Japan has a long history of appreciating natural beauty – from traditional crafts to the geisha trade, from thousands-year-old spas (onsens) to natural ingredients found on the rice fields and mountains of this island country. In Japan, beauty translates to flawless skin, youth and purification. It is no surprising that the Japanese people turn to earth’s richest ingredients to achieve anti-aging goals. We share some of these amazing elements here…
Since the Edo Period (1603 – 1898), Japanese women have been using Rice Bran as a natural skincare product. Leftover water used for washing rice was used in the bath. This produced smooth, blemish-free and porcelain-like white skin. With more than 70 antioxidants, rice bran helps to protect against cellular damage, thereby preserving skin’s youthfulness.
- helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines (also helps to prevent them)
- Boosts skin’s natural regeneration process – improves skin’s elasticity
- Lightens skin tone, giving a light transparency to it.
- Nourishes & hydrate the skin with vitamins and antioxidants
- Gently exfoliates and smoothens skin
Popular since Japan’s Heian period (8th – 12th centuries), Camellia oil is often associated with glowing skin and hair. Known as a rich source of Palmistic and Omega-6 Linoleic fatty acids, as well as numerous anti-aging polyphenol antioxidants, Japanese Camellia Oil is extremely effective in retaining and enhancing skin’s natural moisture.
- Smoothens rough & flaky skin
- Helps to retain moisture, especially for dry skin, sunburnt skin or rough skin
- Helps reduce acne scars, age spots and stretch marks
- Promotes hair growth & retains hair’s natural sheen
Azuki beans are one of the hidden skin-exfoliating secrets of Japanese women’s beauty regime, used since the Nara Period (710-794). Originally a royal beauty treatment, Azuki bean scrubs are great for those prone to acne and blackheads. Azuki beans are rich in a natural foaming agent, Saponin which helps cleanse pores by gentle exfoliation.
- Gently & effectively removes dirt and dead skin cells
- Unclog pores
- Brightens the skin by stimulating blood circulation
Rich in anti-oxidants, green tea is a vital part of daily life in Japan. Besides consumption, Japanese women have been known to include green tea in their beauty care regime. Besides having anti-aging properties, green tea contains ‘catechin’ polyphenols that have skin healing functions. It also contains tannin that tightens skin.
- Counter damage caused by UV rays
- Reactivate skin cells that are at the end of their life cycle
- Reduces inflammation of skin (especially acne-prone skin)
- Balances Skin tone
Konyaku is a plant native to Asia and has always been well-known for its natural detoxification properties. However, its richness in Ceramide (which binds with collagen, thereby keeping your skin firmer) makes it a good beauty care product. This alkaline plant is rich in minerals: Vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, C, D and E.
Uses – As a sponge:
- Cleanses & exfoliates skin without damage
- Removes light makeup, blackheads, excess oil & dirt
- Unclogs pores
Also known as the “poison-blocking plant”, this plant is known for its medicinal properties – and is often said to be able to treat 10 illnesses. As a beauty product, it is known for retaining moisture.
- Has a firming effect on skin
- Brightens skin
Known for its purifying properties, charcoal has been used in skincare in Japan for centuries. Initially used as a filter to purify water, charcoal in Japan serves many purposes and it is not uncommon to see it in households. Charcoal soap bars can be found in many Japanese onsens and sentohs (public baths).
- Cleansing & removing impurities
- Deep pore cleansing
Japan is made up of numerous islands – making it a rich source of marine algae. Seaweed is detoxifying and rich in minerals. Often the beauty essential for shiny, strong hair, Konbu is also used as an anti-agent in reducing dry skin and wrinkles.
- Regenerate tissue, restoring skin’s elasticity
- Counter skin irritation & inflammation