Estimated reading time: 3 min read
Japanese skincare and beauty secrets
WRITTEN BY BRITTANY LEITNER , EUNICE LUCERO-LEE
Over the last decade, Japanese skincare has made its way more and more into everyday Western regimens. With a focus on a multi-step routine, lighter formulations (essences, "lotions"), and an emphasis on a gentle, layered approach to hydration, J-Beauty has long taken the world by storm. These are only some of the hallmarks of their particular take on skincare, however, that a lot of us may already be familiar with in our own routines.
What makes it different from the rest? To find out what makes Japanese skincare secrets so effective, as well as how they vary from typical Western practices, woman&home spoke with Elizabeth McCarron and Kat Buckley, skincare experts and members of The Skin Collaborative. They offer insight on how to incorporate these practices into your routine, as well as why exactly a Japanese skincare approach sets itself apart from the rest.
According to Elizabeth, the Japanese skincare approach is all about caring for the skin as a whole, like the vital organ that it is—whereas the Western approach focuses on correcting a certain skin problem, like redness, oily skin, or rosacea. The Japanese “prioritize recreating the ideal conditions for its function, for example, by regulating the electrolytes in and out of the cell, making sure amino acids, microelements, or vitamin deficiencies are corrected in the first place,” Elizabeth says. “And only then will they address ‘local’ problems, such as pigmentation or acne,” she adds.
Kat agrees: “Japanese skincare takes on a luxurious but rather more simple approach to your skin, focusing on cleansing oils, gentle exfoliation, and lightweight essences to hydrate and nourish.”
Elizabeth points out that Japanese skincare is often a unique and happy marriage between both high-tech ingredients and natural, soothing botanicals. Botanicals are often “exposed to a fermentation process that would allow enhancing of the qualities of the ingredients to improve bioavailability,” she says. Among the traditional Japanese ingredients would be the following, which you’ll find in many Japanese skincare products on the market today. These ingredients are known for being rich in antioxidants and supporting the skin’s function and collagen production, says Kat.
- Chlorella (and other algae): contains omega-3 fatty acids that fight inflammation; stimulates collagen and helps prevent wrinkles
- Rice bran: an anti-oxidant used for centuries in Asia to soothe, purify, and soften skin while reducing the appearance of pores and fine lines and fade dark spots; rich in vitamin B and vitamin E to help fight against hyperpigmentation and acne
- Plum, cherry, and Medlar fruit and flower extracts: anti-oxidants, rich sources of vitamin C
A mix of elegant heritage practices and cutting-edge innovation, J-Beauty brands are known for their holistic approach steeped in tradition, while maintaining a healthy respect for new technology. A true blending of East and West, many Japanese skincare brands have risen to iconic status within the industry, becoming cult faves and must-haves.