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The Secret to Flawless Japanese Skin Care

The surprising secret that Japanese women use to maintain their flawless skin.

By 3 min read 29

Japanese women are known for their beautiful skin. We don’t just have good genes (although it is one of the contributing factors), but we often use different types of toners and lotions that contain ingredients that improve the skin texture and the complexion. Aging cannot be avoided entirely, but a healthy Japanese diet and lifestyle combined with skin products seem to keep our skin looking healthy and young.

…but there is one more secret to our flawless skin!

This may surprise you, but many women in Japan shave their face.

Not all Japanese women shave their face, but it is definitely a more common practice skin care regime in Japan than in western societies. I started to do it when my Japanese roommate in college introduced me to this unique practice. She had the most beautiful skin and she told me that shaving it got rid of her facial fuzz while enhancing skin’s exfoliation process and also toners and lotions seemed to work better when applied to the shaved skin. Of course, shaving also made cosmetic products such as foundations to blend in and create a smooth surface of our skin.

Whether shaving really helps us maintain our flawless skin or not, it certainly seems to keep our skin clean and once you start shaving your skin, it is hard to stop. What surprises many foreigners is that many Japanese hair salons offer face shaving services for women!

When I was traveling with my American girlfriend, she was actually surprised to find out I shaved my arms. She said she shaved her legs but didn’t realize that Japanese women shaved the arms. We have dark hair so it wasn’t even a question for us, but I didn’t tell her about face shaving as I did not want to creep her out.

Another interesting fact about this is that although Japanese women shave their face, arms, and legs, waxing bikini line isn’t as common. Many women prefer to go au natural down there, but this is slowly changing as more Japanese women watch American TV shows like Sex in the City.

Steps to shaving your face properly

– make sure to thoroughly clean your face, and remove all makeup.

– apply shaving cream and use a new razor (I use a five blade women’s razor). Don’t press a razor too hard on your face. Apply it lightly and shave it so you feel as if you are gently putting foundation on with a sponge.

– once it’s done, wash your face with cleansing soap and rinse your razor thoroughly and keep it in a dry place.

– use cotton pads to apply toner on your face and finish it with lotions. If you have acne prone skin, you should use oil free products and also make sure not to shave when your skin when it is breaking out as shaving, can cause irritation to sensitive skins.

I highly recommend that you try this new skin care routine. Trying it once isn’t going to hurt your skin and you could be pleasantly surprised with your new soft skin. But be sure to follow the proper protocols stated above! Please let me know your thoughts on this and I will be answering any questions you may have.

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  • May Tao says:

    For me, It’s not worth the risk. Hair texture after being shaved is as rough as sandpaper. I know that from my friends who tried this.
    It didn’t end well…

    I’d rather stick to my dermatologist’s prescribed creams and toners for a smoother face.

  • Jerry Alan Carroll says:

    You obviously have no clue about skin care

  • Mary says:

    I wouldn’t try, cause I already have a lot of hair and dark as well, and just shaving my legs makes my hair grow thicker and harder in some places. Not all tho, some places on my thights are still normal. So I guess it depends on the area and of everyone’s hair, but I wouldn’t risk to look like a werewolf. Asian girls are also known not to have a lot of hair, so maybe that’s why it’s why shaving for them works.

  • Meghann Bertolami says:

    I guess I’m just wondering a few things about how the follow up AFTER you shave….what exactly is TONER and what does it do? And what kind of lotion is best to use on freshly shaven skin? What about people who use oils as THIER “moisturizers” for example, I use whipped coconut oil- sometimes I include tea tree oil on problem areas, and sometimes I will use aloe Vera and coconut oil as my moisturizers. I have problematic skin and usually things are too heavy or too irritating for my face. But lightweight oil-free type serums don’t seem to be heavy enough to hydrate my face so I switched to oils with healthy fats to absorb into my face and it has been fantastic so far! But would it be enough to hydrate and soothe and protect shaved skin? And also any hairs that try to grow back does it feel prickly and is it incredibly noticable? I’m Italian and I get thick coarse hair ALL over my body. I shave everything from my arms/underarms all the way down to the tops of my toes. Yes, I said it. Tops of my toes! Idk why I have never even thought about doing it elsewhere(like my face!) until I came across this article so I am extremely eager to try it out because hey, the rest of my body has been thanking me since I was twelve for keeping it all trimmed. So I think this would be a great thing for me to do/try!

  • Ashley says:

    I think you shave your face considering your a guy and all so what’s wrong with a girl doing it. Btw most women have totem their upper lip hair or get it waxed b/c it grows in slightly darker and thicker anyways, so it really shouldn’t bug you that people want to shave whether it’s for removing hair, getting more appealing skin, or some kind of fetish. Watch out! Peasant. That was a random ending but you know what it’s chill

  • Yeah, I believe face shaving is great for outer layer and will make application of makeup and foundation easier. I also agree that hair which later growing back thicker and darker is just a myth, but just to make sure maybe it’s good to consult to professionals especially if it’s your first time doing the face shaving.

