From Kose to Kanebo and Shiseido to SK-II, Japanese skincare brands are loved the world over for their high quality and efficacy. However, skincare products are only one part of the equation. The secret to long-lasting beauty is not so much about what you put on your skin but what you put in your body.
As the saying goes — you are what you eat.
The traditional Japanese diet is already nutritious and well-balanced, but if you’re looking to improve your complexion, here are the ingredients to stock up on.
Wakame (seaweed) and konbu (kelp) are mainstay ingredients in almost every Japanese meal and is a vital ingredient in ensuring healthy, beautiful skin. Wakame, in particular, contains a substance that blocks hyaluronidase, an enzyme that breaks down hyaluronic acid in your skin, which leads to premature ageing.
Best way to enjoy: The silky texture and slightly sweet flavours of raw wakame are especially vibrant when used in a fresh summer salad.
Natto (fermented soybeans) is a Japanese breakfast staple and for good reason. This stringy, slimy and umami-laden ingredient is high in vitamin B, which helps boost metabolism and also provides plenty of fibre to help — ahem — move things along. Moving your bowels regularly helps contribute to a clear and healthy complexion. Not only that, natto also contains vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant; and is packed with vitamin K2, which helps prevent fine lines.
Best way to enjoy: Simply stir it with some soy sauce and mustard, and enjoy with plain rice. Alternatively, add a dollop of natto to your miso soup and mix it in.