The Japanese special seven – beauty secrets you need to know

Japan has become known for its quirky culture and innovation with regards to technology and always bringing excitement to our lives. As it is beauty and detox month at Japan Centre, we wanted to share seven special secrets of Japanese skin care that have been ingrained in the fabrics of the culture for generations.

Known as having the highest aging population in the world, the Japanese people are also known for maintaining a youthful and energised appearance, even in their later years. In fact, Japanese women are often said to have dewy, radiant and flawless skin. Want to know how you can achieve this? Explore the ‘special seven’ beauty secrets of Japan with us.

Watch what you eat


As the old saying goes, “you are what you eat.” According to the average life expectancy for men in Japan is 80.5 years and 86.83 years for women. The Japanese diet, which mainly consists of vegetables, seafood and other fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids, has been credited with allowing the Japanese people to live longer and healthier lifestyles. Avoiding fatty and sugary foods as well as meat helps to reduce the production of inflammatory chemicals attributed to the aging process. Omega 3 is also credited with restoring the skin from the inside, reducing swelling and redness as well as its antidepressant characteristics.

Don’t hide behind the makeup

Less really is more when it comes to Japanese attitudes towards makeup. The belief is, if you focus on good skin care habits and making sure your skin is well looked after, you won’t need to clog your pores and stress your skin with makeup. Makeup is viewed as a non-essential add on that helps to bring out one’s natural beauty, so go easy on the layers.

Young women are painted foundation
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Cleanse twice daily

Cleanliness is next to godliness. If your skin is not clean then you cannot expect all the other products you will use afterwards to work efficiently. Some Japanese women even go as far as shaving the peach fuzz off their faces – so as to allow skin products to penetrate the skin more easily. This is known as Kao sori or dermaplaning. It is important to cleanse twice daily even if you have not been wearing any makeup on your face throughout the day.

Young women are looking at the components of the lotion
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Be wary of sun damage

Keeping out of direct sunlight has been a beauty secret that Japanese women have followed since ancient times. As more porcelain skin is preferred, sunscreen and other forms of sun protection i.e. hats and umbrellas are seen as essential. Exposure to UV rays is also a major cause of premature aging – so always remember to protect yourself, even when the weather is overcast and cloudy.

Lolita in Harajuku

Watch what you put on your skin

As mentioned before, watching what you eat is important. However, watching what you put on your skin is also very important. There is an ancient theory that Japanese women should not put on their skin what they cannot eat. Although skin care has advanced and we advise against eating your favourite face cream, we do stress the importance of knowing what you are putting on your skin. As skin is porous, what you put on it eventually ends up in your blood stream. That’s why it’s imperative to know the ingredients you’re topically applying as they will inevitably end up inside you.

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Learn to love face massages

Renowned skin care ‘revolutionist’ Chizu Saeki recommends massaging your face in slow and upward motions on a daily basis to reduce the onset of wrinkles and allow for lymphatic drainage. Massaging also help alleviate any stress – this is particularly important as stress can be the number one enemy of amazing skin. As this naturally becomes more of a routine, your skin will become more rejuvenated and energised.

(all credits go to Chizu Saeki)

Green tea & Vitamin C

Green tea is Japan’s number one super ingredient so it is not surprising that it’s also revered for its beauty benefits. One should aim to drink 2 to 3 cups of green tea a day to reap the benefits provided by its antioxidants. If that is not possible, using a green tea toner or essence as part of your skin care routine may be more helpful. Vitamin C is used in Japanese skincare due to its powers of fighting hyperpigmentation – one can not achieve porcelain skin or an even skin tone without this. The Japanese already incorporate Vitamin C as part of their daily diet.

Shop Japanese green tea

Let us know in the comments below, which of the ‘special seven’ beauty secrets you’d like to add to your routine? Don’t forget to explore our online beauty category.