Japan, land of quirky culture, delicious food, and amazing people. But nothing fills us with more envy than the smooth, lit-from-within skin that Japanese women seem to possess. Science has shown that there is no “beauty specific gene” which means that shiny, porcelain skin can be ours too with the help of some Japanese beauty secrets .

Japanese beauty secrets that make you look young and beautiful

From green tea to a serious bath habit, here are the 15 beauty secrets Japanese women have been keeping under wraps for centuries. Your skin will never be the same again.

1. You are what you eat

The first beauty step is always what you put into your body, rather than what you put on it – and the Japanese diet is one of the most beautiful in the world. Japanese women do not eat fatty and sugary foods, or a lot of meat. Instead, they eat more vegetables from the vitamin-packed cabbage family, such as broccoli and, of course, lots of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce the body’s production of the inflammatory chemicals involved in the aging process. Many take it lightly, but one of the important beauty and health secrets is precisely that you are what you eat .

2. Drink a lot of green tea

Clinically proven, green tea possesses a host of antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Japanese beauties traditionally not only drank many cups of green tea, but also applied a concentrate to acne. In Japan they still drink a lot of green tea, and they have created a powerful green tea drink, Matcha, from ground green tea leaves. One cup of Matcha tea contains the same level of antioxidants as 10 cups of green tea and can be baked into cakes, mixed into smoothies, and added to just about anything.

3. Use rice as a beauty product

Geishas used to use rice bran to soften their skin and hair by bathing in the remaining water when rinsing the raw rice. It definitely works, as rice is a natural antioxidant and emollient, rice helps protect against UV damage, nourishes the skin, and prevents wrinkles. If you are looking for a flawless complexion, rice is the key.

4. Use the oils

Japanese women are not afraid of oil, and neither should you. Used in Japan for deep hydration and cleansing, the secret is to avoid mineral oil. Geishas use natural camellia oil instead of water to remove makeup and cleanse their skin, and it is considered one of the most famous Japanese beauty hacks , helping to fight the signs of aging and restore moisture. One of the oldest books in the world, The Story of Genji , even tells of Japanese court women who used camellia oil to apply to their hair.

5. Simplicity is key

Get rid of bathroom clutter, and simplify your skincare. Japanese women generally don’t use many products at one time. Instead, they have a very structured skincare routine that uses highly efficient beauty products with an emphasis on the time spent applying it properly, rather than the amount of stuff that is applied to the skin. Chizu Saeki, the renowned Japanese guru in skin care, sums it up in a morning cleanse, lotion (the equivalent of our “toner”), a serum and moisturizer, and everything exactly the same in the evening.

6. Avoid the sun

It is simple and for that reason, it is usually one of the beauty secrets that is not taken into account as it should be. Instead of wearing a lot of sunscreen, Japanese ladies tend to skip everything. Rather, they protect their skin by wearing hats (or “sun visor” variants) and stay out of direct sunlight. If they have to be in the sun, an SPF 50+ is a must. Exposure to harmful UV rays is the number one cause of premature aging.

7. If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin

Traditionally, in Japan, beauty is simple, natural, and edible. The theory is that women shouldn’t put anything on their skin if it can’t be eaten, as skin is porous – so anything we apply ends up in our bloodstream, usually within minutes. So, listen to one of the beauty secrets that can make a difference in a quick way , and if you are putting toxic chemicals on your face, remember, that is going to end up in your body.

8. Lotion mask

In ancient times, Geishas used to moisten a piece of kimono silk with distilled flower water and place it on the face, making a paper-like mask shape. The “lotion” sheet or mask is a Japanese registered trademark of skin care, and has been recognized worldwide by the Japanese expert in skin care, Chizu Saeki. Your easy alternative to purchased sheet masks involves moistening cotton with toner or lotion and dabbing on your face for 5-10 minutes to deliver an instant moisture hit.

9. Less is more in makeup

When it comes to makeup, for Japanese women less is definitely more. After all, if you focus a lot on skincare, you shouldn’t need makeup that clogs your pores. Instead, Japanese women choose their products carefully. Makeup should be a complement to enhance already flawless skin, not the main attraction.

10. Facial massage

Another Chizu Saeki secret for youthful-looking skin is the application technique. Rather than applying your product in upward, circular motions, you should gently stroke it, going upward from the chin, before using Chizu’s various massage techniques. This stimulates blood flow to aid cell rejuvenation, helps with lymphatic drainage, and most importantly, firms muscle tone and reduces wrinkles.

11. Facial cleansing is a must

For Japanese women, the most important part of any skincare routine is not a luxurious serum, nor expensive night cream, it is your cleanser. They spend their money on a good cleanser, perfectly tailored to your skin type, because if you are not cleansing properly, nothing is going to be as effective afterwards. Always clean your skin in the morning and at night, even if you haven’t been wearing makeup, and if you can do a double cleanse (remove makeup, then cleanse again with an oil or balm), do so.

12. Bath time is a sacred time

In Japan, they love to bathe. Bath time is a ritual, from doing it in beautiful bathtubs at home to Onsen hot springs , and involves scrubbing the body from head to toe with an exfoliating cleanser before stepping into a steaming hot bath enriched with bath oils, or essences of various herbs and green tea. Perfect for beautifying the skin, as well as de-stressing the body before falling asleep.

13. Exfoliation is key

Smooth skin is a highly regarded beauty trait in Japan, and one of the beauty secrets everyone wants to know . Well, it’s easy and is achieved with regular exfoliation. Beans Azuki finely ground are used to clean the dead skin or the clothing specially made rubbing gently on the skin to get rid of trapped dirt. In addition to giving smooth skin, this also leaves no barrier between your skin and the serums, oils, and moisturizers you use afterward.

14. Take vitamin C

You may have tried all kinds of vitamin C skincare hoping it would lift dull skin and relieve hyperpigmentation. The Japanese are already one step ahead, as vitamin C is a large part of their daily diet. The vitamin C in oranges (or in many supplements) helps break down melanin, giving Japanese women’s complexions the uniformity for which they are so renowned.

15. Remember, above all, that beauty comes from within

The Japanese have a concept called “Mie-nai Oshareh.” This translates into “invisible beauty”, a beauty that does not necessarily have to be displayed to be seen. It refers to a balance and confidence that expensive products and cosmetics can’t buy, and an inner glow of happiness that comes from wearing a favorite dress, eating a good meal, and remembering to treat yourself well.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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