Slices of Japanese business, politics and life
Perfect skincare – Honey, shower caps and sexy men
Unsurprisingly, Japanese skincare guru Chizu Saeki has fabulous skin, her face firm and unlined despite her white hair. Her only faint wrinkles are lines around her eyes from laughter – and she laughs a lot.
The 66-year-old Saeki is a perfect advertisement for her “skincare revolution,” a collection of skincare tips that includes unorthodox advice such as wearing a shower cap over your face and thinking about sexy men.
Reassuringly, though, she also said flawless skin wasn’t everything.
“As you age, it’s OK to have wrinkles, it’s OK to have age spots, it’s OK to sag,” she told me at an event after the publication of “The Japanese Skincare Revolution“, her first book to come out in English.
“Growing older — that’s just the way it is, it means you’ve lived. Anything else is a lie. You should live naturally.”
In Japan, one of the world’s most rapidly ageing societies, this is a welcome message that’s no doubt helped make Saeki a household name. And the core of her methods — getting women to use things they already have — resonates even more as the economy takes a beating and consumers pull their purse strings ever tighter.
“Becoming beautiful isn’t cosmetics: It’s your way of thinking, your hands,” she said.
“This is something you can do at home, with what you have around you. I thought if I could spread the word on this, age won’t matter, money won’t matter.”
Using methods based on the care that Japanese women have lavished on their skin for centuries, with input from her 40-year career as a beautician that included stints with Dior and Guerlain, Saeki set up her own salon when she was 60.
She advocates simplicity, whether using already bought cosmetics or things such as honey, recommended for chapped lips.
To increase the effectiveness of lotions, she suggests wearing a shower cap over the face as an instant “steam sauna”. Of course, cut out breathing holes first.
And then there’s the “elixir of imagination” — fantasising.
She recommends thinking about attractive men, which she says promotes the secretion of hormones beneficial to the skin. She herself likes George Peppard, who starred in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
“I like to capitalise on everything our bodies have to offer, from our hands and our fingers to the warmth of touch,” she writes in her book. “A bit of heart-throbbing excitement makes a great supplement for healthy skin.”
Photo credits: REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao