Japan is well known for geishas and women with beautiful complexion, porcelain and soft skin. Their skin ages twice as slow than a westerners’ skin.. A 40 year old woman would easily be considered a 20 year old. So naturally it fascinates me how they achieve this type of skin. What skin care regimens they follow, how their diet is and what ingredients they use on their face.
I value this ancient knowledge of beauty because they are pure and natural. So it really intrigues me how these people found out so many great things without labs, microscopes and chemicals. So let’s find out…
Fun Fact: One of the oldest books in the world, the Tale of Genji, talks of Japanese court women using Camellia Oil to dress their hair.
1. In ancient times, Geisha used their kimono silk and dampened with essential flower water and place it on their face. This is what we call ‘sheet masks’ nowadays. These masks became well known in the West through the Japanese skin care expert, Chizu Saeki. She recommends using cotton pads instead of silk with some essence or lotion. And placing it on the face for 5-10 mins to let the moisture penetrate through the layers of our skin.
Another Chizu Saeki luxurious secret for youthful skin is the application technique. In the West, we usually rub the lotion in circular motions until it’s absorbed. Whereas in Japan they pat the product in going upwards from chin. Or use the massage techniques shown is the picture above. These techniques help cells to rejuvenate, helps with lymphatic drainage, firms the skin and prevent wrinkles. If you use this technique everyday, imagine the effect it will have on your skin over-time.
3. Bathing is a traditional ritual in Japan. In the olden times, they used to take baths in large and open hot springs such as ‘Onsen’. It de-stresses the mind and they believe stress is the number one factor leading to ageing skin.
4. Green tea is one of the top three ingredients Japanese women use in their skin care. Actually not only do they apply it topically but also drink it. I personally drink green tea 2-3 times a day, everyday. And I notice a HUGE difference in my skin. Matcha tea is becoming very popular in the West. Basically, it’s a highly potent version of green tea. It is loaded with polyphenols that fight free radicals and protect the skin against sun damage and skin cancer.
Fun Fact: Geishas were famous for their glamorous tea ceremonies mostly involving green tea.
5. Rice is the most widely used ingredient in Japanese diet and skin care. Rice may be considered ordinary in the West, however it is treasured in the East. Geishas used rice water (left from boiling the rice) as a face toner. It is rich in gamma-oryzanol which is a powerful antioxidant that boosts collagen production. Collagen is the key to keeping our skin youthful. You can use rice water to dampen cotton pads and apply it as a sheet mask.
6. Camellia oil is well used for hair in Japan. It was highly popular in a Geisha’s beauty routine. It’s potent in oleic acids, proteins and glycerides. The essentials needed to grow lustrous hair. Geishas also used it as a makeup remover and cleanser. It has some amazing anti-ageing properties.
7. The founder of Tatcha cosmetics, Vicky Tsai, found an ancient ingredient, Indigo derived from a flower that was historically used to make blue dye. She traced back its use to Japan’s notorious samurai warriors, who used indigo-dye-treated garment under their Armour to help wounds heal quickly. It contains tyrptanthrin and indirubin which soothes irritated skin and inhibits irritation-causing proteins while also strengthening skin’s barrier function. Tatcha’s own clinical results on participants with eczema showed a 67 percent improvement in redness, inflammation, and cracking within two weeks.
8. They say “You are what you Eat”. A Japanese women’s diet highly avoids unnatural fats, sugars and meat. Instead they eat a lot of seafood including sea plants such as salmon and sea weed. Sea food is rich in vitamins, omegas and minerals essential for healthy skin and hair. Adding green tea to this diet helps obtain the antioxidants.
9. In the ancient times they believed if you can’t eat it, you can’t apply it on your skin. They skin care was highly pure and natural. The same beauty philosophy is shared in Ancient Ayurvedic (Indian) Beauty Secrets. I highly recommend this tip because I’ve experienced it. My day and night skin care routine consists of all natural products and I never regretted this decision.
10. 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 favorite dress, eating a good meal, and remembering to treat yourself well. BeYouTiful!