The Ultimate Guide to T-Beauty (Taiwanese Beauty & Skincare)
Posted on July 07 2019
When people think about Asian beauty and skincare, they are more likely to be thinking about K-beauty and J-beauty. We don’t blame them, considering that Japanese brands like Shiseido have been around for hundreds of years and there’s been explosive growth in popularity of K-beauty over the last decade. However, Taiwanese beauty and skincare has been steadily making waves among enthusiasts for quite some time now, with brands like My Beauty Diary getting their start in 2004.
Walking the streets and through the department stores of Taiwan, you will find that Japanese and Korean brands already have a heavy presence and are loved by many Taiwanese beauty junkies. Some international brands, like Shiseido, are so popular that they have specific product collections exclusive to the Taiwanese market. However, given the rise in social media and e-commerce in Taiwan, native Taiwanese brands are growing more prominent.
Within these burgeoning Taiwanese brands, in particular, their high-quality yet affordable skincare products are beginning to capture the attention of fans across the world.
What is Taiwanese Beauty?
Taiwanese Beauty or T-Beauty is a growing movement centered on a balance of natural ingredients and formulation expertise. There is a strong focus on using ingredients found locally on the island in addition to those frequently used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Taiwan has been no stranger to cosmetics manufacturing - in fact, it has been both formulating and manufacturing for many international beauty brands for decades. Since Taiwan has become a leader in medical technology in Asia, this has helped drive skincare brands to perfect their advanced formulations.
Consider Shiseido’s Hsinchu factory, for example, which was established back in 1957. This history in cosmetics manufacturing traces back easily over 60 years which has allowed Taiwan to quickly develop the infrastructure and expertise in the cosmetics manufacturing industry. It was only a matter of time for Taiwanese-native companies to start using this knowledge to launch their own brands.
It’s also worth mentioning the global consumer’s distrust for Chinese cosmetics. There has been problems with China being the source of knock-offs and fakes which could have serious health implications. On the other hand, many of the Taiwanese brands have cleaner and more rigorous manufacturing techniques than even many of the Korean, Japanese, and American brands. Taiwanese Brands such as Annie’s Way have the independent third-party certification to prove this. The end-result is that Taiwanese brands make a great fit for capturing the attention of the global market and have already been doing so for years.
Taiwanese Beauty formulations and ingredients
Taiwanese Beauty or T-Beauty has seen an increase in more clinical brands backed by a dermatologist or doctor in addition to brands that focus on creating skincare products that balance natural ingredients and clinical actives or acids. Taiwanese brands tend to formulate their products based on local and TCM ingredients that drive results.
Popular Taiwanese ingredients used would be:Pearl barley or Job’s tears
- Made up of a plethora of fatty and amino acids, Job’s Tears will smooth, hydrate, and plump skin over time
- Lovemore Sheet Mask (link)
- Commonly used in TCM, Mulberry Root is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols which help calm inflammation and revitalize skin
- Annie's Way Pearl + Hyaluronic Acid Brightening Sheet Mask
- Full of antioxidants to protect against free radical damage
- Helps to remove toxins from the skin
- Lovemore Loofah & Aloe Vera Sheet Mask (link)
- Dense in anti-inflammatory antioxidants, including phenolic acids, quercetin, and luteolin, to help with anti-aging
- Annie’s Way Bubble Tea Green Tea Sheet Mask (link)
And those are just SOME of the ingredients used. We will have a more in-depth blog post centering around these popular Taiwanese ingredients coming soon ;)
Many Taiwanese skincare products focus on hydration, anti-aging, and brightening. There is also an obsession in Taiwan to achieve those #GlassSkinGoals. Textures are typically very moisturizing but light and airy given Taiwan’s hot and humid weather.
Although not unique to T-Beauty, Taiwanese sheet masks are known to be often formulated with silk, providing a better fit for the user and a more even distribution of the sheet mask’s serum across the face. T-beauty sheet masks also usually come with a paper (sometimes even two, in the case of brands like Lovemore) backing to ensure the user is easily able to take out the sheet mask from the packaging and to maintain the shape of the mask, preventing damage.
What is the difference between Taiwanese Beauty vs. Japanese Beauty vs. Korean Beauty?
We love all Asian Beauty products and think they are all expertly formulated to give real results. There are differences between philosophies and routines between all three countries.
Korean Beauty, or K-Beauty, promotes a 10 step routine that focuses on double cleansing, pH balancing, and layers of hydration for the skin. This routine has brought so much innovation to the Skincare category by creating new product categories and defining where to use them in your routine. Kbeauty products also have a large variety of textures within each category of skincare products, leading to an array of products to test, all with very sensorial experiences. Korean beauty brands are typically more focused on trends and are very quick to adapt with colorful and fun packaging.
For anyone intimidated by this 10 step routine or anyone who doesn’t have the time for 10 products in their skincare routine, we would recommend looking further into Taiwanese and Japanese Beauty.
Japanese Beauty, or J-Beauty, has been around the longest and most similar to Taiwanese Beauty. Japan has a long and rich history in beauty, specifically skincare and makeup. One of the most famous Japanese brands is Shiseido (some of their sublines, like Fino and Tiss, can be found at Glowie Co), which was founded in 1872, making it one of the oldest cosmetics company in the world.
Japanese Beauty is rooted in years of research and using time-tested ingredients in their formulations. Japanese skincare is more focused on a more minimalist approach, that less is more. The typical Japanese routine focuses on cleansing, polishing, and moisturizing the skin.
The T-Beauty Routine:
The Taiwanese skincare ritual is simple and can be completed in four easy steps.
- Sheet Mask!
Of course sheet masks would be a step in this routine given the plethora of Taiwanese sheet masks available in the market. It’s a more streamlined skincare routine than say the Korean 10 step routine and more similar to the Japanese skincare routine of focusing on the basics.
The T-beauty philosophy is to do the basics for your skin, but ensure that each step is as effective and nourishing as possible.
Is T-beauty cruelty-free, vegan, etc?
Ever since September 2016, Taiwan has banned animal testing and was the first country in Asia to do so! So Taiwanese brands are now required to be cruelty-free by law. South Korea passed a similar measure in 2018, so many Asian beauty brands will transition into being cruelty-free.
Many Taiwanese brands are paraben-free and alcohol-free. Annie’s Way, one of our bestselling Taiwanese brands, is paraben-free, alcohol-free, antibiotic-free, and steroid-free because they are committed to formulating quality skincare products without harmful ingredients.
Typically, Taiwanese products are mostly vegan since many products feature natural botanical ingredients, but there are still products that feature honey, snail, etc. Please make sure you read the ingredients list for every product you are curious about to be 100% sure as every brand and product as their own story.
It goes without saying that Taiwan takes enormous pride in the goods they produce. They have developed organizations like TAITRA that award the best products with the honorable Taiwan Excellence awards. Taiwanese cosmetics are one of the country’s greatest exports in terms of consumer goods. Anyone who is looking for outstanding quality beauty and skincare products but doesn't want to break the bank, you should really give Taiwanese brands a try.
We recommend starting with any Annie's Way or Lovemore silk sheets to get a taste of what Taiwanese skincare is like. Be careful though, as this has been the gateway drug into Taiwanese Beauty for many of our customers! ;)