5 Japanese Foods You Should Eat To Achieve Flawless Skin | CoolJapan

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.

Reishi mushroom

Also known as lingzhi, this superfood is packed with antioxidants and vitamin D, which help protect your skin against environmental pollution. Reishi mushrooms also contain polysaccharides, which help repair your skin’s moisture barriers and keep your skin hydrated.

Best way to enjoy: As it’s a medicinal mushroom, reishi mushroom is best enjoyed in its purest form, whether brewed as a tea or a simple soup.


Studies have shown that the polyphenols in green tea help protect the skin from the damaging effects of UV rays. Another powerful compound found in matcha, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), has plenty of antibacterial properties that are especially helpful for those with acne-prone skin.

Best way to enjoy: Whisk the matcha powder with hot water and drink as it is. If you like, you can also add a tiny bit of honey to sweeten the taste.


The konjac plant has a starchy root and in Japan, food manufacturers use this part of the plant to produce a type of jelly known as konnyaku. Rich in a type of dietary fibre known as glucomannan, konnyaku is said to help reduce acne and other skin inflammations like eczema.

Best way to enjoy: This spongy, chewy ingredient is usually added into soups or stews for a heartier meal.