I am an ardent fan of Japanese skin care and beauty products. Perhaps it’s because I am Asian, they seem to be able to do “more” for my skin. I am not saying I do not use products from the US or Europe. I still do, just that there is a preference for Japanese products.
In fact, I am not denying it. I am in love with the Japanese market and everything that you can find there. It is really difficult to find a product that is sub-standard or doesn’t do what it promises.
Of late, Japanese products are picking up their popularity in the world market and this isn’t so because of advertising campaigns (in fact, they hardly advertise out of Japan other than the big brands), but more because of prominent results visible on our skin. Why are Japanese skin care products so good?
Japanese skin care is essentially made from natural ingredients, like clay, sea vegetables, and other natural oils. These are very beneficial to maintaining good skin. Basically, Japanese skin care can work so fast and without causing any problems because the process is natural, using natural products and very few chemical ingredients. If you notice, most Japanese products are scent-free.
Why do Japanese people look like they have such wonderful skin?
In addition to using less harsh and natural products on their skin, diet plays a huge role in maintaining good skin. The everyday Japanese diet consists of a large portion of vegetables, fish and rice, with a very small lean meat portion. In general, they have fewer weight fluctuations on the body leading to lesser stress on the skin. What are some of the skin care ingredients used in Japanese products?
Ingredients to look out for when you make purchases:
1. Rice Bran
Rice Bran is very popular on the market since it contains various vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and fiber. It also contains coenzyme Q10, an important nutrient that has been shown to be helpful in treating congestive heart failure. This is used in Japanese skincare formulas since it is effective at cleansing and moisturizing the skin, as it contains a high amount of oil.
2. Wakame (Seaweed)
Wakame is a type of sea kelp only found in Japan Seas. Wakame is rich in the B-complex vitamins, potassium and calcium, with good minerals found in the sea. It helps to keep skin elastic, smooth, and moisturized.
Take a walk to any Japanese drugstore, and you won’t miss Collagen products. Collagen will make the skin look younger and more supple. However, as we age, our body loses the collagen it needs to stay looking young. Products in Japan that contain collagen are usually for consumption into our body, in the form of liquid drinks or powdered supplements, or in pill form. These are everywhere.
Arbutin is a type of skin whitening agent commonly found in Japanese or Asian skin care products in general. It is extracted from the Bearberry plant. Arbutin also helps to protect the skin against damage from free radicals. Arbutin is used for pigmentation problems.
5. Co-enzyme Q10
This is a relatively new ingredient that is now widely used in many Japanese skin care products. As we age, our levels of CoQ10 in our skin fall below the optimum point, thus reducing the ability to produce collagen, which is essential for good skin. CoQ10 boosts skin repair as a lack of it makes our skin more prone to damage by free radicals. CoQ10 easily penetrates into skin cells, but make sure it is that of slightly more expensive grade, as cheaper ones are actually made from larger molecules which penetrate into the skin with difficulty.
The Japanese beauty industry places a lot of emphasis on reversing the effects of aging by using natural ingredients. That is the real difference I see between Japanese and western products.
Some of my favorite makeup and skin care is:
Meiji Collagen Powder
I take this every day with my hot beverage.
UV Water cream from Hokkaido
I have blogged about this previously! Miracle cream from Hokkaido.
Kose Seikisho Range
This black self-heating mask removes blackheads and other impurities. Their cleansing oil is recommended, too.
Q10 Peeling Gel
This clear gel goes onto your skin and you just rub off the dead skin cells. It’s quite amazing to see them fall off =)
The list is getting too long, but some of my other favorites include:
- Makeup brands like Beaute de Kose, Kanebo including Kate and Lavshuca
-Moisture gel sunblock (goes on like water)
-Other beauty items like SKII facial masks, and Co-Q10 hand masks
Would you or have you tried these products? Do you use makeup products from other countries? Which are your favorite?