3 tips to great skin and hair – the Japanese way

“As some of you may know, I was away on a rather long (for me) holiday in Japan recently. We have thoroughly enjoyed the experience: great food, gracious and polite people, beautiful sceneries….


Reflecting on the trip, one thing that stood out for me was the beauty of the Japanese women. My husband commented quite early on about Japanese  women, presumably as a clinical observer, highlighting their poise, sense of calmness and great skin. I agree on all these points, in particular their complexion.

japanese girls

The Japanese have long revered good complexion as the essence of beauty, placing high premium on fair/light colour, softness and being blemish-free. The preference for the whiteness of skin predates prolonged contact with foreigners and is clearly not an effect of westernisation. With these imperatives, Japanese women learn to take care of their skin from a young age. They are well educated on sun care and how to avoid excessive direct sun exposure. Interestingly, not being tanned bears significance in the workplace. Sun tan is usually perceived as leisure acquired. Hence, being tanned may indicate that one is leisure-focused and not career minded.

Their secret :

1. DIET – The Japanese diet must stand out as one of the heathiest. Serving portions are small and always artistically presented.

japanese diet

Fish form a large part of what the Japanese eat. This is mostly eaten fresh(sashimi and sushi). The most popular fishes are tuna, salmon, mackerel and herring. These as you know are high in mono and polyunsaturated fats which are the good fats. It lowers your cholesterol, protects your heart and is essential for good skin and hair. There is very littlefried foods in their diet which contains the trans fats , the bad fats.

Tofu is another staple. It is again high in polyunsaturated fats and is high in protein.

Seaweed. The Japanese eat this pickled, in their soup, in their sushi, in their snacks and more. Seaweed is high in iodine which is what gives Japanese women their beautiful jet black hair. The other benefits are its high content of minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, sodium, zinc, iron, magnesium as well as many of the trace elements. It is also a source of complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids, which helps when you are cutting down on animal proteins because of their trans fat content.

Tea. The Japanese drink bucket loads of this. Especially green tea. Tea’s health benefits are largely due to its high content of flavonoids — plant-derived compounds that are antioxidants.  Studies have found an association between consuming green tea and a reduced risk for several cancers, including, skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal, and bladder.

2. SUN PROTECTION. Japanese women are obsessional about sun protection. Hat and sunblock are the norm everywhere.

3. SKIN CARE. Although the Japanese have their own internationally known brands of skin care like Shiseido and Kanebo, ZO Obagi products are very popular because of their effectiveness against pigmention. The bleaching effects of Melamin® and Brightenex® are particularly popular. Cleanse, exfoliate, oil control, repair and sun protection is ubiquitous and an important key to the beautiful Japanese skin.

ZO Zein Obagi


Follow these simple tips and beautiful skin can be yours too. As the Japanese would say, Arigato (thank you) and sayonara(good bye)




Mrs  CC Kat is a leading Midlands Consultant Plastic Surgeon specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. She is a full member of both British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) and British Association of Aesthetic , Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (BAPRAS) as well as several international aesthetic surgery associations. She worked as a Consultant Plastic Surgeon at the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust but now runs her private practice, CC Kat Aesthetics – Birmingham Laser, Skin and Cosmetic Clinic, full time. For more information, visit www.cckat.com or call 0121 456 7930.


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