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The Balance of Business and Beauty: Meet Elana Jade

From brazilian wax to organic facials, Elana Jade Spa in Tokyo will have you feeling charged and refreshed.

By 8 min read 2

The first thing you notice about Elana Jade is her beauty. Not the lashes and lips, glam-girl hot, but the radiant, fresh faced “I-take-very-good-care-of-myself” kind of beauty, subtle and calm. Australian-born, Elana came to Tokyo five years ago on a holiday to visit her brother Nathan, who is the co-owner of Tokyo Fitness. She’d just gone through a bad breakup and longed for a change of scene. She immediately fell in love with Tokyo and was soon making plans to stay.

Along with the salon, she’s also a personal trainer at Club 360, a joint venture owned by her husband and her brother. The three businesses make up one of the most prominent and successful wellness communities in Tokyo. We sat down to chat about business, wellness, and where to find real beauty.


CP: Elana Jade is an organic spa. Why is organic skincare important?

EJ: I really enjoy helping make people feel and look good on the inside and out, and believe the best way to do this is to educate and help deliver the best possible products and treatments organically. I have done intensive study in the anatomy and physiology of the skin and truly believe organically harvested ingredients are best for producing healthy and vibrant skin. Your skin is like thousands of tiny mouths and drinks everything you put on it and circulates it throughout your body, so placing a dangerous substance on the skin can be akin to drinking it. This is why it’s best to avoid chemical-laden products and instead use the best nature has to offer.

CP: I’m a product nut. What are some of your favorite product lines, and why do you love them?

EJ: I have trialed many different product lines over the last 10 years and the best line I have found for facial treatments is Ilcsi range. Even some of the biggest Hollywood stars such as Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson have sworn by the results! It’s great to see these stars now recognizing the power organic skin care.

Another line I recommend is the Australian certified organic line “Jasmine Aromatiques” as it safe and effective to use everyday and can still deliver great results (especially the natural-aging serum, which is our most popular product at the Elana Jade Salon and have only heard my clients rave about the amazing results).

CP: I cannot wait to try this serum. So… is there a “typical” client? Who comes in for treatments?

EJ: Actually there is no “typical” client and that’s one of my favorite things about having a beauty salon in Tokyo. We have a mixture of Japanese and foreign clients and it’s always so interesting to get to know everyone and hear all their stories. It’s about 50-50 foreign-Japanese now.

CP: I’m surprised your Japanese client base is so high for a foreign salon.

EL: Well, among all of our clients our most popular treatment is the Brazilian Wax. Actually approximately 80% of our Japanese clients come to us for a Brazilian Wax.

CP: What are other client favorites?

EJ: Our next most popular treatment (and the most popular amongst our Foreign clients) is our Signature Anti-Age Facial. There isn’t another facial quiet the same as this. Clients often tell us that their skin is absolutely more radiant, stimulated and lifted once they leave. Depending on the skin type, I have had clients who look like they have had a mini face lift; and the best thing about it is that it is Certified Organic and doesn’t harm the skin in anyway!


CP: Summer is coming. What skincare/wellness advice do you have for Western women in Japan who are preparing for summer?

1. Eat right. A healthy diet can work wonders for your skin. Stimulate your complexion’s collagen growth with foods rich in antioxidants; including leafy green vegetables, blueberries, cantaloupe and other melons. Salmon and egg whites are excellent sources of protein, which helps nourish skin and repair damage.

2. Simplify your makeup routine. Stick to the basics: mascara, lip balm, concealer and switch to a bronzing blush to show off your natural beauty this summer. Especially in the Tokyo heat, your foundation will often ‘slide’ on the surface of your skin creating a streaking appearance.

3. Beware of sun sensitivity. Everyone should apply an organic sunscreen when going out into the summer heat. If you’re taking prescription medications, be sure to check the labels for warnings about how they may affect your body’s reaction to the sun and heat, or ask your doctor or pharmacist. You could be setting yourself up for a painful sunburn or worse.

4. Use a toner right after cleansing your skin. Toners help restore the pH balance to your skin, which makes your skin surface less susceptible to unwanted bacteria growth. This is a must for oilier skin types.

CP: The biggest mistake that women make with their skin care?

EJ: Many women don’t exfoliate enough. It is important to give your skin a light exfoliation every morning to keep your skin clean of dead cells and waste that your skin has pushed to the surface during the night. However, if you use an exfoliant that is too ‘harsh’ for your skin, you could be taking too many layers off if done everyday. Please consult your beauty therapist for advise on YOUR skin as everybody is different.

CP: True… every makeup artist I know has said exfoliation is so key. Any other mistakes we can avoid this summer?

EJ: Mistaking dehydration for dry skin. Even though your skin tends to feel similar in both cases they are very different. Dryness may be your “skin type” as it is regarding to the natural oil flow of your skin, which never changes (the level can vary from season and illness). Dehydration however is a ‘condition” of the skin and can be changed and varied. Dehydration is a lack of moisture in your skin though it is not directly related to the water you drink (only approx. 2% of the water we drink makes it to your skin). To help reduce the dehydration, ensure you use a toner and followed by a moisturizer in the daytime and a high anti-oxidant serum at night.  


CP: What product is a must-have for you?

EJ: My organic Sugar Scrub, I just love this product! I like the convenience of having a scrub and moisturizer in one (made of certified organic raw sugar and a mix of 100% certified organic oils). This mixture applies just enough texture to get a good exfoliation with the softness to not irritate sensitive skin.

CP: I LOVE sugar scrubs. I’ve never heard of one with moisturizer! WANT. Okay moving on… You’re also a foreign businesswoman, and this place is amazing- you did it right. What were some of the biggest challenges in starting your spa? Legal hurdles? Financing? Breaking into the market?

EJ: The language was a major obstacle. Fortunately I teamed up with my brother Nathan, who had already set up Tokyo Fitness and can speak Japanese. More importantly, he had contacts that specialize in foreign company start-ups and realtors.

The second major obstacle as a new and foreign-owned company was obtaining a building lease. Many Japanese landlords are very strict in who they lease to. We overcame this by shopping around until we found a landlord who was willing to give us a go. Having properly set up a joint-stock company with paid-in capital helped.

CP: What advice do you have for foreign women who are considering starting their own businesses in Japan?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! I used every contact I had to start up the Elana Jade Salon – from professionals to family and friends.

Do your research. Business in Japan is rarely the same as home – different demands, rules and expectations exist. Do your own research and ask local contacts and other entrepreneurs for their input.

Allow room for the unexpected. Hidden charges, overpriced goods, international delivery costs and so on, can seriously eat into your capital. Allow a buffer zone for such unforeseen expenses.

Save capital by shopping around. For example, when opening the Elana Jade Salon we designed the interior and sourced furniture and private contractors, rather than use overpriced design firms.

Just do it! The scariest part of starting a business abroad is the first step. If you have done your research, made good contacts and have the capital, just dive in and give it a go!

Occasional spa days are worth the splurge—it’s like pressing the reset button after beating up your body with weather, partying or bad food. After my signature facial (my skin is glowing) and chat with Elana I realized I’d been getting lazy with my diet and decided to get back on the health food track. If you’re stressed, tired, and your skin is showing it, Elana Jade is a must-have experience.

Elana Jade Spa
Latorie memorial Building 3F 1-5-19
Azabu Juban Minato-Ku
Tel: 03 6438 9895    

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  • leslie nguyen says:

    Will keep this place in mind when I am there as I could use relaxation especially through massages ~



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