benefits. It is also widely cited as a lymphatic drainage technique, and Chiu notes that no traditional Chinese medical text defines it.

“Although Gua Shaw can produce cosmetic results, it is important for people to understand that this result comes from the ability to enhance internal health as a proper Chinese medical technique,” ​​he said.

Chiu, an acupuncturist and herbalist who founded Lanshin, a health studio in New York City, spends a lot of time on Lanshin’s Instagram account, teaching followers about the benefits of face gua sha.

“On the one hand, I’m very pleased with the increased interest in Gua Shaw and other TCM practices. “But most importantly, the whitewashing of Gua Shaw leads to the breakdown of practice. And it also affects its credibility as a formal healing form.”

Like Chiu, other Asian American leaders in the industry do not regard these rituals as terms of “beauty.” Roy and Seneviratne emphasize that their brands are part of a holistic, holistic approach inspired by the ancient mind-body-soul health rituals of Ayurveda from the Indian subcontinent.

Between May 2021 and April 2022, videos about Ayurvedic products increased by more than 170% of views on major social media sites, compared to the same period last year, Trackr said.

In another sign of growing major interest, the first Ayurvedic skin care brand established in South Asia hit Sephora.com in February.

“I really want it to finally be enjoyed by people outside India and ultimately by people around the world because that wisdom is something that everyone can benefit from,” said Aavrani CEO Roy. Unlike other beauty trends, she added, “This is not just about trying to adhere to a certain beauty standard – it’s good for you.”