I have always been fascinated by Japanese culture. One of the things that never fails to amaze me is how gorgeous-looking their skin is! It's supple, dewy and clear, and that according to me, ticks all the right boxes for healthy skin. I have always wondered if it had anything to do with the skincare products they use. It was only after I married a Japanese man did I realise that more than beauty products, their youthful appearance is a reflection of their healthy lifestyle.
The spices, the oil, the ghee, greasiness and fried food used in Indian food sure are a treat to the tastebuds, but not the best for my health or my skin. Observing his diet inspired me to take a hard look at mine.
You see, Indian food is often linked with high carbs and sugar and consuming that kind of food daily can take a toll on the body, stamina and skin. Japanese food, on the other hand, contains less oil, sugar and masala. More than drinking water, they consume water-rich foods that keep them hydrated and full for a longer duration of time. Most of their food has plenty of vegetables, tofu, fish, hot pot and fermented foods like natto, miso, umeboshi, tsukemono - which are healthy for the body and skin. Not to forget, they use perilla oil (rich in Omega-6 fatty acids) and rapeseed oil (good source of healthy fats) to cook their meals. They also use soy sauce instead of salt in their food. Yes, soy sauce is high in sodium but has less sodium as compared to table salt.
After learning about their diet and how it works wonders for their skin, I realised that even the most expensive beauty product won't do anything for your skin if your diet and lifestyle are off track. Skincare, food and lifestyle are interconnected. An imbalance in either can have a negative impact on your skin and health as well.
Another fact about Japanese food ingredients is that some of them even make their way into skincare products. In most Japanese beauty products like sheet masks, serums, moisturisers and face oils, you will find ingredients like shiso, rice extract, green tea, reishi mushroom, Japanese camellia oil and shell ginger. All these ingredients help in improving the skin's natural texture.
Cool Fact: More than once a year, Japanese people visit an onsen aka hot spring. They are natural hot water baths that have rich minerals which are excellent for the skin. Hot springs help to relax the muscles and are fantastic stress busters. Due to the moisturising effects of steam in the air, the skin appears firmer, softer and smoother.
Finally, they live active lives. Since private vehicles and taxis are expensive in Japan, they often use public transport like trains and buses to travel. Most of them even walk or cycle to their workplaces and homes as well. Their active lifestyle, healthy food choices, frequent trips to the onsen and high-quality skincare products, are the secret to their baby soft skin.
Featured Image: Writer's Own