What: Pearl powder and face mapping
The history: Back in the age of Chinese dynasties, early emperors and empresses would actually consume pearl powder to lighten dark spots. Milled from freshwater pearls, the powder was also used as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Also in traditional Chinese medicine, alongside acupuncture and Shiatsu, medicine men would use a technique called face mapping to read certain zones of the face and how they relate to different organs in the body. For instance, if your cheeks are red and show broken capillaries, it could mean lung stress, explains King.
The lowdown: Although centuries old, pearl powder is the “big newcomer in skin care," says King. "It’s good for protecting the skin, and the cosmetic benefit is that it increases the luminosity of the skin."
And, although face mapping is not an ingredient, the technique is still used frequently today. "The majority of consumers don’t understand their skin type, don’t understand their skin condition, and when they get face mapped, it’s like 100 light bulbs go off," says King of Dermalogica's face-mapping technique. "You realize you’ve been buying the wrong products, you realize you’ve been eating the wrong things, and you’ll make better choices."