It’s practically no secret that Japanese women have incredibly smooth and clear skin. Ever wonder why Japanese people have super-clear skin? Do you wonder what it is they do to keep their skin so healthy and clear?
In the imagination of the American beauty hound, France has its effortless, tousled-hair It girls and Korea has its effortful, snail-powered, bazillion-step skincare routine. But Japan, for the most part, has been less of a cultural beauty brand. (Well, at least outside of the archaic and bizarro preoccupation with geishas, which makes about as much sense as taking beauty cues from Marie Antoinette.) It’s time to reassess the landscape, especially keeping in mind that Japan has the highest per capita spending on skincare and cosmetics.
Walk down the street of Tokyo or Kyoto, Osaka or Kumamoto, and the national obsession with beauty is nakedly apparent. Within two blocks there might be three drugstores, a claustrophobe’s nightmare with a dizzying number of beauty bottles, tubs, tonics, and packs, and just around the corner, a couple of department stores with entire floors of even more brands.
Start taking stock of all the products with cult status among beauty insiders — SK-II masks, Clé de Peau concealers, Shu Uemura eyelash curlers — and you might start to wonder if Japan is low-key the best beauty country in the world. This aesthetic dedication extends into other parts of life. Onsen, the hot spring bath, is still a common practice, and the Japanese diet is full of skin-supporting foods like oily fish, seaweed, green tea, and the newly trendy fermented rice beverage amazake. Wellness is practically the national religion.