When I first came to Japan I was amazed by so many things. But the thing that struck me the most: so many Japanese women have the most beautiful skin! No wrinkles, no pores, dewy, bright, and generally flawless. I couldn’t stop wondering – what’s their secret? How do they look so young?
There have been many times that I tried to guess a woman’s age and it was so difficult. I always ended up thinking: “She must be somewhere between 18 and 45…”
Even now that I live here, it’s still unbelievable. So I decided to try and find out their secrets, beyond the banal ‘climate’ and ‘good genes’. I wanted to learn a thing or two about skincare from Japanese women, so I made it a small project of mine. And now, after asking my Japanese friends, a lot of reading, and after trying some of these methods myself– I can share all their best-kept secrets with you. This is how Japanese women get their flawless beautiful skin (according to them 😉):
1. Avoid the sun
That’s a given, I know. Everyone will tell you that the sun is our skin’s worst enemy. But in many countries, some women still enjoy sunbathing. Let’s admit it – we all want tanned skin.
However, during summer I feel like it’s very strange for the Japanese to leave their houses without a hat. Almost everyone has a hat, regardless of their age or where they’re going. Some women have driving gloves, and a parasol is also a very common thing to see. In most cases, Japanese women try to avoid direct exposure to sunlight. And what can I say? It might just have great results.
Protecting yourself from the sun is a great wrinkle, sun spots, and pigmentation prevention.
Remember this the next time you go out in the sun.
2. Facial massage
Facial massages for tightening and strengthening face muscles are quite common in Japan. I first heard of it when a friend told me:
“We can speak tonight after I do my Tanaka-facial”.
Me: “your Tanaka WHAT?!”
Apparently, around ten years ago there was a very popular YouTube video of such a massage. And yes – the woman who started it is called Yukuku Tanaka. To be honest, I have never tried it personally. But my friend says it did wonder to her face.
Today there’s a massive trend of facial massages using massage tools like rollers.
3. Green tea
So many things have been said about Japanese tea. While there are many kinds of tea (like the Matcha I wrote about here), in Japan it’s a very common drink. Actually, you’re more likely to see someone drinking tea than water.
Green tea is rich in phytochemicals, it is good for detoxifying and, generally, being hydrated is never a bad thing. Therefore, there is a reduction in wrinkles and fine lines. And as many Japanese women drink a couple of cups of green tea a day, it’s no wonder they look so young.
4. Collagen drink
While collagen has become more and more popular across the world in recent years, in Japan it has been very popular for quite a while. Since Japanese women usually consume it as a drink, drug stores are literally filled with collagen powders from various resources.
Collagen is actually a common protein in our bodies and helps to maintain the elasticity of our skin cells (according to the sellers). That’s why consuming collagen is positively related to a reduction in wrinkles and fine lines, and generally better-looking skin.
While many collagen products are based on animal collagen, I prefer this collagen-builder. It’s a product with ingredients that encourage our body to build its own collagen, so it seems to be a little more natural.
5. Taking a long bath
You’ve probably heard of Japan’s bathing culture. Bathing in hot springs (onsen), in public bathhouses (sento), or simply in one’s own house (ofuro), is done regularly. The process is believed to be a thorough way of warming oneself, like I figured in this experience:
When I was staying in a countryside community, I shared the ofuro (bath) with other ladies in the accommodation. I was in quite a hurry and thought I would only take a shower and get out. Then when one of the ladies saw this, she asked me: “Are you getting out already without going in the ofuro? You’ll be cold, you know!”
Maybe it makes sense. Spending time in hot water is believed to encourage blood circulation and relax your muscles. Therefore, it could obviously benefit your skin.
6. Fermented food
This is another interesting rumor I heard while living in Japan. Fermented food such as miso, nato, and amazake are said to have a good effect on our skin. Actually, it’s also a recommended food for babies since it’s said to help develop brain cells.
I never really tested it biologically, but even if it has no firm evidence, miso is still of my favorite food ingredient. But remember, it is better to have miso fermented in the traditional way. That’s why I like to buy this brand when I’m out of Japan: it’s organic and made in Japan. I highly recommend it for making miso soup.
Which of these tips are you willing to adopt in your beauty routine to have that beautiful skin?
Let me know what you think in the comments (:
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