In a large country of only 3 million people (where wild horses outnumber people), with an estimated 2 million who live in the capital and 1 million who live a traditional nomadic lifestyle, traditional skin care and beauty practices can still be found.
In the capital city of, women practice many of the same beauty regimens as those of women in other parts of mainstream Asia, with access to department store beauty counters and shopping malls found in major cities throughout the world. With the influx of movies and media into Mongolia from South Korea in the late 1990s, South Korean beauty regimens and standards have weaved their way into the urban culture. However, in rural Mongolia, where a nomadic way of life still predominates, certain beauty and cultural practices remain intact without the influence of mainstream culture.
Homemade yogurt, a staple in rural Mongolia, is used on the face to help brighten the skin. In rural Mongolia, the yogurt is made and eaten fresh, thus lasts for 1-2 days if not refrigerated. The yogurt comes from cows and goats (rarely from other animals) that graze on open land without pesticides and are not fed hormones and grains. My personal diet doesn’t consist of much dairy, but I can say firsthand that in my opinion, it is delicious there. Yogurt is also applied to the skin to treat acne, but for acne the yogurt is fermented more than usual, so there is more acid to reduce the skin inflammation. (Lactic acid is typically what is found in fermented yogurt.)
Dr. Wesley and Dr. Talakoub are co-contributors to this column. Dr. Wesley practices dermatology in Beverly Hills, Calif. Dr. Talakoub is in private practice in McLean, Va. This month’s column is by Dr. Wesley. Write to them at. They had no relevant disclosures.