Let’s face it. Japanese women are beautiful. Generally speaking the women are teeny tiny and even more annoyingly they don’t seem to get old either. In recent years thanks to mass global media Japanese beauty has been glamorised (think the latest Wolverine installment, Memoirs of a Geisha and of course where it all started Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) but the history extends back to the Geisha – the women who trained to be living works of art exuding grace and beauty.
So whilst I am here in Tokyo I wanted to find out WHY and perhaps more importantly…HOW. Here’s what I found:
It really should come as no surprise that natural beauty is BIG IN JAPAN. A simple trip to pretty much any beauty department in this city and you will discover that natural beauty (skincare and cosmetics) takes up at least half of the retail space. I was like a kid in a candy shop! (Especially when I so easily found 100% unrefined organic Shea Butter, my eczema fail safe (more on this separately – it’s too big a topic to brush over here) just lying there in glorious abundance on the shelf, a purchase I normally make via Amazon). Japanese, Australian and American natural and organic brands are bursting from every shelf.
For several centuries Japanese women made their own skincare formulas at home with natural food products (adzuki beans, wakame and rice bran to name a few) ADD BENEFITS and the trade secrets of female ancestors were passed from generation to generation. For more on these ancient rituals check out http://www.naturaljapanesebeauty.com
In contrast to the western way of science, chemicals and dodgy testing methods Japan’s traditions have a long and ancient history. Spa culture dates back to the 12th century when the Samurai used used the hot springs to heal their wounds. By the 17th century the practice had spread to common people and by the 20th century scientific studies proved the medicinal benefits and restorative mineral qualities of the Onsen (the Japanese name for these natural hot springs). Since then Japan’s obsession with flawless skin and youthful looks have made beauty a big business here (think Shiseido, SKII). And of course it’s no big surprise that Miranda Kerr has just launched her Kora Organics range in Japan(she too is huge here: Billboards. Everywhere).
Combine all of the above with the fact that Japanese culture is innovative. They are always looking for what is new and next and this is then transported across the globe.
Now there is of course more to it than beauty products. Natural or otherwise. The Japanese really do believe that beauty lies in lighter, brighter and unblemished skin. To achieve this you have to be sun smart!! I mean seriously. These gals are anti-ageing extremists! Cute hats, sunnies and of course a sun-brella (the only way I can describe what Westerners would only use in the rain) protect the skin from sun spots, wrinkles and general ageing.
And finally, all roads lead to food. A diet of raw fish (via sushi or sashimi – delish), especially those loaded in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon and mackerel combined with grilled-pretty-much-anything (chicken, lean beef), seaweed (wakame), shabu shabu (broth, vegetables…) loads of fresh veg and soba (buckwheat) noodles to boot it really is blatantly obvious why these ladies look so damn good! (And you know, live longer.)
And the best part? It is so easy to incorporate a little Japanese into your lifestyle. No matter where you live.
– Use good, honest, organic natural beauty products.
– Protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun.
– Have a clean, lean approach to nutrition.
Yep. I am a BIG FAN. I’m turning Japanese. I really think so.