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3 Best Beauty Books To Read for Beauty Addicts in 2023 Reviewed

Asian Beauty Secrets Book

Beauty books are in. We aren’t just looking for beauty products online anymore. We want to be empowered to make our skincare and beauty decisions. Read on to discover why board certified dermatologist Dr. Teo Wan Lin thinks beauty books are THE BEAUTY TREND to watch for in 2023. 

Why beauty books are a must have for your vanity table 

Here’s the bona fide mark of a beauty addict in 2023 and beyond: a beauty book collection. Why books if information is widely available on the internet? Information is different from knowledge and expertise. Expertise comes from true experts who are able and willing to impart their skills. 

@dr.twlbeautybibles The Beauty Library. Coming Soon #beautytoks #booktok #beautybook #beautybooks #beautytip #beautytips #drtwl #beautylibrary #beautycommunity ♬ Kings & Queens – Ava Max
•The World of Beauty Bibles• Here’s why you should follow us! At the beauty library, lots of new tips and tricks from our beauty bibles are shared! Join us and cosy up in the lounge area of beauty metaverse to watch Dr.TWL TV

Authority is also an interesting word. Authors who pass the credibility check can impart well organised, comprehensive knowledge that is applicable to the lay audience, besides including relevant nuggets that come with experience. Ever think that a beauty blog can be your trusted source of information? Beauty blogs run by so called beauty experts or aesthetic doctors are great for product testing and reviews. However, it’s not exactly what makes a true academic expert. No surprises here. According to the American Academy of Dermatology and the Dermatological Society of Singapore, a skin expert is one that is board-certified in their relevant countries in the field of dermatology. This is one of the key reasons why you can count on a dermatologist when it comes to skincare advice. 

Beauty books are the self-help books to read in 2023 

Come holiday season we find ourselves looking for new resolutions to make for the next year. Trending beauty regimens, skincare and makeup must-try’s- usually top the list for us beauty obsessed. In 2023, consider uping your beauty game with our tried and tested collection of beauty bibles written by international beauty KOL, board certified dermatologist Dr Teo Wan Lin. Before that, a quick interview to see what inspires her to write. Plus fresh off the press, the scoop on her latest book Asian Beauty Secrets on Amazon Kindle.

Beauty Books by Dermatologist

What is your best kept beauty secret and what does it have to do with your latest book launch?

My best kept secret… I haven’t used retinoids or retinols for the last 8 years! The simple reason was that I developed intolerance when I reached my thirties, pretty surprising since I had used it for an entire decade at high concentrations (0.05% prescription retinoid) prior to that. Never had problems before and no warning signs either. One fine day 8 years ago  I  woke up with  patchy redness and flaking classical “retinoid dermatitis” which didn’t get better with (yup  “skin cycling” was a thing already 🤪) an alternating regimen/ reducing concentrations. 

I had just completed my dermatology residency at that time and was pretty surprised that it still happened to me, someone who was “hardened” to retinoids. From then on, I saw more and more patients who developed irritation out of nowhere, irrespective of the concentrations used, as was in my case. In any case my research in cosmeceuticals led me to retinol alternatives which were equally efficacious and with additional anti-inflammatory effects. Especially critical with our advances in skin exposome research in the last few years. 

@drteowanlin •Dermatologist Tips for Your Dream Skin• Who says you need retinol for pigmentation? Scutellaria Baicalensis is an eastern herb rich in wogonins, nature’s UV protectant that also treats skin pigmentation #dermatologist #dermatologistrecommended ##kbeauty #kbeautyskincare #foryoupage #foryou #fypシ #fyp #dermatology #asianbeautysecrets #skincycling #skincyclingroutine #skincyclingresults #skincare101 #skintok #dermatologydoctor #learnontiktok #learningisfun #retinoltips ♬ Bach unaccompanied cello suite “Prelude” – Jianteng

Asian Beauty Secrets is my guide to retinol/retinoid-free skincare formulations. This includes fascinating research in the realm of traditional ethnobotany applicable to modern dermatology. 

Is this new book the sequel to the Skincare Bible: Dermatologist’s Tips on Cosmeceutical Skincare published in 2019?

Those following my work as an author in the realm of beauty books will welcome this second addition to the skincare book category. They are very different in style and content. The original skincare bible is still what I consider to be the most comprehensive book on skincare advice. I am really happy to see it being quoted by beauty journalists in international media even till today, as a skincare reference book written by a dermatologist. I also covered common skin conditions like acne, rosacea eczema, perioral dermatitis. These are evergreen topics that the public should be aware of. In terms of cosmeceutical skincare, the benefits of certain ingredients over others, peptides over retinols have always been top of my mind.

How is the Asian Beauty Secrets Book different?

In my new book Asian Beauty Secrets, readers will find a completely different approach to a traditional dermatologist-written beauty bible. We delve into eastern ethnobotany, regarded as ‘homeopathy” by many western medical practitioners, but with an alternative take. I like to call it the “East-Meets West” fusion of modern dermatology with the ancient art of ethnobotany.

I present peer-reviewed references of selected eastern herbs such as red sage, rich in a compound known as tanshinones, as potential treatments for acne for example. My work as the chief scientific officer of Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals, whose primary research and development headquarters are in Seoul, sets me up as an authoritative voice in the world of K-beauty cosmeceuticals. However, with this book, I do highlight the lesser known world of C-beauty. 

@drteowanlin Hack (Heck 😜) Skin Cycling with this method •Dermatologist Skincare Secrets• #skincycling #skincyclingroutine #skincyclingresults #skincare101 #skintok #dermatologydoctor #dermatologist #learnontiktok #learningisfun #fyp #foryou #fypシ #skincareroutine #retinolskincare #skincycling #skincyclingroutine #skincyclingresults #asianbeautysecrets #plantbasedtiktok #plantbasedskincare #plantbasedskincareproducts ♬ Ballet song like “Waltz of flowers” _3 minutes(965255) – yulu-ism project

How has your ethnic Chinese ancestry influenced your perception of C-beauty?

As an ethnic Chinese myself, I grew up with my grandma sharing tales of how particular foods were to be consumed for certain health conditions. However, my training in western medicine seemed crafted to bias my mind against any alternative viewpoints not prescribed by modern pharmacology. Interestingly, modern research is now telling us the importance that diet plays in disease states. This includes skin disease. At the heart of it is the delicate and rather mysterious phenomenon of the gut-skin microbiome. Seems that the ancients got it right. 

With your research in ethnobotany for this book on Asian Beauty Secrets, over the last few years, has your perception changed, how? 

Well, the veil has been lifted because as an accredited dermatologist myself now,  am positioned to critically evaluate all viewpoints. Afterall, the fundamental tenet of science must be an open mind. Observations must precede analysis and deductions. Also being careful to jump to conclusions. Another point I like to share is risk-benefit analysis. 

As physicians we first do no harm. Retinols and retinoids are teratogenic and are not permissible in breastfeeding or pregnancy states. However, I personally managed thousands of patients with retinoid dermatitis, and experienced it myself. We cannot dispute the benefits of retinoids. However, what if there were equivalent pharmacological actives without the potential risks of retinoids?

Besides, readers and laypersons must know that many pharmacological “drugs” are actually derivatives from botanical sources or synthetic copies of what we find to work, from naturally occurring molecules. As a dermatologist, I must highlight that it was even eye opening for me to discover many of these factoids that are concealed in the realm of western pharmacology.

@drteowanlin Here’s the skincare guide to read before 2023 Why You Will Love This: – Comprehensive Asian skincare bible on regimens & actives – Asian beauty’s gut-skin microbiome approach – Written by board certified dermatologist & expert on beauty formulations – Scientific approach to the ancient art of ethnobotany – Harness plant intelligence to create the ideal skincare regimen – Dictionary of Asian beauty plant actives categorised by plant parts – Discover nature’s own plant-based skin cycling formulas Asian Beauty Secrets: Hello to Plant-Powered Skin Cycling Say bye to DIY Skin-Cycling. Here’s how. With skin cycling all the rage on TikTok, we reveal how hidden intelligence of plant extracts facilitates natural skin cycling. In fact, the better way is to identify whole plant actives, nature’s ready made skincare actives, that work on multiple cellular pathways to mitigate irritation & are universally tolerable. #dermatologist #beautyhack #skincareguide #skincycling #skincareroutine #skincyclingresults #skincyclingnight2 #dermatologistontiktok #tiktokderm #dermdoctor #drtwl #skincaretips #booktok #booktoker ♬ Ballet song like “Waltz of flowers” _3 minutes(965255) – yulu-ism project

What are your thoughts on the role dermatologists play in the field of beauty and wellness?

