11. Cleanse, cleanse and cleanse again.
For Japanese women, the most important part of any skincare routine isn’t fancy serum, or pricey night cream… it’s your cleanser. Spend your money on a good cleanser, perfectly suited to your skin type, because if you’re not cleansing properly, nothing’s going to be as effective afterwards. Always cleanse morning and night, even if you haven’t been wearing makeup, and if you can fit in a double cleanse (removing makeup, then cleansing again with an oil or balm), do it!
12. Bath time = you time.
In Japan, they LOVE to bathe. Bathtime is a ritual, from gorgeous at home bathtubs to hot spring “Onsen” (bathhouses), and involves scrubbing the body from head to toe with an exfoliating cleanser before climbing into a steaming hot bath enriched with bath oils, or essences of various herbs and green tea. Perfect for beautifying the skin, as well as de-stressing before bedtime.
13. Exfoliation is key!
Smooth skin is a highly regarded beauty trait in Japan, and is achieved with regular exfoliation. Finely ground Azuki beans are used to buff away dead skin, or specially made washclothes are gently rubbed over the skin to get rid of trapped dirt. As well as giving smooth skin, this also leaves no barrier between your skin and the serums, oils and moisturisers you use afterwards.
14. Give yourself a Vitamin C hit.
You may have spotted all sorts of Vitamin C skincare, promising to perk up dull skin and alleviate hyperpigmentation. The Japanese are already one step ahead though, as Vitamin C is a big part of their daily diet. The Vitamin C from oranges (or in many cases supplements) helps to break up melanin, giving the even complexion Japanese women are renowned for.
15. Remember, above all, beauty comes from within.
The Japanese have a concept called “Mie-nai Oshareh.” This translates to “unseen beauty” – a beauty that does not have to be necessarily displayed to be seen. It refers to a poise and confidence that expensive products and cosmetics can’t buy, and to an inner glow of happiness that comes from wearing a favourite dress, eating a good meal, and remembering to treat yourself well.