  • 島風 says:

    I shave my cheeks for exfolliation(?) and do not grow hair there. I don’t know if it is due to asian genes. I think the hair growing thicker is also a myth because of stiff feeling from newly growing hair that eventually will soften. I don’t think you will start growing facial hair where there is no similar follicle.

    • Jane Sergeyeva says:

      No, it can be true unfortunately. My sister has thick hair on her face which often ingrow because she shaved face ONCE (!) when she was a teen.

  • Myla Mosbeau says:

    Hi 🙂 Have you tried Mosbeau Products? It makes skin healthier, thus, no need for shaving 🙂 your skin would be whiter and smoother. Also acts as anti- aging 🙂

  • Vanna Rios says:

    I’ve been shaving my face for years. I don’t do it regularly but when I do it always looks nicer and cleaner. (: You are very beautiful btw.

  • Vanna Rios says:

    She didn’t say enhance one’s beauty, she recommends shaving if you want better looking skin.

  • Chandrakant Kulkarni says:

    Oh, I didn’t know they were very smooth like silk and beautiful!
    [..Didn’t have any opportunity to look at & feel a Japanese woman from close distance!
    🙁 ]
    Armpits -especially of a woman- do have very delicate Vital Energy Points.
    The vital points in armpits can be found in any Chinese Acupuncture Points Diagram.
    In Ayurveda, the vital points in armpits are known as ‘Kukshi-Marmas’.
    Mother Nature may be desiring to protect these fragile points by hair silk & moisture of perspiration.
    In this context, I do remember one thing from my childhood-
    Whenever I wished to ‘bunk’ my school, I used to hold a small onion in my armpit – unnoticed by my mom.
    Within 15 minutes, I got ‘temperature’ over my body – which I ‘showed’ to my mom.
    She would then touch me and exclaim:”Oh! You are feverish. Don’t go to school on today”…
    The temperature would vanish within no time – and I ran out to play!

  • Andrea Hill says:

    Elizabeth Taylor used to shave her face. And Rumor has it, Egyptian women way back in the day used to as well.

  • Nicki Yagami says:

    The hair doesn’t grow thicker, that’s a illusion. Like when you cut the grass, and the tops of the grass blades look larger ’cause they got their pointy tops chopped off? It’s the same. ^_^

  • Paulo Sergio da Silva says:

    know what happens to the plants when they are pruned?

    thicken and increase …

    • Jane Sergeyeva says:

      My sister did it when she was a teen. Now she has thick and black hair instead of light slightly noticeable which she wasn’t happy with. It’s true. Also they grow under skin and looks terrible in general.

      • Jerry Alan Carroll says:

        If that worked I would shave my head to get thicker longer hair….instead of slowly losing it.

    • Aru Gin says:

      ye thats a myth i swear

    • ituri says:

      The silliest of myths. There is no razor that can change how your hair grows.

  • Chandrakant Kulkarni says:

    Is a feminine face: smooth & shining like a plastic doll’s face really ‘beautiful’?

  • Jessica Ealey says:

    If it helps its a myth that your hair grows back darker. When it grows back it’s the same natural colour,it’s just it hasn’t been exposed to the elements yet which often discolour your hair and lighten them such as the suns natural bleaching effect.

  • fama says:

    I can’t believe that this whole article is recommending and proving that skin shaving is a healthy habit . Omg. I really can’t believe .
    You said once one start doing it then she can’t stop doing it. This is the big drawback ! in my country only men shave their beard . And yes v few women remove hairs from legs arms. But the one major drawback is that the hair which comes after shaving are more dark and thick And look very ugly!
    I’ll suggest do not shave face . if u have dark hair on ur face , u should remove them through homeopathic ways or laser is also better than shaving as hair after skin laser are thinner and few.

    • missgiri says:

      Actually, your hair appears to be darker because it hasnt been exposed to the elements. The sunlight bleaches your hair naturally and washing/scrubbing wears and thins your hairs removing the stubby end after shaving. In fact, exfoliating of your unwanted hair is another natural way to reduce the appearance of unwanted hairs. Darkening and thickening of hair only occurs during/after puberty and is hormonal. I’ve never heard of a homeopathic hair removal option (but will look into that) and laser hair removal is not ideal for everyone. Skin sensitivity, darkness of hair, darkness of skin tone all need to be considered before you are determined a safe user of laser hair removal practices.

  • Mohamed Tafifet says:

    Hey Yumi, thanks for your articles.
    I have some questions and it would be great if you can answer.
    I live in japan and would like to know:
    Why japanese girls put a lot of make up, we go to europe, most of girls are pretty confident and they don’t use it at all.
    I noticed japanese people schedule for everything even to meet their close persons, any comment?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Saga Vigre says:

      Almost all girls in Europe use makeup. But sometimes it can be difficult to see if they’re wearing makeup or not. In Japan it can be more noticable since girls often wear fake lasher and/or glitter!

  • Jinxter says:

    My Mom has been doing this as long as I can remember…she is from Fukuoka and to be honest I thought ALL Moms did this…was not until I was 17 and living in the US did I realize that only Japanese women did this.



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