Always use a gentle, nurturing touch. The idea is to nurture and nourish your skin to a state of health and bring out its natural beauty – not to punish, subdue, or fix it. Massage gently, wipe gently, pat gently…
1. Massage face with cleansing oil and wipe with cotton pad. (Removes oil-soluble makeup and impurities)
2. Massage face with facial wash mixed with tepid water. (Removes remaining oil and water-soluble impurities.)
3. Rinse thoroughly with tepid water. Finish with a few splashes of cold water.
4. Pat face dry.
5. Wipe face with cotton pad moistened with facial toner.
6. Apply oil or oil mixed with water to moisturize. (Including the undereye area. The same oil as the cleansing oil or different oil may be used)
Always perform a patch test for skin sensitivity when using a substance for the first time or if your skin feels like it is in a sensitive state. Put a small amount of the ingredient (mixed with water if it is not a liquid) and apply it to the inside of your elbow. Leave on for several hours or preferably overnight, covered by a bandage, if necessary. If you experience any redness, irritation, inflammation, or itch, do not use the ingredient.
Camellia Oil (Tsubaki No Abura) is traditionally the cleansing oil of choice in Japan. Derived from the nuts of the tea plant, it is also known as tea oil (not to be confused with tea tree oil). High in oleic acid and GLA (gamma linolenic acid), camellia oil nourishes and soothes the skin and helps restore its elasticity. Similar to the skin’s own natural oils, camellia oil is light, soothing, penetrates quickly, and has a balancing effect on the oil glands. This makes it ideal for sensitive, red, irritated, and dry skin as well as oily and acne-prone skin. (In the initial stages, there may be a flare up of acne as the skin is purged of its impurities, but once the impurities are purged, you will experience healthier skin and less acne.)
Other oils (preferably organic) may also be used singly or in combination. You may chose a lighter oil for cleasing and a richer oil for moisturizing. Richest oils may be used around the delicate eye area (but avoid getting oil into eyes).
Sesame Oil (rich in GLA, balances oil production, good for sensitive skin that is either very dry or very oily)
Jojoba Oil (soothing, balances oil production, unclogs pores, especially good for acne prone skin).
Almond Oil (all skin types, especially dry)
Macadamia Nut Oil (dry, mature and delicate skin)
Apricot Kernel Oil (especially good for prematurely aging skin)
Grapeseed Oil (dry, mature and delicate skin)
Avocado Oil (especially good for very dry skin)
Wheat Germ Oil (especially good for dry, mature skin)
This is simply rice bran (nuka) that is ground to the texture of a fine powder. Rice bran is naturally rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants that promote smooth, hydrated, elastic, glowing skin. It is ideal for all skin types including sensitive and blemished. You can purchase it ready made or grind your own from rice bran purchased at a Japanese market or health food store. Be sure to grind it very fine to avoid irritating the skin. (Fresh rice bran should be stored sealed and in a cool, dry location to preserve freshness.)
Traditionally, a small silk or cotton drawstring bag is filled very tightly with the finely ground rice bran, soaked in a bath or basin for a few minutes, gently squeezed, and massaged all over the face. The skin is then rinsed thoroughly with tepid water and finished with a few splashes of cold water. Between washings, the rice bran bag is hung in a dry location and after 2 or 3 washings it is emptied, washed, and dried.
A simpler method is to gently massage the face with about a teaspoon of finely ground rice bran mixed with tepid water. Rinse thoroughly with tepid water, finish with a few splashes of cold water, and pat face dry.
Other wash ingredients (May be used singly or in combination. All but the nightingale droppings may be used daily.)
Azuki Bean Powder
Lightly roasted and finely ground. Good for all skin types.
Azuki Micrograins+ Brown Sugar Facial Soap
Lightly roasted and finely ground. Good for skin with discolorations or uneven skin tone.
Appropriate for skin types, but especially suitable for aging skin due to its toning and detoxifying properties.
Uguisu No Fun (Dried Nightingale Droppings)
This is a traditional Japanese Geisha beauty secret. Packets of hygienically prepared Uguisu No Fun can be purchased in most Japanese drugstores. (Do not collect your own.) It exfoliates and lightens the skin and is suitable for aging, oily, blemished, or rough skin with discolorations or uneven skin tone. Avoid if your skin is sensitive or allergy prone. Limit use to once a week.
Rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory catechins and polyphenols, green tea soothes and protects the skin. Some studies have shown green tea to have a protective effect against the damaging effects of the sun. For the greater benefit, in addition to applying it to the skin, drink it regularly.
Apply cooled green tea (room temperature or refrigerated for extra refreshment) to the face with a cotton pad. Do not rinse. You may also soak cotton pads with the green tea and apply to the eyes as a compress. Green tea that is refrigerated green tea may be used for 2 to 3 days. Green tea is suitable for all skin types, but is especially suitable for aging, lackluster, or rough skin.
Other facial toners
Sake (Fermented Rice Beverage)
Naturally rich in organic acids, saccharides (malic acid, lactic acid, citric acid, etc.), enzymes, and other nutrients, sake hydrates, gently exfoliates, renews, and reveals healthy, smooth, soft skin.
Apply good quality sake to the face with a cotton pad. Do not rinse. Suitable for all skin types.
Rice Bran Facial Toner
Mix a teaspoonful of organic rice bran with water and strain. Apply to the face with a cotton pad. Do not rinse.