Beauty Forecast: Japanese Skincare and Wellbeing

Although the Japanese have been performing highly refined beauty rituals for centuries, interest in so-called ‘J-Beauty’ is currently experiencing a popular surge in the UK and the West, and it’s no surprise. The Japanese are famed for their beautiful skin and with the World Health Organisation’s recent estimation that women in Japan have the longest life expectancy in the world at 86.8 years, we want in on this lifestyle.

Where Korean beauty trend K-Beauty is very much about far-fetched promises and unusual ingredients (snail slime face mask anyone?) the ethos of Japanese beauty is rooted in age-old rituals and is very closely linked to healthcare. “J-Beauty is targeting a consumer that isn’t drawn in by the bravado of Korean gadgets and gizmos, and responds better to a slower, more considered routine.” Says WGSN Beauty Editor Emma Grace Baily. “J-Beauty taps into the rise of wellness and self-care, a market now valued at $3.7trillion and counting, which has opened people’s eyes to the wonders of ritualistic treatments. I think it’s taken the West longer to tap into this market, because it is only now that we’re starting to slow down and bring attention back to the self, after decades of busy lifestyles being a sign of success.”

The Japanese take a preventative approach to health and beauty, making everyday choices that have long-term benefits. At Glasshouse we always prioritise long-term health over immediate results and so we were interested to find out more about this slow, considered approach to beauty. From multiple-step skincare routines, to regular bathing rituals and avoiding sun damage, here are our top five Japanese ideals to adopt into your beauty routine:

Image by Anya Holdstock
Image by Anya Holdstock

Skincare:

Where many of us will use a single cleanser at night, the Japanese commonly use both an oil cleanser and a foaming or cream cleanser to ensure that both makeup and pollution are completely removed from the skin. Their routines also include an additional step that is yet to become a staple in the UK: lotion, or “kesho-sui”. Unique to Japan, a lotion does not resemble a thick cream like you might expect but is more similar to a toner in viscosity and is specifically designed to hydrate the skin. Japanese skincare is all about achieving ‘mochi-hada’ or ‘rice-cake skin’, referencing the soft, plump desserts that are popular in Japan, hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid in lotions are therefore a vital part of the routine.

Facial Massaging:

Another way to get “mochi-hada” is to adopt the ritual of facial massaging. Focusing on the lymphatic drainage system, giving your face a daily massage can help to rid your skin of toxins, stimulate blood flow and give you a naturally plump and healthy look. The Japanese often use oils for this, with Tsubaki (camellia) oil being the most popular. Tsubaki oil has been a key part of Japanese beauty rituals for centuries as a fast-absorbing, hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic (meaning it won’t block your pores) product.

Image by Charlie McKay for Glasshouse
Image by Charlie McKay for Glasshouse


Binchotan Charcoal:

When it comes to charcoal in beauty, forget images of pore strips and peel-off masks; the Japanese tradition of using Binchotan Charcoal dates back 300 years in the Kishu reigon of Japan. Glasshouse favourite Morihata still uses activated Binchotan Charcoal made in the traditional way, as brand representative Magali Roman tells us; “Binchotan Charcoal is the highest-quality activated Japanese charcoal in the market, containing thousands of microscopic cavities that attract, bind, and neutralize toxins and contaminants. Because of these natural absorptive properties, Binchotan charcoal has been used for centuries in Japan for purifying drinking water and reducing humidity. Beauty products made with Binchotan charcoal target acne symptoms, absorb oil and impurities from your skin, and make powerful cleansers.” To purify your tap water, set the Binchotan Charcoal sticks in a large bottle of water for a few hours whilst it absorbs any contaminants. Alternatively, incorporate charcoal into your skincare routine with Morihata’s 100% natural Facial Puff, made with Konjac and Binchotan Charcoal to cleanse and gently exfoliate the skin.

Diet:

The Japanese diet is also extremely important when it comes to their ideologies on health and beauty. Not only does the diet support long life, but the oily fish, seaweed, green tea and amazake fermented rice dishes provide lots of omega-3s and anti-oxidants amongst other nutrients that contribute towards plump, blemish-free skin.

Image by Sans [Ceuticals]
Image by Sans [Ceuticals]

Bathing:

The Japanese are known to take part in daily bathing rituals in an effort to get beautiful skin. Onsen hot bath houses have been part of ancient Japanese tradition for centuries and the hot springs are still used today. Aside from being relaxing, water found in natural hot springs can boost blood circulation and contains a variety of minerals that your skin soaks in.

Whether you’ll be adding a few more steps to your cleansing ritual, or simply introducing a little more omega 3 into your diet, there are certainly some lessons to be learnt from these Japanese traditions that are easy to adopt with the potential for great results over time.

