Tibetan red cheeks disappearing

CNC report from Tibet
Added On August 23, 2013

When tourists walk on the streets of Tibet, they find local faces are not as red as years gone by.

The disappearance of the typical red cheeks reflects gradual changes in the Tibetan people's lifestyle.

Tibetans have always had flushed cheeks due to the plateau's harsh weather conditions.

That rosiness was dubbed plateau redness.

However, in recent years, plateau redness is slwoly disappearing, replaced by paler skin.

SOUMDBITE: CHOKYI, Lahsa resident
"Plateau redness is actually fading. It's mostly down to makeup, like facial masks, that are specifically brought into the region to cure it."

Drolma has been running a cosmetics shop in Lahsa's Yutuo Road for 20 years.

She says customers, including those in their 50s and 60s, are beginning to look different after using cosmetics bought from her shop

SOUNDBITE: Drolma, Cosmetics shop manager
"At first I wasn't sure whether people here would be interested in makeup, so my shop was very small. Later, people appeared to like the results and came back more and more. Both men and women are now paying much more attention to themselves."

Tibetan people also have other ways to protect their facial skin.

In the past, they often chatted with friends under the scorching sun until it went down.

Nowadays, however, they enjoy chatting in the tea house or at home.

They also wear hats, masks and scarves in order to block ultraviolet rays while spinning their prayer wheels.

These changes in lifestyle reflect an increasing health awareness, with many Tibetan city dwellers now having more interaction with the outside world.