Written by Nana J-Beauty.
History of Japanese Lotion
The history of Japanese lotion goes back to the era of The Pillow Book (枕草子 Makura no Sōshi) also known as the Heian Period around 1000s.
In The Pillow Book, there is an account that indicates the birth of lotion in Japan. It describes the lotion as "Dew of Chrysanthemum (a kind of flowers)" - in Japanese "菊の露".
Many believed that, on the eve of Chengyang's festival on September 9th, if you put a flower of chrysanthemum on a cotton ball overnight and cleanse your skin with the dew of chrysanthemum that soaked in the cotton the next morning, you will live a very long time.
Also, in the Edo period (1603 -1868), lotion made from luffa (aka loofa, sponge gourd, Egyptian cucumber, Vietnamese luffa or Hechima in Japanese) became popular. Hechima Water (へちま水) was born!
Women in the era called the lotion Hechima Water "Beauty Water (美人水)" as it held a potent power of making their skin beautiful. It was loved by the Royals at the Edo Castle too.
There was another lotion from the same period called "Water of Edo (江戸の水)". A famous writer called Sanma Shikitei, who was known for "Ukiyoburo (浮世風呂)" invented the lotion. He set up his pharmacy to sell his innovative lotion in central Tokyo in 1811.
It soon gained popularity and became a huge hit among all women in Tokyo. It was known for the magic it did before putting makeup. Apparently, it prepared the skin so well for a foundation (white powder back then) to sit really well. Their makeup lasted all day long without any problem and touch-ups. It also did wonders to prevent acne and tackle skin trouble too.
It was used to condition the skin and prepare for the next steps (makeup or other skincare products).
The concept has not really changed ever since, so it is a big tradition for Japanese women. And, of course, the love of lotion is still thriving to this day and quite possibly No.1 (Ichiban) in the world!
The magic of Japanese lotion
There are things which ONLY Japanese lotions can achieve.
They are designed to work to enhance: hydration & elasticity
It works on NMF (Natural Moisturising Factor) which is responsible for keeping the right amount of hydration for the outer layer of your skin.
In other words, it's focusing on developing the best condition for the skin to produce NMF which retains moisture and elasticity.
On top of that:
It also has a function of preparing the skin for the next steps. It is designed to help serums and creams to penetrate better. Japanese lotion is really magical and very unique in that way.Japanese women apply a lotion right after cleansing. Morning and night. Day in day out. All year round or better yet all their lives.
The skin after cleansing is very delicate with all dirt and sebum removed. And if you left it as it is, the moisture of the skin would soon be gone and become dry. So you need to replenish the skin before moving onto more power stuff like serums, masks and creams.
To summaries, here are the primary purposes of Japanese lotion.
- Soothe the skin right after cleansing
- Condition the skin texture for the next steps (serums/creams)
- Develop the best condition to generate NMF for suppleness
When you put some lotion, your skin should feel:
We call it "mochi hada"
Mochi is, as you may know, rice cake. When you touch your skin after applying lotion, the skin should be like mochi :) so soft, bouncy, smooth etc.!!
It would make a HUGE difference in the next if you introduced a lotion to your skincare routine. Your skin would look hydrated and glowing.
The Japanese cosmetic companies are crazy about innovating and perfecting lotions, and the evolution seems to never stop!
Read this wonderful article about Japanese Lotions from Nana here: https://cremescoop.com/japanese-lotions/
Japanese lotions are designed to make your skin more supple and smooth if you keep using it consistently. It's particularly worth trying if you are looking to cure dry skin or even dull skin.
Introduce a lotion into your skincare routine and try it for 28 days (an average skin regeneration cycle)! Your skin should become more radiant and supple.
Hope you enjoy the magic of Japanese lotion!