Cover image features Japanese model Nana Komatsu shot by Jumbo Tsui

Words by Phoebe Grace Ede

Share this:

More From The Journal

  1. Glasshouse x Alexa Coe

    ​We launch a collaboration with London based illustrator Alexa Coe. Inspired by her favourite products from Glasshouse Shop, the collection includes six original artworks in Alexa’s signature style, available to purchase exclusively on the Shop.

    More +
  2. Q&A: Blästa Henriët

    Combining Scandinavian design with natural remedies, lifestyle brand Blästa Henriët is putting a modern twist on a traditional Swedish wheat packs or ‘Vetekudde’. We sat down with Lo Blästa to discuss her love for linen and the inspiration behind the collection.

    More +
  3. Meet The Glasshouse Team

    Ever wondered about the team behind Glasshouse Salon? Well, we’re introducing every Glasshouse girl properly in this special meet the team feature. Come say hi!

    More +
  4. Hair Trend: Micro Fringe

    Fringes have gone mini. Short, daring and sitting high above the brow, the micro fringe is our latest Hair Trend love. Find out why this style isn’t as scary as you might think.

    More +
  5. Glasshouse Meets: Lucy Vincent Marr

    Pioneering in the natural hair and beauty industry since its early days, Lucy Vincent Marr is a unique breed of woman who manages to combine business with ethics, whilst juggling her busy home life in New Zealand. We sat down with the Sans [Ceuticals] founder to chat nature, nourishment and not dropping the ball.

    More +
  6. Summer Eating with Danielle Copperman

    Ease your way into the hotter weather by getting some summer eating inspiration (including a tasty sunshine salad recipe) from Qnola founder and wellbeing-expert, Danielle Copperman.

    More +
  7. Hair Musing: Roberta Pecoraro

    ​Full-fringed with bubbly curls, model Roberta Pecoraro is giving us all the shaggy-haired inspiration we need at the moment. We get the lowdown on our latest Hair Musing, with a few curl-focused tips and tricks from the Glasshouse team.

    More +
  8. Skincare Spotlight: Acids

    We shine our skincare spotlight on a much-talked about subject in the world of beauty right now: acids. Acids can be skin saviours when understood properly and these naturally-occurring substances have been heralded for their plumping, exfoliating and pore-cleansing properties. From BHAs to AHAs and Hyaluronic Acid, we’ve put together our ultimate guide to the topic.

    More +
  9. Reads: Botanical by Samuel Zeller

    Spring is in full bloom and our latest Reads is getting us in the seasonal spirit. Botanical by Samuel Weller is a photographic journey of nature through the windows and doors of greenhouses and botanical gardens. We delve behind the glass to learn more.

    More +
  10. Q&A: Tara Mayer

    Historian, traveller, muse: Tara Mayer is a true embodiment of the modern woman, combining her interests in academia and style in a carefully curated lifestyle that’s grounded in minimalism. We’ve spoken to the Vancouver based mother of two to discuss her beauty routine, her holistic approach to life and how she cares for her waist length natural curls.

    More +
  11. Expecting: Lauren van Uden

    As part of our Expecting series, we spent the afternoon in the home of Lauren van Uden to chat pregnancy, pottery and slowing down. Ceramicist and friend of Glasshouse (not to mention part of the design duo behind the salon), Lauren was captured on the cusp of impending motherhood by photographer Jessica Maccormick in her beautiful Leytonstone home.

    More +
  12. Earth Day 2018: Plastics in Beauty

    This Earth Day we’re drumming up the debate on everybody’s radar - plastic waste. With over-consumption of packaging on the rise, we asked our experts in the natural and organic beauty industry how they tackle packaging solutions in a sustainable way.

    More +
  13. Q&A: BITE Studios

    Sustainable fashion is not what it used to be and brands like BITE Studios are pushing the boundaries of environmentally-conscious clothing with beautiful results. We chatted to one of the label’s founders to find out more.

    More +
  14. Masterclass: Going Natural

    ​Are you looking for a colour change to mark the start of a new season? In this masterclass we share our tops tips on how to embrace your hair au naturel. From bold blonde to multi-tonal, find out the smoothest way for you to transition back to your original shade.

    More +
  15. Work with us at Glasshouse Salon

    Fancy being a part of our close-knit Glasshouse team? We have just the opportunity for you.

    More +
  16. Reads: LA Flower Market

    Our latest Reads will leave you forgetting all about April showers. In photography journal, LA Flower Market, find out more about the colourful location drew together a cluster of creative minds.

    More +
Load more posts