A World Health Organisation survey found that nearly 40 per cent of women polled in nations including China, Malaysia, the Philippines and South Korea said they regularly used whitening products. Photo: Shutterstock

Asia’s addiction to whiter skin runs deep – but the backlash has begun

  • The multibillion-dollar skin-whitening market in China, Malaysia, the Philippines and South Korea is rooted in unrealistic beauty ideals
  • However, a push to embrace darker skin and more Asian-seeming features over Eurocentric beauty standards is picking up in the region
Topic |   Beauty

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A World Health Organisation survey found that nearly 40 per cent of women polled in nations including China, Malaysia, the Philippines and South Korea said they regularly used whitening products. Photo: Shutterstock
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Crystal Tai

Crystal Tai

Crystal covers business trends and cultural criticism, with a special focus on Northeast Asia, for the Asia desk. Before joining the SCMP, she contributed to Quartz, i-D Magazine, Monocle, Wallpaper, Lonely Planet and other publications. Her broadcast commentary has been featured on BBC Radio, CGTN and other media.