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It is these ancient beauty rituals – and renewed interest in the once denigrated Geisha – that have been resurrected in Japan and sold around the world on websites like Exfoliants containing ground adzuki beans – the facial scrub of Imperial court beauties - are now popular for their clarifying properties, Wakame seaweed (containing anti-ageing Fucoidan) is traditionally used to make a detoxifying face gel, and classic Nuka or rice bran has been revived as a Japanese cleanser and remedy for wrinkles.
The fact is that Japanese women just don't get fat - and even more annoyingly - they don't seem to get old either.
Now, after a spate of blockbuster movies on Japan like Memoires of a Geisha and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which glamorise Japanese beauty Western women are demanding to know their secret of eternal youth.
The SK-11 range, an international bestseller and current favourite of Kate Moss and Sadie Frost, is based on skin lightening ingredient Pitera derived from Sake.
Its anti-ageing effects were discovered in the eternally youthful hands of monks distilling rice wine at a Kobe monastery (SK-11 Signs Dual Treatment Mask £60 from Selfridges Tel: 0800 123 400).
Origins Modern Fusion range ( tel: 08) uses 8 ingredients derived from rice to resurface the skin and the new SUQQU range employs traditional Gankin massage to drain lymph nodes and boost circulation (Musculate Massage Cream £60 at Selfridges Tel: 0800 123 400)."Japanese women believe that they are born with magic Japanese skin,” explains Mikiko Ashkiri, a research associate at Cambridge University studying modern Japanese cosmetic and beauty practises.
“The respect for natural therapies and the more bizarre ancient beauty traditions like facials using nightingale droppings and silkworm cocoons used to cleanse the skin is a way of preserving their unique Japanese identity.” But respect for the rituals of their ancestors is not the only reason for the kookiness of Japanese treatments.Tropez tans – now the unique preserve of footballers wives – so we seek a look of sexual innocence with pale, unblemished skin and shiny, silky hair.The Japanese aesthetic has become the new benchmark for beauty.“More and more women are having Yuko hair straightening treatments to get Japanese looking hair.”says Firyal Arneil a half-Japanese make-up artist who works for Elle and Red magazines. As a result, there has been a trend in Japanese skin whitening and brightening ranges in the UK.” Japanese cosmetic giants Shiseido, Kanebo and SK-11 have all introduced skin lightening ranges to the West.The bird dung has tried-and-tested skin lightening properties and contains the enzyme Guanine that brightens dull skin.Once left out in the sun to dry, today the nightingale emissions are treated with UV light to sterilise them.It's got to be cheaper than a nose job – they maybe not less painful.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating