Industry insider confident of traditional Chinese medicine’s skincare popularity

NEW YORK (Xinhua) – Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been capable of winning over global consumers for its unique functions and healthcare principles, especially in the beauty industry, a market player specialising in TCM-featured skincare solutions has said.

“People understand that China’s beauty secret is Chinese herbs. So more and more people are looking at alternative ways to meet their skin needs,” Chinese-American entrepreneur Wei Brian told Xinhua in a recent interview, adding that such products have gained much popularity in international markets, including Britain, Germany and Russia.

A key principle for TCM to be applied into skincare is to bring the yin-yang balance to the skin through herbs, which could easily resonate with Western consumers, Brian noted.

In TCM, it’s believed that good health is maintained with various balances in the body, including a balance between yin and yang, which can extend to different body functions and disease symptoms.

For instance, herbs like Danggui, or angelica sinensis, and ginseng can be used for yin, which gives people the nourishment to sooth the skin and facilitates the micro-circulation of their blood, the entrepreneur elaborated.

A staff member of Cangzhou People’s Hospital fills prescriptions of Traditional Chinese Medicine for patients in Cangzhou. – XINHUA

As for yang, they use herbal ingredients of bamboo leaves and bitter melon to bring excessive yang energy down in the body, she said.

In late May, TCM was incorporated into the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) of the World Health Organization, marking a milestone for TCM’s internationalisation.

Skincare is a key segment of the global TCM treatment market, as natural ingredients are a favourite in the beauty industry.

Founding her brand Wei Beauty in the United States (US) in 1999, Brian is aimed at delivering time-honoured Chinese skincare traditions and related culture through herbal formulas to consumers in the US and Europe.

Brian also started to explore the Chinese market in 2013, and has built solid partnership with the Chinese subsidiary of Sephora, a Paris-based French multinational chain of personal care and beauty stores.

The entrepreneur noted she was inspired by her partner in China, especially their understanding of the youth culture in China, and has committed to promote TCM-featured skincare solutions “in a modern and international way”.

“That’s going to be exciting. That’s what I am doing,” she noted. “I’m a Chinese-born American, but my brand is ABC, American-born Chinese… We’re (the company) born with the Chinese culture, and connect with Sephora’s (Chinese) customers very well.”

The entrepreneur also shared her optimism in China’s massive beauty market, which she believed would become the world’s largest in the future.

“Everybody wants to know the Chinese market. They want to get into it,” she said. “I think the market is just growing so fast. I’m so excited about (the outlook for) China’s beauty market.”

As for the fierce competition from heavyweight global beauty brands in China, Brian said the young generation of Chinese consumers has given her much confidence and encouragement.

“Young people very much know who they are… Everybody wants individualisation. They want things that speak to them,” Brian noted. “That brings a lot of innovation and gives indie brands like us such opportunities to grow.”