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The Ancient Secrets of Japanese Beauty

Onsen - Japanese hot springs

The ever-youthful beauty of Japanese women has been a point of secret jealousy among many women in Western societies. It seems that women in Japan have the ability to stay ageless and look 30 even in their 60s, as their porcelain skin stays smooth and flawless, and their hair lustrous and voluminous.  

The secret to their success in defying time is indeed ancient, but actually very simple - the combination of the right healthy diet and regular care based on natural ingredients throughout hundreds of generations! It has been recently proved that benefits of a healthy life can be passed on from parents to children and even to their grandchildren, so it is no surprise that the nation that has been meticulously sustaining such healthy lifestyle would be one of the fortunate ones to defy aging as much as it could be possible.

However, everyone can learn and try the beauty secrets that Geisha´s have been using for generations to be able to seduce with just one downward glance...

And apart from gaining beautiful skin and hair, you could also improve your overall health and well-being. The main principle is very simple - all natural ingredients as for the diet, as well for the beauty care. In ancient Japan it was believed that what you cannot eat, you should not use on your skin, and it seems only right!

Sushi - Japanese healthy diet

I. OVERALL CARE

First, and maybe the most important Japanese beauty tip - healthy diet! Japanese cuisine is very rich in fish and vegetables, providing essential omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, and it is low in meat, bread and sugary foods. If the organism is receiving all the necessary components, it will function flawlessly and that will lead to very healthy looks and slow aging.

Furthermore, Japanese main drink is green tea, mostly in the enriched form of matcha (that we talked about in one of our previous posts) which contains many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents among many other benefits.

Drinking just 2 - 3 cups a day of good green tea would make your skin look more healthy, youthful and spotless...

Another imperative tip for the health and beauty of Japanese ladies - regular and long hot baths, that are often taken in beautiful natural hot springs, called onsen 温泉. It will not only cleanse the skin, but will also relax all the muscle tension and help the circulation and regenerative processes.

Japanese spa - skin care

II. SKIN CARE

The general beauty tips since ancient times in Japan for the skin care were to regularly moisturize and nurture skin, and to exfoliate dead skin cells - everything always with natural components. Also, Japanese generally avoid exposure to sun, as UV light ages the skin and induce blemishes.

Moisturizing can be as simple as placing cotton cloth (ancient Geishas were using silk) with flower water or other essence on the face for 5-10 minutes couple of times per week. Or a bit more complicated, such as applying fruit or vegetable masks rich in vitamins and nutrients.

One of the oldest recipes contain persimmon: 1 tablespoon of mashed persimmon mixed with a teaspoon of honey and another of egg yolk. Such mask applied for 15-20 min will revive and nourish the skin.

Rice - great exfoliating agent

The most popular and probably some of the best natural components for exfoliation used in Japan are rice and sea salt. Rice has been praised over centuries for its toning effect on skin due to the boost of collagen production induced by powerful antioxidant component - gamma-oryzanol. And sea salt is a very popular exfoliating agent that can be used all over the body to break down fat and tone the underlying collagen skin layers, and its use was not limited only to Asian countries - sea salt scrubs have been used since ancient times basically in every country that lies on a shore.

However, when generally the most popular solvent for sea salt and rice is oil - Japanese women prefer to use whipped cream, that provides additional protein components that smooth the skin and leave it silk-like on touch.

Some very simple, but extremely effective exfoliating pastes can be made by mixing 2 - 2.5 parts of rice flour or sea salt with 1 part of whipped cream. The rice paste can be applied to face and neck and left for 10-15 minutes, then rubbed in and rinsed to remove all dead skin cells. 

Hashiguchi Goyo (1880-1921), Combing Hair, Japan, 1920, Woodblock print

 III. HAIR CARE

As to the envy-inspiring lustrous flowing hair - one of the main beauty component used by Japanese (and not only women) to preserve and improve their beautiful hair is nothing more than camellia oil. It is infused with oleic acids, proteins and glycerids, that are essential in order to keep hair healthy, smooth, glossy and strong.

A simple application of small quantity of warm camellia oil on the hair for 20 minutes before washing is enough to make the hair look more lustrous and strong.

Also, Japanese women prefer to use only special handmade wooden combs for their hair. The tiny pores in the wood catch grains of skin oils and distribute them along the hair length, which keeps the hair moisturized and shiny. And Japanese also prefer natural seaweed powder to clean their hair instead of using often damaging chemical shampoos as the rest of us.

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And there is also one very important secret to the mysterious Japanese beauty that does not include any treatments, procedures or tricks - it is the inner beauty, the poise and confidence that comes from within as a result of harmony, balance and happiness. So stay happy and don´t forget to treat yourself once in a while!

 


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