If there’s one thing we all share in common, it’s that each one of us envies the pore-less perfection that is Japanese skin. Don’t feel too disheartened though if you weren’t born in Japan. Japanese skincare is a well-developed art form that they have perfected over the centuries. Thankfully, your skin isn’t completely dependent on genetics, there’s a fair amount you could do to ensure that your skin is always glowing and healthy. Here are Japan’s best kept secrets on how to keep your skin looking flawless.
1. Cleanse Your Face Twice
The foundation of Japanese skincare is that it’s not how much money you spend on your skin products, but how much time you invest in it. Double cleansing might seem excessive to some, but the Japanese believe it is essential for prepping your skin to work with products you slather on later. The first step is using an oil (traditionally camellia or rice bran, but you could use one that suits your skin best) on your dry face to remove all the sunscreen and makeup properly. The next step is to use a regular face cleanser to fully penetrate your skin and remove any residual dirt. Doing this will ensure your skin is completely free of any grime and can fully absorb products you use later.
2. Massage Your Face
Do you scrub your face with no particular technique while washing and moisturizing it? Applying products harshly could undo all the good stuff in your products which you spent so much money on. Japanese women believe in massaging their face properly to stimulate blood circulation and keep it supple. A good facial massage helps your skin absorb the product better and won’t unnecessarily tug at it. If you battle puffiness in the morning, a good massage will help drain your lymph and slim your face down again. Getting a professional body and scalp massage done once in a while will also help you feel rejuvenated and look glowing.
3. Take Long Baths
We might be used to hopping in the shower for two minutes for a perfunctory wash before heading out, but that’s not how the Japanese would do it. Japan has always had a culture of baths. Onsen bath houses were communal baths, where people would socialize and unwind together. Your neighbors might have serious reservations about you jumping into the bath with them to catch up, but there are other ways you could bathe like the Japanese. Take time to exfoliate yourself head to toe, use essential oils or bath salts, put on some classical music. Anything that helps you relax after a long day will free you of stress and make your skin look more refreshed.
4. Hydrate With Sheet Masks
One of the most important things to a Japanese woman is to ensure her skin is getting enough moisture. Harsh chemicals that strip your skin of oils and leave it shine-free which appeal to the West, are avoided at all costs. Japanese women prefer a dewy look which is indicative of your skin being adequately moisturized and healthy. An ancient Japanese invention which has recently taken the world by storm, are sheet masks. Soft cloth is soaked in concentrated serum and placed over the face for at least 15 minutes, until the skin has absorbed all its goodness and plumped up. Sheet masks are inexpensive, quick ways to give your skin an instant pick-me-up. There are hundreds of variants for you to choose from depending on your skin type and your specific needs.
5. Protect Your Skin
While Japan’s obsession with white skin comes from a deep social prejudice, there’s still a lot to be said for keeping yourself out of the sun. If a Japanese woman can’t find a way to avoid going out when the sun is bright, she usually makes sure she slathers on her sunscreen and very often wears a wide brimmed hat to keep sun exposure to a minimum. The sun accounts for most of our skin damage, so protecting ourselves from its harsh rays helps us avoid most problems. Tanning yourself might give you a healthy glow now, but later on, your skin will age faster, become more discolored and even put you at a higher risk for skin cancer. Stick to your bronzer, sun tans aren’t worth the future damage.
6. Drink Your Green Tea
We’ve all heard about the excellent health benefits of green tea, but Japanese women are living examples of the wonders it can do for your skin. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants which fight off signs of ageing. Japan has gone a step further than your regular green tea and introduced matcha green tea, which is a powdered, more potent version. Matcha contains ten times as many antioxidants as green tea and can be your elixir of youth.
7. Stay Beautiful On The Inside
Japanese women don’t expect to fill their body with junk and then have external products keep their skin looking good. They know the most important part of their entire skin care regime starts with what’s on their plate. Japan generally stays away from dairy and processed foods. Their daily diet consist of large amounts of vegetables and almost always, a serving of fish. Japan loves its fish and this could very well be the secret to their young, flawless skin. Oily fish like salmon and mackerel contain high amounts of Omega 3 fats, which keeps inflammation down and slows the ageing process. If you want your skin to glow from within, the most important thing you could do would be to revamp your diet.