Japan, land of quirky culture, delicious food, and incredible complexions. Much as blow HQ loves sushi and a rousing J-Pop singalong, nothing fills us with more envy than the smooth, lit-from-within skin that Japanese women all seem to possess. Science has proven there’s no specific “beauty gene”…meaning glowing, porcelain skin can be ours with the help of a few Japanese beauty rituals! We’ve already managed to get our hands on one of the biggest skincare lines in Japan, KOSÉ, so we decided to uncover a few more Japanese beauty secrets to go with it.
From green tea to a serious bathing habit, here are the 15 beauty secrets Japanese women have been keeping under wraps for centuries. Your skin will never be the same again…
1. You are what you eat.
The first step of beauty is always what you put IN your body, rather than what you put on it – and the Japanese diet is one of the most beautifying in the world! Japanese women don’t eat fatty and sugary foods, or lots of meat. Instead they load up on vitamin-packed “brassica” vegetables like broccoli, and of course, lots and lots (and lots) of fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which help reduce the body’s production of the inflammatory chemicals involved in the ageing process.
2. You can never have too much green tea.
Clinically proven to possess a ton of antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, Japanese beauties traditionally not only drank cups and cups of green tea, they also applied a concentrate to acne. In Japan they still drink a LOT of green tea, and have created a potent green tea drink, Matcha, from ground green tea leaves. One cup of Matcha contains the same level of antioxidants as TEN cups of green tea… and it can be baked into cakes, blended into milkshakes and added to just about anything.
3. Rice up your life!
Geisha used to use rice bran to soften their skin and hair by bathing in the water left over from rinsing uncooked rice. They were definitely onto something – an antioxidant and natural emollient, rice helps protect from UV damage, nourishes the skin and prevents wrinkles. If you’re looking for a flawless complexion, rice is the key – no wonder it’s the main ingredient in our incredible new exclusive skincare from Japan, KOSÉ.
4. Get oiled up.
Japanese women aren’t afraid of oil, and you shouldn’t be either. Used in Japan for deep moisturising AND cleansing, the secret is to avoid mineral oil. Geisha used natural Camellia Oil instead of water to remove makeup and cleanse their skin, and it’s regarded as one of the most famous Japanese beauty tricks, helping to fight the signs of ageing and restore moisture. One of the oldest books in the world, the Tale of Genji, even talks of Japanese court women using Camellia Oil to dress their hair.
5. Simplicity is key.
Get rid of your bathroom clutter, and simplify your skincare. Typically, Japanese women don’t use lots of products in one go. Instead they have a very structured skincare routine that layers a highly streamlined range of products with the emphasis on time spent applying correctly, rather than how much you’re throwing at your skin. Chizu Saeki, Japan’s renowned skincare guru, breaks it down into a morning cleanse, lotion (the equivalent of our ‘toner’), serum and moisturiser… and exactly the same at night!