The international beauty community is very vibrant. Brands play a large role in skincare education and research. Dior Science for example, backed by the LVMH research group is performing cutting edge research on rosapeptide. The rosapeptide is derivative from a specific species of Rose growing in the Dior Gardens – the Rose de Granville. I recently attended the Dior Scientific Press Conference in Tokyo where we were introduced to the research carried out at the institute.

The major luxury beauty players going into the science of skincare in this way – is rather unprecedented especially engaging dermatologists and academia on a regional and international level. This can influence consumers increasingly looking to dermatologists as an authoritative voice in beauty consumption habits. 

We know that Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals has started a beauty book club, we want more of this!

I am very privileged to count several beauty “addicts” or rather the self-professed beauty obsessed as my friends and patients as well. I think the love for skincare must stem from an interest in science and medicine. The skin is accessible, but is to be respected as much as any other organ of the body. I am a doctor, but not a cardiologist for example and certainly would never count myself a heart expert!

However, we see non-dermatologists, medical doctors, aesthetic doctors who consider themselves skin experts! I find that quite interesting because it does sadly reflect the attitude of the layperson. The skin simply because its external, has been relegated to something anyone can master. Also because it’s inherently very marketable, a commercialised entity.

One way to view beauty from an alternative vantage point, hopefully as a remedy to the current state of affairs – is to position it prominently in academia. Very much like what Dior and LVMH is doing. This can really set beauty brands apart, working with academia. 

Books for me are my first love. What better way to share about the science of beauty with fellow beauty fans than with a community of like-minded beauty geeks? 

As promised, here are the 3 beauty books created by Dr. Teo Wan Lin herself that she recommends getting started with. Whether you already have your collection of beauty bibles or thinking of adding to your beauty library!

3 Beauty Books Recommended and Reviewed 

1. Asian Beauty Secrets Book

Asian Beauty Secrets Book Cover

Honestly, Asian beauty is taken for granted in Singapore but has always had a huge following in the west. Primarily because of innovative K-beauty actives and trends – with the K-pop celebrity culture influencing beauty consumption. Seems that there is a true scientific basis for K-beauty though, as this book explains. Part 1 of the book includes skincare regimens, ingredients and routines in a full lecture-style format complete with infographics, checklists and skincare pearls. Part 2 is a compendium of plant derived actives used in K-beauty and a special section on C-beauty. All this through the lens of a board certified dermatologist and published researcher in the area of the skin microbiome.

An interesting take is provided on the recent trend of skin cycling. Skin cycling is included as a bonus chapter and mentioned in the preface, though not the way you may have seen it being raved about on social media. It truly, as many dermatologists have attested to, is nothing new and definitely nothing to shout about. Rather, what Dr. Teo provides is an absolutely refreshing take on how skin cycling is passé. With retinol alternatives like bakuchiol, proven to have similar cellular mechanisms as retinol, but without skin irritation.

2. Skincare Bible – Dermatologist Tips on Cosmeceutical Skincare

Skincare Bible Book Cover

The original beauty bible and the most recently published comprehensive beauty tome written by a dermatologist (the last we checked). Dr. Teo recommends this for beginner and advanced practitioners of the art of skincare alike. But especially for beauty journalists as it clarifies some of the hardest and trickiest beauty questions. Still widely quoted 3 years later, this is easily the gold standard skincare reference in your beauty library.

@dr.twlbeautybibles The must read beauty bible #skincarebible #booktok #bookworm #beautybook #drtwl #beautyhacks #skincareroutine #skincareroutine #learnontiktok ♬ original sound – BeautyLibraryByDr.TWL

3. Surreal Garden of Dreams For Relaxation – a 60 Day Course

This is one of the adult coloring activity books released under the latest collection “Beauty & the Brain”, a series designed for psychological therapy through mindfulness practice and imagination therapy. Based on Dr. Teo’s published research in the brain-skin-connection, this 60 day course is created for a complete beauty transformation inside-out. Perfect for those seeking some quiet meditation before bedtime. Steal relaxing moments in between your hectic schedule and you will discover a treasure trove of beauty, starting with your mind.

@drteowanlin Escape to the secret garden with me #adultcoloring #coloringbookforadults #coloringbooksforadults #booktok #mentalhealth #artandcraft #coloringbook #coloringbooks #bookrecommendations #booklaunch #bookstoread #drawing #pastelart #pasteldrawing #selfportrait #artbooks ♬ Exil – Hiboky

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