Aging is definitely a double-edged sword. On the positive side, we experience personal growth every year that improves quality of life. With age comes wisdom. Unfortunately, age also brings wrinkles, skin spots, and gray hair – no one likes that! Even the risk of skin cancer increases as we age.
It’s a cruel joke that the better we feel on the inside, the worse we look on the outside.
Billions of dollars are poured into this problem every year, with American consumers dropping a high percentage of their hard earned cash on potions and creams that are “guaranteed” to turn back the clock. But there may be an easier way.
It can help to look to a population well known for its youthful appearance – the Japanese. Japanese women in particular have a reputation for glowing skin that makes it difficult to guess their age. The reason is two-fold: a healthy, oil-free diet and an au naturel skincare routine.
Stick with us to learn all the secrets Japanese women know to turn back the clock and look young even well into middle age. You’ll be surprised by #3 – it is something you probably do regularly but not to your face!
1. Drink Green Tea
It’s a mistake to think that skin care is all about the products you slather on your face. A lot has to do with what you eat and drink. Green tea is a soothing beverage that is great for your body in several ways. It can reduce your risk of developing cancer, for example.
But when it comes to facial care, green tea can protect skin from damaging UV rays and minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles. A daily cup of green tea may also help you shed a few extra pounds, which can also add to your youthful appearance.
2. Eat Seaweed
Seaweed is a big part of the Japanese diet, and not surprisingly, it contains a lot of benefits for skin. The wealth of vitamins and minerals found in seaweed, including calcium, magnesium, vitamin K, iron, and folate, make it a particularly effective addition to a balanced diet.
Regular seaweed consumption is thought to protect skin from sun damage like age spots. It also contains certain anti-inflammatory components that can reduce swelling and redness. Its iodine content further rejuvenates the skin and helps to regulate metabolism.
3. Get Face Massages
Regular massages are great for the body as they stimulate circulation and help loosen tight muscles. But while many of us know when we need to get our shoulders worked on, it may never occur to us to massage our faces. That’s crazy, especially because you need not even go to a professional to get it done.
Instead, invest in a good face massager with multi-angle rollers that can be purchased at a beauty supply store or online. Choose one that fits the contours of your face nicely and use it daily while watching tv or reading. It feels great and you won’t be bored.
4. Use the Gentlest Cleansers
Women in Japan put their faith in products that are as close to nature as possible.
Products with too many chemicals are harsh and damaging to skin, as is our tendency to overwash our faces. We get obsessed with removing all traces of oil, but skin needs that oil to stay hydrated.
Rather than washing multiple times a day with a harsh cleanser, choose a product with just a few natural ingredients. Wash only once a day, at bedtime, to avoid stripping the skin of moisture. If you have oily skin that really needs more attention, you can use an herbal wet wipe during the day for touch ups.
5. Skip the Toner
Using toner sucks oil from deep within pores. This can be helpful if you struggle with acne, but is more drying than necessary in other cases. Dry skin looks old.
Instead, try a softener. Japanese women swear by softeners because they seal in moisture and brighten the complexion. Simply pat a small amount of softener into your skin for a smooth, soft face that plumps just enough to fill in wrinkles. Wait until it has fully absorbed and then follow up with a light moisturizer.
6. Don’t Forget Collagen
Collagen is the connective tissue that keeps skin firm and taut. Japanese women use a lot of collagen-rich products including creams and masks in their skin care regimens. Collagen is also prevalent in foods like bone broth and spirulina (a type of algae) that make up a large part of the Japanese diet.
Chances are high that your body needs more collagen than it currently has. Smoking, sun exposure, and poor diet contribute to depleting collagen supply, as does simple aging. As we get older, we need to put more energy into getting enough. Make sure that your skin care products contain some and definitely add more to your diet.
7. Do Regular Skin Fasts
While proper skin care does require a few products, it is also important to just give your face a break sometimes. Too many products have the effect of suffocating your skin’s pores and damaging its elasticity. Whenever possible, take the time to let you skin breathe.
This means skipping makeup and using no products except gentle cleanser. Fast for up to 24 hours once a week or so to allow your skin to utilize its own natural defense mechanisms. When you’re ready to start using products again, start with a skin softener to replenish any lost moisture.
Japanese women look young for most of their lives.and part of that is lucky genetics. But they also know and use skin secrets that aren’t common knowledge. One of the most important elements of skin care to keep you looking young is diet-build in more collagen and seaweed to see a rapid improvement. And when it comes to products, more is not better.
Focus on just a few products that are as gentle and natural as possible. Follow the Japanese skin care regimen to look as great as you feel!