In the twentieth century, another different sort of Japanese beauty replaced the image of the heavily made-up geisha girl that most people recognized earlier. These were pictures of women with great natural looks and what was specifically noticeable, was the smooth and firm skin in women who were well past middle age. For any woman, that smooth and glowing skin is immensely important. The porcelain doll-like skin that most Japanese women seem to possess is all the proof that anyone needs.
From the beginning, Japanese skincare has been taken very seriously in Japan, and the Japanese belief in the importance of inner and outer care for the skin is now understood to be the best skincare regime. This means correct skincare practices, but a healthy diet to back it up.
A high fiber diet is known to be better for health and this equally true when it comes to maintaining your skin. The Japanese diet which consists mainly of rice, vegetables, and seafood with little in the way of red meat and processed foods.
More and more research is confirming the benefits of their sort of diet for the heart and digestive tract. The advantages of a seafood-based diet for the calcium rich parts of our body such as hair and skin are obvious. A diet that is rich in fish, vegetables and fruit also means less weight gain, which again helps your skin stay looking good. A good diet is therefore an important part of Japanese skincare and should be practiced.
The adzuki bean, which was probably introduced to Japan by Chinese travellers, is called the ‘Mercedes’ of beans in Japan. The most widely cultivated bean crop in that country, it is used to make sweet dishes and eaten on its own in stews and soups. It is like all beans high in protein, but is also 三高保健 prized for its sweetness. As a natural ingredient in Japanese skincare, adzuki beans make for excellent exfoliating masks.
For several centuries, Japanese women have opted for 100% pure skincare using natural ingredients. These can mean using sea vegetables that have been dried and powdered. When made into facemasks they help to draw out toxins from the skin. Applying herbal oils like those from jojoba fruit or camellia then soothes the drying effects of these. Infusions of herbal teas and extracts of other fruits and vegetables may also be added to these homemade beauty aids.
Of course, when discussing Japanese skincare products, we cannot forget wakame. This is a type of algae that grows in the Sea of Japan exclusively and has been harvested and eaten in Japan for centuries. It is dark green and has a somewhat slimy texture as a culinary ingredient, which may not be all that appetising for people who are not used to it. Its great nutritional value has meant that it has been dried or used fresh in dishes in Japan for centuries. But is it the extract of this sea kelp that is all the rage right now because it’s abilities to reverse skin aging.
Phytessence Wakame, as the extract is called, was formulated under laboratory conditions some decades ago and is today a proven miracle food for skin. It soothes, protects, and maintains skin firmness and texture because of the natural vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are present in it. Its properties have been hailed in Japan for years.