• Tips + Tricks: Japanese Skincare

    Our beauty routine is taking cues from the traditional ingredients used in Japan: from matcha green tea to brown rice, Japanese-inspired, all-natural ingredients are not only nourishing, but also play key roles in some of our favorite beauty products (did you know that rice water is packed with vitamins and minerals and has been used for centuries in Japan for keeping skin clear, soft, and clean?) Learn more about the beauty properties of some of these all-natural ingredients and our suggestions for how to incorporate them into your daily lineup — and then click here to shop our current rotation of favorites!

    Green Tea
    Green tea traditionally plays a huge role in Japanese skincare, but not in just the obvious ways (You know the drill: drink it every day, soak up the antioxidants!) But the tea itself is also beneficial for your skin: a green tea soak in the bath is a common Japanese ritual for skincare, with the tea’s tannins acting to tighten pores and keep in moisture at the same time. The green tea scrub by Buddy and Chidoriya’s Green Tea and Pearl soap act on the same principles, designed to leave skin glowing and healthy.

    Rice Water
    Rice water is, technically, what’s leftover when you soak rice in boiling water. (Science!) But it’s actually way more than that: milky rice water has a myriad of beauty uses, and in Japan is used straight-up for cleansing your face, making your hair shiny, and reducing inflammation in skin. People even drink it for energy, like Gatorade, since it has a high concentration of carbohydrates. Here’s how it works: rice is rich in B vitamins that help promote cell growth. In other words, it helps your skin be its best self. It’s also a powerful antioxidant and even has UV-absorbing properties, helping to protect your precious skin from any sun damage. All this from a little grain of rice! Our pick for this tiny powerhouse is Soul Sunday’s rice water cleanser, a gentle formulation that lets the active ingredient do it’s thing.

    Camellia Oil
    Camellia oil is a floral oil made from cold-pressing wild seeds of the Japanese Camellia flower, which results in an oil rich with skin-softening ingredients AND skin-protecting antioxidants. Win-win. It has been used for centuries in Japanese beauty in a bunch of different ways. We like using it as a leave-in conditioner and overall hair treatment, which we’ve noticed not only leaves your hair shiny and soft, but also works to help out damaged hair. After washing your hair, towel it dry, then put a few drops of Camellia oil in your palms and massage into your hair (and pay special attention to the ends of your hair, rubbing a little extra oil in there).

    Charcoal is kind of a magic ingredient: a stick of it can purify your water, clean the air around you, enhance your blood circulation, help stimulate healthy soil in a garden, and work wonders for your skin by removing toxins. Charcoal becomes “activated” by burning oak branches at high temperatures over several days and then rapidly cooling them down — and the charcoal used by Binchotan has been made in Japan’s Kinshu region for centuries. All of their products use finely-ground charcoal as the primary ingredient, set out to clear pores, absorb oil, and help skin circulation. Meaning that when you put on their sleeping mask you’ll actually wake up with clearer skin. See? Magic.

    Olive Oil
    You’re probably saying, “Hey, crazy people, olive oil is NOT Japanese,” and…we know. But Japanese brand skincare DHC enlists it as a primary ingredient in their simple oil Deep Cleansing Oil that hits at the heart of the cleansing-centric Japanese skincare routine (in which it’s routine to wash your face and go through the whole cleansing process a few times a day). DHC’s formula is a complete cult favorite in Japan and after using it steadily for a few weeks here’s what we’ve deduced: the olive oil formula takes off all your makeup and gets your face completely clean…but doesn’t leave it dry. It’s effective but gentle. We’re fans of oil-based skincare in general, but this new-to-us ritual is one we’ll be sticking with.

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