Different Standards of Beauty: Whitening vs. Bronzing

by - August 15, 2012

I remember when I went to Hong Kong to purchase a bronzer I couldn't find any at all. I went to all the drugstore that sold beauty products including Manning, Watson, Bonjour etc but they only displayed whitening products. They had western brand such as L'oreal and Maybelline but they only sold whitening products instead of bronzing product. This was unusual since in UK, you rarely see whitening products on the shelves and there are tons of bronzing products in Superdrug and Boots.
I can only make a comparison between UK and Hong Kong and it fascinates me that one country likes to make their skin whiter and another wants to have darker skin.

I assume that Hong Kong people want whiter skin because it gives a clear, clean and flawless appearance.
People want to bronze because it gives a healthy glowing skin and it makes you look slimmer.

It is funny, in the end, people always seem to want what they don't have e.g. in Hong Kong people tan really easily because they have sunny weather but in UK it is hard to get a tan. Hong Kong people try and stay out of the sun as much as possible and use lots of different whitening products.

In the UK, instead of calling it whitening products, they have started selling "brightening products" This is suppose to remove dark marks from you skin so you have even complexion and it brightens your dark areas (such as your under eyes and nose area).

Personally, I like the tan look more then the pearl look. I think a tan makes you look healthier and it also makes you look slimmer on the face. However, I seem to use a lot of whitening products unintentionally such as the BB Creams and some of the Korean skincare. They all have SPF and some sort of whitening ingredients.
A olive skin complexion is what I prefer to have.

In the end, all skin types are beautiful but it depends on what kind of look you go for and what you like and what you are born with.

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  1. definitely a case of 'the grass is greener on the other side.' I love the bronzed look but its difficult for me to achieve without looking orange, think in recent years I've learned to work more with what I have rather than drastically change it. Great post x

    1. I love the NYC sunny bronzer! It's not orangey at all!! But I think matte brown is best


  2. Interesting post! And I agree with commenter above me! The grass is always greener on the other side! Haha I've been luck (or some might consider unlucky) where I tan really easily and look all bronzy in the summer but get super light in the winter. I like having the change with the seasons! All colors are beautiful!!

    1. Thats really good! I do have quite tan but it gets white easily skin haha x

  3. Maybe it sounds shocking but it's true the Asian culture is obssesed with having fair and white skin.
    I live in Malaysia and just like every other Asian country fair skin is strongly desired here.
    Whitening is a HUGE obssesion,almost every beauty product or skincare that you get has some sort of whitening gimmick on it there are skin lightening pills,bleaching cream and even whitening collagen drinks !
    It is due to the thinking that if you are fair you don't have to work and stay out in the sun (our ancestors were farmers back then)
    and hence the fair look was soon associated to rich,pretty people.
    The Chinese have a proverbs,一白遮三丑 meaning fairness covers three state of ugliness.
    Based on this proverb you could sort of guess how being fair gives you advantage over the others in Asia.
    Btw thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment,it totally made my day :D
    Sorry for the late reply though,I had some problems with my computer.

    Have a nice day ! xoxo


    1. Thanks for the comment! Yeah I remember going to Hong Kong and opening the magazine and there are always products with whitening in them. Even BB Cream are all about whitening. x

  4. Interesting article babe! It is fascinating about other cultures and what their view of 'beauty' is- and the reasons behind it.

    I think one thing that is beautiful is the most uncommon or the most rare. Such as really white white skin such as Anne Hathaway or Christina Hendricks. And also white skin that is neither has a pink undertone or yellow- that it is just white. This is incredibly rare.

    This with natural black hair or a fiery ginger, looks incredible to me.

    Having a tan wasn't even popular until Coco Chanel had fallen asleep in the sun. Before that (around the 50s) women would like to stay fair, and much earlier women would put flour and all sorts on their face to look white.

    Also the fact that when you're quite ill or about to faint, there is much less colour in your face and you look 'white' or ghostly.

    Now women risk skin cancer by going onto sun beds constantly, so much so that they enforced a age restriction a few years back to 18. Some of my friends literally don't leave the house unless they have their St. Tropez fake tan on!

    1. Hey Sarah-Jane! Haha very interesting comment. I guess it all depends on the different look that people like to go for in the end. I will write about dying hair next time x

  5. You should write about more about the reasons why asians want white skin because I'd love to read about it!

    1. I think the person comment above you did a really good job at explaining why asian want white skin lol x