Japanese cosmetics & face care products
TDid you know that Japan has the highest per capita spending on skin care products and cosmetics? Is it time to take another look at Japanese cosmetics?
If one walks the streets of Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka or Kumamoto, one will notice the Japanese obsession with beauty. Within two blocks there can be three pharmacies with a huge number of cosmetics and next to them a few department stores with whole floors of even more brands.
This commitment to aesthetics extends to other aspects of Japanese life. Onsen, the thermal bath, is still a common practice and the Japanese diet is full of foods that help maintain a healthy skin, such as oily fish, seaweed, green tea and amazake fermented rice drink.
The Japanese describe fine skin as mochi-hada or rice cake, referring to the extremely soft and fluffy Japanese desserts. The concept of softness is generally a recurring theme in Japanese skincare. While the American approach is somewhat more aggressive using strong exfoliating products and harsh formulas, the Japanese follow a more nourishing philosophy, emphasizing sun protection, deep but gentle cleansing, and multiple hydration.
The basic Japanese skin care routine starts with the removal of makeup, followed by cleansing, hydration with a "lotion", treatment with serum and moisturizer and sun protection. They also apply beauty masks on a regular basis (which is why their masks are available in large packages!).
Many women do not clean their faces properly. A drop of cleansing gel for 15 seconds does not remove silicone-based make up, sebum, sweat and anything else that has accumulated on your face during the day. Japanese skincare guru Chizu Saeki, author of The Japanese Skincare Revolution, recommends that you spend as much time as you need to clean your face during the evening routine. Removing makeup with balm or oil before cleansing is a good way to ensure that you do not leave old makeup and dirt trapped in your pores overnight!
Oil cleansing may be a relatively new trend in the western world, but it has been around in Japan since 1967, when Shu Uemera first introduced cleansing oil to the market. It has been half a century since the use of facial cleansing oil in Japan and now many brands offer excellent cleansing oils. An excellent cleansing gel is Japanese sake skin care cleansing gel by Kiku-masamune.
And an extra tip if you do double cleansing at night: You can skip washing your face in the morning and just add a little water.
Lotion (skin conditioner)
There is no equivalent product to the Japanese lotion (kesho-sui). Like toners, lotions are watery and apply after cleansing, but they are neither astringent nor are they intended to remove any residue due to lack of cleansing, this is the job of double cleansing. They are applied to the skin with tampons and their purpose is to be absorbed by the skin. Lotion is a key step for a Mochi-Hada skin, as they soften the skin, moisturize it and sometimes provide extra elements.
The Japanese have a great love for hydration which adds clear water to the skin and should not be confused with hydrating or adding oils to the skin. Lotions are usually full of moisturizing elements that push water to penetrate the skin such as hyaluronic acid, tiles and aloe.
Hada Labo offers many popular lotions, such as the favorite Gokujyn Hyaluronic Acid Lotion. It is equipped with three types of hyaluronic acid, making the product a lifesaver to provide moisture to dehydrated skin. Also famous is the legendary SK-II Essence, whose protagonist is a sake dough, rich in kojic acid that reduces dark spots, tiles that enhance moisture and arbutin that helps whiten.
Apply the lotion on your face every morning and evening after cleansing. You can also use it as a mask. Soak some cotton makeup pads or dry paper masks with lotion and then apply them on your face as you would with any sheet mask.
Serum / Beauty Serums
Biyoueki, which roughly translates as "beauty liquid", targets specific skin issues such as blemishes, wrinkles or dull skin. Serums sometimes have similar problems with lotions but have a denser texture and are more concentrated. In the Japanese culture, softer products are preferred than a bullish product.
If you have dehydrated skin, look for an extra hydrating layer with a gel like Naturie Hatomugi Skin Conditioner Gel.
For dark spots and hyperpigmentation, vitamin C is the right way to deal with them.
Milk serums, oils and creams contain active ingredients and moisturizing elements.
Usually the Japanese use oils as the first step of cleansing, however two oils are traditionally used in skin care and hydration.
One is the extremely rich, absorbent horse oil (sonbahyu) which has higher linoleic fatty acids than oleic fatty acids, making it ideal for oily, acne-prone skin, while repairing the skin's moisture barrier.
The second is Squalane, which comes from either shark or olive and is higher in oily fatty acids than linoleic acids, making it more suitable for dry skin. They also use oil flowers from Camelia (tsubaki), most often on the hair.
Forget scrubs and exfoliating brushes. The Japanese use gel or gommage, which are effective but do not cause skin injuries such as Brightening peeling gel of the Korean company Dr G.
How do they work:
Apply the gel on dry skin and due to its polymer composition it adheres to the fat cells creating small balls. As you massage your face, these little balls slowly and gently exfoliate the skin, revealing a brighter and more radiant complexion.
Japan produces many of the best sunscreens in the world. The Japanese wear sunscreen every day, rain or snow, either on the beach or in the office. Because of this, the sunscreen market is highly competitive, both in expensive companies and in the more economical lines with efficient and elegant products. Because SPF only refers to UVB rays, the Japanese have developed their own unit of measure for effectiveness against UVA rays. PA + is lower and PA ++++ is higher.
The biggest difference between Japanese sunscreens and those of western origin is the consistency they show throughout their application. Especially for our country we recommend the waterproof Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen SPF 50 PA ++++.