When we think of Japanese women beautiful porcelain skin and youthful looks are the first what comes to mind. How do they manage to hold on to smooth and flawless skin well into their later years? Obviously, racial and ethnic differences play a big role in the aging process but maybe, just maybe, there is something else.
Knowing the creativity and originality of Japanese, we expect them to have their own special ways of doing things be that diet, skincare routine or exotic beauty products. In our usual quest for beauty we looked for real experts in Japanese beauty. Our today’s interview is with Yoshi Kai, the co-founder of WAWAZA, a supplier of eco-responsive Japanese traditional lifestyle products.
AWN: Yoshi, Japanese women are so beautiful and don’t seem to age until their later years. What is their secret? What do they do differently from Western women in terms of beauty, self-care and lifestyle that allows them to preserve their good looks?
Yoshi: First of all, thank you for your compliments about Japanese women. One thing I must say in the beginning is that I don’t necessarily believe in the notion that Japanese women owe their beauty to genetic differences. There is no such thing as a “beauty gene” and there are beautiful women in all races.
The old saying, “Beauty is more than skin deep” is more than just a saying. It is truth. There is much more to naturally beauty than choosing the right cosmetics. For Japanese ladies, the real secret of beauty goes well beyond taking regular care of their skin. In general, they
- don’t eat fatty and sugary foods or lots of meat,
- drink mild green tea every day,
- try to stay calm and without too much stress (to me, stress is the number one enemy of nice complexion), and don’t use a lot of makeup.
I also must emphasize the importance of “poise.” And I specifically mean to distinguish between poise and posture. Poise is composure and dignity of manner. It is the graceful bearing and mannerism of a lady, and a necessary element of radiant elegance. Poise comes from confidence in being who you are, what you do and being comfortable with your femininity without putting up an act.
Let me give you a small example. There is this concept in Japanese called “Mie-nai Oshareh.” It roughly translates to “unseen beauty.” This concept is ever-present in all sorts of daily lifestyle related matters. For example, when a Japanese lady dresses up (which they do routinely even for everyday occasions,) she will carefully pick not only the right outerwear, but also what she wears below it – not for public display, but just for herself. She is not out to put up a show. She simply cares for herself and her femininity, for her own sake. This is the “unseen beauty.” Natural poise and self confidence follows. Similarly, Japanese garments have very fine inner linings, typically of silk – not for the public, but for its own.
So, you need to take care of yourself and feel feminine and beautiful, inside and out, for your own sake. The world that you care about will grasp what it needs to know, without you announcing anything.
AWN: What’s the typical skincare routine of a Japanese woman?
Yoshi: It varies quiet a bit, but there are notable commonalities. In general, they keep it simple and do not use a lot of different products. First and foremost is an unscented mild facial soap made from natural ingredients and without additives. Typical ones are green tea of Artemisia (“yomogi” in Japanese) based. Then there is a moisturizing oil, typically from rice bran. Japanese ladies prefer not to use sunscreens, and opt to protect their skin by wearing hats and staying out of direct sun for prolonged periods.
AWN: WAWAZA is specialized in traditional beauty and lifestyle products. This means that these products and treatments have been around for centuries and proved to be effective. Can you tell us a little more about them and why they work?
Yoshi: Japanese traditional beauty products tend to be simple, natural and for the most part edible. They come from things such as rice, camellia plant, seaweed and edible herbs. In general, women should not put on their skin what will poison them if the ingest it. Our skin is porous, and anything we put on it ends up in our blood stream, typically within minutes. You won’t eat poison. Why put it on your skin?
AWN: If I were to choose only one or two beauty products from your store, what would you recommend me?
Yoshi: For me, it is simple. I use Yomogi soap and rice bran facial oil. I do not use shampoos and moisturizers at all. For hair care I use seaweed hair cleanser and camellia oil.
AWN: Thank you very much for taking time to answer our questions Yoshi. Tell us how our readers around the world can purchase your products?
Yoshi: Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to express a little about Japanese traditional beauty products to your readers. Our beauty products are available for online shopping at https://wawaza.com/categories/Beauty-Products/
Note from AWN: WAWAZA has a Japanese Beauty Secrets blog that tells you some very interesting facts from history of traditional beauty products and teaches you how to use them. You can find it all here.