Introducing Japanese Facial Soaps

The word "soap" in skincare has always had me running in the opposite direction screaming at the top of my lungs. It's associated with that very uncomfortable stripped and tight feeling of the skin that comes from the use of regular bar soap or sulfate laden face washes, and I am quite past those days, thank you very much. However, recently I've added bar soaps back into my daily skincare regimen, but in the form of the much more sophisticated Japanese facial soap. Unlike your traditional bar soap, these soaps are infused with moisturizing oils and plant extracts, and leave your skin feeling clean but ever so soft and smooth. Today, I have two options of Japanese facial soaps to share with you, so let's get right on with it.

The first Japanese facial soaps I tried come from Yojiya, a cosmetics company based in Kyoto, Japan, and have been around for over a century. Yojiya is most famous for their aburatorigami oil blotting papers, which I also very much enjoy. Yojiya products are only available in their stores in Japan and some Japanese airports, but I have managed to find some of their products on Ebay. I picked up my pack of facial soaps from one of their Kyoto stores when I was visiting last summer. The pack included the green tea soap (the green one), cherry blossom soap (the pink one), and rice soap (the yellow one).

The green tea soap is my favourite out of the three. It works to control oil production on the face. It is infused with green tea extract, which is amazing for acne-prone skin due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Whenever I use this soap, I see a reduction in redness on my skin, and any spots go away much faster. Green tea extract is also known for its antioxidant properties and has been shown to reduce UV damage on the skin when applied topically. I reserve this facial soap for the warmer months as it can be a tad bit drying during the cold Canadian winters.

The cherry blossom soap is aimed towards brightening the skin and reducing hyperpigmentation. As expected, it is infused with cherry blossom extract, which contains antioxidants, inhibits melanin production (which is what causes hyperpigmentation), and promotes collagen production in the skin. For my sensitive, sensitive skin, brightening products are often irritating, and I find that this soap can sometimes sting my skin a little bit, but I can definitely see immediate brightening results.

The rice soap is a rich, moisturizing soap that I love to use in the winter. Rice is rich in antioxidants and amino acids. It soothes and softens the skin, and can help prevent moisture loss by strengthening the skin's moisture barrier. An all-around hero product really, it's no surprise that rice ingredients are often used in Asian skincare. I sometimes like to use rice water (you know, the water left over from washing rice) to make my own DIY face masks, and my skin is always left so soft, and this soap has the same effect.

The other option of Japanese facial soaps I have for you is actually my favourite out of them all. I picked up the Penelopi Moon Junoa Facial Cleansing Soap from Imomoko (here) last month and have been using it for my morning and evening cleanse ever since. I just can't get enough! The Junoa soap is suitable for all skin types. The red portion of the soap is infused with 19 plant oils and extracts, which include evening primrose oil, licorice root extract, mushroom stem extract, rice oil, honey, and etc, while the moon shape in the centre contains amino acids and proteins that soften and nourish the skin. Can I just say that this soap is such a beauty to look at? It makes me feel a bit like Sailor Moon every time I hold it. The recommended method of using this soap is to foam it up with the included foaming net, spread the foam over your face and neck and massage over the skin, and then leave it on for a minute or a few minutes to use it as a foam mask and allow the ingredients to really nourish the skin, and then wash off. After using this soap for about a month morning and night, my skin is soooooo incredibly soft and smooth. I've also gotten much less breakouts, which I'm not sure is entirely credited to this soap, but I can't recommend it enough.

Have you tried any Japanese facial soaps?

1 comment:

  1. You might be able to find some online, but I know Asian beauty products can be hard to hunt down some time. For oily, acne-prone skin I'd also recommend the Erno Laszlo Dead Sea Mud Soap. It should be a bit easier to find. I personally have combination skin so I can't use it all the time, but when I'm feeling particularly oily or spotty, the dead sea mud soap comes in really handy. It's a bit more pricey, but you get a really massive piece of soap, so I imagine it would last quite a while.


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