Confession: we love a good throwback. And in celebration of the Lunar New Year, we’d like to present evidence that, many times, the oldest tricks in the book are the best ones. Still a skeptic? Behold: five ancient beauty secrets that hail from mystical China—all preserved and developed by modern science to serve our complexions today. (These ain’t your average old wives’ tales!)

PEARLS

Pearls have a long-standing reputation in China as skin brighteners and boosters. The powder of ground pearls (and the oysters shells that contain them) are also reported to have moisturizing and antioxidant properties. Today, pearl powders and extracts are infused into products that promise soft, glowy, radiant skin.

WE SUGGEST: Guerlain’s Météorites Perles Light-Diffusing Perfecting Primer, P3,465, Baroness’ Pearl Essence Mask, P75

MUSHROOMS

Circulating both ancient and present-day China in ground or desiccated form, mushrooms are widely regarded as an anti-aging miracle. Aside from combating wrinkles, sun spots, and photo-aging, this face-tastic fungus also helps reduce puffiness.

WE SUGGEST: Happy Bath’s Pure Cotton Flower Perfume Body Wash, P1,235, Leaders InSolution’s Bio Medi-Curing Wrinkle Dressing Mask, P228

GREEN TEA

Think tea-drinking is just an age-old indulgence? Think again. Simply reading through a magazine will teach you that green tea contains a wonderful concentration of antioxidants, which rid your skin of nasty toxins. (PS. Antioxidants also help prevent wrinkles!)

WE SUGGEST: By Nature’s Green Tea Escape Soap Bar, on sale at P140, Zenutrients’ Green Tea Single Blend Massage Oil, P338

SOY

If you’ve ever heard that eating tofu on a regular basis is good for the skin, rest assured: that’s actually right. Soybeans have been shown to reduce pigmentation—meaning, they help brighten dark marks, sun spots, and dull complexions. Might explain the Chinese beauty myth that people who work in tofu factories have the most gorgeous complexions.

WE SUGGEST: Fresh’s Soy Face Cleanser (150ml), P2,100, Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Daily Cleansing Pads, P446

BAMBOO

For centuries, Chinese bamboo forests have not only been considered some of the most breathtaking in the world—they’ve also been praised for their medicinal benefits. On top of that, these swaying stalks actually serve your skin, thanks to their silica content. Applied topically, silica helps replenish your natural collagen levels—which results in smoother, bouncier, baby-soft skin—similar to what it was when you were a kid.

WE SUGGEST: Innisfree’s It’s Real Squeeze Bamboo Mask, on sale at P105, Neutrogena’s Deep Clean Bamboo Gel Cleanser, P246