If there’s one trait all Japanese women share, it’s their fresh, glowing skin. It doesn’t matter if she is 20 or 60 years old, every Japanese woman seems to have a flawless, radiant complexion.
This begs the question, what is their beauty secrets to having porcelain-like skin? How do they manage to look younger and more graceful as they age?
While there’s no magic formula for youthful skin, these lovely ladies do have certain beauty secrets that help them maintain their fair complexions.
Here are some of Japan’s most treasured beauty ingredients, which are used in most of their makeup and skin products:
Tsubaki, also known as camellia, is a flowering plant found in southern and eastern Asia. The tsubaki flower offers a range of benefits for the skin.
The oil extracted from camellia seeds is rich in omega-6 fatty acids and numerous polyphenol antioxidants. Its creamy, non-greasy nature makes it a great moisturizer for rough skin. The oil also has many properties that keep your skin fresh, supple and moist.
Tsubaki flower oil contains vast amounts of omega-9 oleic fatty acid, which increases the skin’s ability to retain moisture. It is absorbed into the skin as easily as water and it boosts cell growth. It lends flexibility and support to the skin, too.
The oil permeates right down to the inner layers of the skin, nourishing it from the inside and hydrating any dry patches. It is a natural transdermal carrier that transports essential proteins (elastin and collagen) and nutrients, replenishing skin cells and repairing damage caused by heat, dryness and aging.
Camellia oil is free from irritants and is suitable for use on sensitive skin. It opens up the pores and allows the body to remove harmful toxins naturally through sweat glands.
Yuzu is an aromatic citrus fruit of Chinese and Tibetan origin. It was first introduced in Japan during the Tang dynasty. Both the pulp and the seeds are beneficial for your skin.
The fruit is known for its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has vast stores of vitamin C and flavonoids. Because of that, this fruit can help combat the harmful radicals that can cause premature aging.
Yuzu fruit is a popular skin revitalizing and nourishing agent. It tones the skin naturally and adds to its firmness and vitality.
Regular use of yuzu moistens and refreshes the skin layers. The oil extracted from yuzu softens and nourishes the skin, giving it a supple and radiant appearance. During winter solstice, it is an ancient practice to take relaxing and rejuvenating yuzu baths at home or in onsens.
Sakura, also known as cherry blossom, is one of the two national flowers of Japan (the other is chrysanthemum). It is one of Japan’s best-kept beauty secrets and is used extensively in skin creams and perfumes.
The sakura flower is rich in antioxidants and helps cleanse the body of impurities and pollutants that damage the skin. Its store of essential fatty acids fortifies the skin’s natural barriers, making it smooth and supple.
Sakura extract promotes a firm, mature complexion, regenerating the skin from the inside out. Its anti-glycation properties promote collagen formation in fibroblast cells.
Sakura extract cleans and whitens the skin and combats signs of anti-aging. It inhibits the production of melanin, a dark-brown or black pigment, thereby restoring uneven skin pigmentation. The extract also promotes skin cell growth and combats cell death caused by advanced glycation-end products (AGE).
It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe and heal irritated skin. Furthermore, sakura flower reduces the oxidative damage that causes signs of anti-aging.
Ume is a flowering plant used in Japan for its medicinal and cosmetic properties. The common name for ume is plum blossom. The fruit is a rich source of natural antioxidants called phytochemicals. These substances help to combat the effects of oxygen radicals in the body, keeping the internal systems functioning smoothly. It prevents signs of premature aging, including wrinkles and fine lines.
The ume fruit has abundant stores of vitamin C, which detoxifies the body of impure chemicals. This property helps promote a radiant and healthy skin complexion. Ume contains anti-aging nutrients that help to reduce wrinkles and dark spots. You can find it in various Japanese face masks and creams that can help soothe, hydrate and rejuvenate the skin.
Rice bran is a byproduct of rice milling. It contains vast reserves of antioxidants, vitamins B and E and essential fatty acids that combat harmful radicals in the body. It is rich in tocotrienols, which are absorbed into the inner layers of the skin. They form the first line of defense against free radicals. Tocotrienols also restore damage caused by oxidative rays, repairing the skin and slowing the skin aging process.
Rice bran cleans the skin from the inside out, causing it to appear fresh and healthy. The phytonutrient and oryzanol in rice bran acts as an effective sunscreen, protecting the skin against lipid peroxidation caused by UV light. Gamma oryzanol contains ferulic acid, which has anti-aging properties.
Algae refers to a diverse range of photosynthetic organisms known for their nutritive and medicinal value. They are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, such as chlorophyll and omega-3 fatty acids. This makes them ideal for treating irritated skin. They have potent antioxidant properties that help to eradicate free radicals and pollutants from the body.
Algae also combat the effects of oxidative damage to plasma and red blood cells. They support skin cell repair and growth, healing your skin from the inside out and cancelling signs of aging caused by dead skin cells.
Green tea is an herbal drink made from steaming or roasting fresh Camellia sinensis leaves. It’s a popular component of traditional Japanese medicine. Today, you can find it in skin creams and beauty masks.
Green tea is very beneficial for skincare. It contains a store of antioxidants that help in flushing out toxins from the skin. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties, making it ideal for soothing itchy skin and healing blemishes and scars.
Green tea is rich in tannin, an astringent that works really well in treating dark circles and puffy eyes. Its reserves of antioxidants and astringents help to soothe inflamed blood vessels under the eyes, thereby reducing swelling or ‘bags’.
The free radicals floating in the body cause the skin to sag, wrinkle and age prematurely. Green tea contains powerful antioxidants, such as vitamin C and catechins, which combat the dermal damage caused by these radicals.
The catechins present in green tea act as a defense against acne-causing bacteria. They also regulate hormonal imbalance in the body, one of the main causes of acne.
Furthermore, green tea acts as a natural skin toner that cleanses impurities, reduces large pores and hydrates the skin. Using it regularly can give the skin a fresh and healthy appearance.
See Also: How To Reduce Caffeine In Green Tea
These ingredients are some of Japan’s biggest beauty secrets. Using them regularly will keep your skin healthy and radiant as you age.
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Author: Fern Koh
My name is Fern Koh, and I am CEO and Founder of Fernberry Skincare. We create ethical Japanese beauty products that deliver unparalleled hydration with natural ingredients. I am a chemist and personally develop all of Fernberry's formulations. Prior to creating Fernberry, I developed beauty products for luxury brands including Calvin Klein, La Mer and Marc Jacobs.