We often envy our Japanese counterparts for their flawless and perfectly radiant skin. Science tells us that genetics and geography have little to do with this. Then what is it that sets them apart? What are their secrets to glowing, beautiful skin? The answer to this question lies ahead. So, look no further, because we bring to you, the top ten Japanese Beauty Secrets:
When we think of Japanese cuisine, the very first dish that comes to our mind is Sushi! And the very first Japanese beauty secret is wrapped up in Sushi itself-Yes, we are talking about rice. You must be wondering how rice-something so starchy and filled with carbohydrates-can affect beauty in any favourable way? The answer lies in the other vitamins and minerals that make up rice and render the skin a glow from within. Even when it comes to all the nutrients that are left behind in the water that the rice was cooked in, do not let it go to waste! Use it as a face wash or add it to your bath tubs and buckets. Because the starch that this contains is a soothing ingredient for soft and supple skin!
9. Warm tea during a Meal:
The Japanese love their warm tea more than any other beverage. It is now wonder that this liking too has a scientific backing to it-consuming a warm beverage like green tea during meals helps in improving digestion. After all, a good stomach is the route to reducing the amount of skin outbursts. With its numerous antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, green tea is the perfect choice for a beautiful skin. Considering that the average Japanese citizen consumes about seven to ten cups of green tea daily, it comes as no surprise that their skin is almost flawless. Besides, it can also be applied externally to fight major skin issues like acne.
8. Enrich from Within and not Without:
The Japanese are strong believers in enriching the skin by nourishing it from within rather than outside. This is why they focus more on eating healthy rather than applying cosmetics on their body. Their staple diet is far away from toxic food and meat. Instead, they eat leafy vegetables like broccoli and prefer fish which abounds in omega-3 fatty acids. Moreover, their limited cosmetic application includes only those substances which are natural and edible. They believe that if eating something will adversely affect your body, it must not be applied to the skin either because ultimately, it will have the same effect on the body by entering the blood stream. So they only opt for completely natural and organic products!
7. Oils, oils and more oils!
Natural oils are a favourite among the Japanese. While most of us conventionally run away from products that may be oil-based, the Japanese, as opposed to us, prefer products that have oil in them for both moisturising and cleansing. The key here is to realise that instead of avoiding all oils, only mineral oils must be avoided. This is because mineral oils clog the pores and make it harder to cleanse the skin. In turn, another relatively harsh product is required to get rid of this and it ends up stripping the skin of essential oils. As such, it is best to stick to natural oils like camellia oil, for both the skin and the hair.
6. Make up to look Good? No, thanks!
Make up is a product that perpetuates a vicious cycle when it comes to skin care. Make up clogs the pores and does not allow the skin to breathe. This results in premature ageing and again, the need for more make up to cover the wrinkles. The Japanese understand the need to break this cycle and focus more on skincare than the need to enhance it with make up. Their habits render them flawless skin and this, in turn, requires very little make-up, only to complement the already beautiful skin. Indeed, for them, when it comes to make up, less is more!
5. Japanese Technique of Applying Products:
Most of us give credit to a product for having worked in our favour. But the secret lies also in the technique that we use to apply that product on our skin. Conventionally, we use our fingertips to massage the product on our skin in light, circular motions, gently moving clockwise and anti-clockwise. For the Japanese, the trick is not in rubbing the product on our skin, but in patting it upwards from the chin! They massage in a manner which is known to not only improve blood circulation and skin rejuvenation but also tone the skin and lessen wrinkles!
4. Emphasis on Cleansing:
The emphasis that the Japanese place on cleansing is paramount. Even though they opt for minimal make up and very little products on their skin, cleansing is a way of life. They like to keep their skin clean and free of impurities, especially during the night when the skin needs to rest. Rather than products that will enhance how you look, the best investment is in products that will clean your skin effectively because no other product would then be effective. And what better way to cleanse than use natural oils! If the foundation of your skin care lies in cleanliness, nobody can stop you from having a flawless skin.
3. Bird Droppings:
Birds like nightingales are famous in Japan, surprisingly not for their voice and singing or beauty but for their droppings! Geishas and Kabuki actors in Japan have been using these very droppings as a prominent ingredient in their facial and skin treatments! Due to their effectiveness, these bird droppings are gradually coming in the international cosmetic diaspora and the credit goes to guanine-a compound in bird excreta that works wonders for brightening the skin complexion and treating wrinkles. Clean pores and a radiant glow are added advantages!
The Japanese use fish for beauty in two very different ways. One, as mentioned earlier, their diet is free from red meat, beverages filled with sugar and deep-fried items. Fish, on the other hand, forms a major part of their diet. Seafood of all kinds is consumed in a variety of ways- raw, cooked, grilled or pickled. The benefit of eating seafood is that it contains essential nutrients, oils and fatty acids that are very important for the skin. Secondly, fish therapy is also used for foot care. Toothless fish are kept in a pond in which the feet are immersed and these fish, then nibble off the dead cells on tired feet, thus leaving them as good as new!
1. Wooden Combs:
Hair care is an inevitable part of one’s beauty regime and perfection attempts. The reason behind the beautiful Japanese hair is wooden combs! These combs, specially handmade, have small pores that are able to collect the natural oil from one’s hair and distribute it evenly all over. This ensures good moisturisation, strength, health and a glowing shine on the hair. In addition, hair care involves the use of seaweed powder and camellia oil on moderately wet hair as opposed to synthetic shampoos.
So take a cue from the Japanese and incorporate these beauty rituals into your daily regime. Their various tricks and tips are sure to make a positive difference in the life of your skin!
The article is sponsored by Bloor Village Cosmetics.