Hi everyone! I’ve just realised I may have committed a bit of a Japanese boo-boo…
In the Japanese language, when they count or list things, there is no single “standard” set of counters, really. It varies depending on what you are counting, e.g. vehicles, round things, flat things, etc. (In this regard it is MUCH harder than English!)
To date, in this series of posts in which I’m sharing snippets from The Japanese Skincare Revolution book, I have been using what is called the “ban” counter. So we’ve had Ichiban (Part 1)… Now we have Niban (2) – I think?!
Anyhow you get the picture! I’m guessing most people aren’t reading this with the intention of correcting my so/so Japanese, but hey if anyone can correct me on my use of counters or confirm I’m correct, please do! I’m going to check in with my Japanese teacher next week and try and get some clarification.
When I started this series of posts I thought that it would be a straightforward exercise. I take note of the parts of the book I find most interesting or unexpected, and then talk (well ok – write! ) about them here. It’s become a bit more complicated because I’m finding the whole book interesting!
Tonight I’d like to share with you what Saeki-san calls “the five goals of skin beauty”, or, how you can evaluate the status of your skin. This is important as if you are able to accurately suss out how it is going and what it needs, you will be able to appropriately feed it from the inside and out, and it will improve!
What are the goals?
- Moisture. If your skin is doing well in this area it will have balanced oil and moisture content, makeup will go on smoothly and stay on for a reasonable time, its texture will be moist and velvety, it will be springy to the touch, and it is clear.
Balance is the key, as if your skin is too oily it can be a sign it is crying out for moisture! Saeki-san recommends that you should focus on providing oily skin with moisture rather than trying to strip it away, as stripping just encourages the skin to continue to overproduce oil to combat the temporary dryness. I found this principle to be very relevant in bringing my combination-oily skin down to its current normal-combination state. (If you are not familiar with my typical skin care routine, you can check it out here.)
- Smoothness. If your skin is good in this area it is soft, has an even texture, holds makeup well (coming back to oil again!), produces relatively little oil, and has an “active metabolism”.
By metabolism, Saeki-san means that the skin is replacing its cells regularly. I.e. you should exfoliate regularly! She recommends once-twice a week, I only do it once a week as I find that is enough for me. (Personally I think it’s best to err on the side of caution when starting to exfoliate for the first time, and see how you go doing it once a week for a while. You don’t want to irritate the skin!)
- Firmness. Firm skin: springs back when pressed with the fingers, appears “fresh and glowing”, is balance in terms of oil vs moisture, feels moist to the touch, and has few lines and wrinkles.
Saeki-san identifies dust, aircon, and UV rays as having a negative impact on this area in partcular. She recommends taking particular care with your skin care routine in situations in which you are exposed to these environments (which for me probably needs to be all the time! :-0 The climate in Adelaide is very dry.) Foods high in protein (e.g. meat, fish, dairy) as well as foods high in Vitamin C can help in this area, according to Saeki-san. I am also guessing lots of water and hydration would also help in this area… What do you think?
- Elasticity. If your skin is doing well in this area it should feel springy to the touch, have a “glow”, appear to have a fine and plump texture, “shows minimal sagging around the corners of the eyes and mouth”, and should be moist overall. (Is it just me or is there some overlap in the things to look for under each goal? )
Saeki-san recommends the regular use of serums for the skin to help in this area, as she explains that this is an issue primarily related to the dermis, the hidden and deep layer of the skin which is supporting the epidermis that we see every day. Serums can reportedly get into these lower layers and help out, and Saeki-san also has some facial massage techniques which she claims will help in this area later in the book (don’t worry, I will mention these in a later post, we just aren’t quite there yet! ).
- Last but not least, Saeki-san identifies a clear complexion as being the 5th goal. A clear complexion, according to Saeki-san, has a soft and firm appearance, feels moist, has clarity, has an active metabolism (again, exfoliation comes in here), and exudes a sense of vitality.
If your skin is kicking goals in #5, you are likely to have what she calls a “young and healthy” appearance, and makeup will serve to enhance your overall features rather than hide or attempt to mask things. In addition to general tips for goals 1 through 4, Saeki-san recommends avoiding cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Next time, we are moving on to Saeki-san’s recommended skin care routine for morning and night – including her advice on makeup removal - and then we will go on to the facial massages. There will be pictures in the massage post – I’m going to try them out! (You might need to be prepared for some funny images!)
In case you are keen to pick up this book, it is “The Japanese Skincare Revolution” by Chizu Saeki (ISBN 978-1-56836-406-3). I purchased it myself via bookdepository.com and from memory it was less than $30 AUD! Bargain.
What do you think about Saeki-san’s “5 goals”? Any surprises here, or not?