What is the Definition of Beautiful Skin in Japan?
In Japan, there are numerous words which can describe beautiful skin: Moisturised, Glowing, Smoothness and many more. For example, “kime” and “Tsuya” are the typical words to define flawless skin. Originally “kime” means the groove condition (sulcus cutis and crista cutis) on the surface of the skin, it indicates the smooth texture as well. “Kime” expresses healthy skin without roughness, spots, opened pores and dryness. “Tsuya” means “glow skin”. Both of these words have been used among Japanese people as the keywords of J-Beauty since the Edo-period (18th century).
In order to produce “kime” and “Tsuya” skin, the most important factor is hydration. So we have been obsessed with providing moisture to our skin for centuries. “Mizu-mizu-shii” is also one of the essential words which describe an extremely hydrated skin condition.
Moisture is the No.1 in J-Beauty
“Mizu” means water. For skin, it means moisture. The most essential and indispensable Japanese skincare item is “Face Lotion” as a toner with a moisturiser function. We apply it by using our palms after cleansing, rather than wiping with cotton. 90% of Japanese women use it as daily care*1. It exists only for moisturising skin. Formulation consists of many hydrating ingredients such as Glycerin or Hyaluronic acid in water. Its appearance is generally transparent and texture is similar to water.
The habit of skincare using Face Lotion seems to have been spread among people in the Edo-period. Initially, it was oil which had primer function for long-lasting makeup, however it changed to a watery lotion because people in Japan preferred light and mat texture due to the humid environment. Such a widespread preference continues even now, and has created lots of skincare products which have a water-based formula. Currently this traditional item is getting attention among Western beauty industries changing its position to”Essence Toner” or “Serum Toner” as a symbol of J-Beauty.
*1 POLA Research Institute of Beauty & Culture / Nov. 2017
“Water” Culture Brings Double Cleansing Rituals
As mentioned above, Water is the most important keyword in the Japanese skincare culture. Geographically there are rich water resources obtained by rivers, oceans and forests. Additionally there are volcanic resources, and these have brought us our bath culture like “Onsen”. Since most Japanese people take a long bath time every day, skincare rituals are a part of that time. We all remove makeup, cleanse and refresh our skin during bath time through the use of “rinse-off” products. This is the “Double-cleanse routine”, oriented from J-Beauty.
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