my, how yellow you look today

IMG_0709_512x768.jpg
I used to have decent skin when I was younger, but I never took care of it, and I always took it for granted. Now I am middle aged and have brown splotches all over my puss. I am not that bothered about it, but I do like the idea of having decent skin. So, when I read about Japanese beauty guru Chizu Saeki and her book The Japanese Skincare Revolution, into my amazon shopping cart it went.
The book is essentially a skincare manual. She has all sorts of tips and techniques in there, including massages for your face and lymph massages. Some of the tricks include putting honey on your lips then sticking a little piece of plastic wrap over them to remedy chapped, dry lips; giving your skin a break by avoiding cleansers, moisturizers, anything, one day per week; and keeping cold, wet towels in the fridge to cool down your face after a day in the hot sun.
IMG_0710_1024x682.jpg
She is also a big advocate of the “lotion mask,” which will make you look like Jason from Friday the 13th, but if it makes your skin look good, who cares! The lotion mask seems a bit involved, but I’m going to give it a try. Now, here’s the thing–facial lotions are very common in Japan, but they are pretty much unheard of here in the US. Here we like to use toners and then moisturizers, but lotions are NOT toners. I tried finding some low-cost alternatives to the one lotion the book shows (NARS Hydrating Freshening Lotion), but so far I have been unsuccessful. The thing is, lotions are usually clear or slightly milky, and they are kind of runny, but most bottles are opaque, so it’s impossible to tell if it’s the correct type of lotion. If anyone has any suggestions out there, please holler; in the meantime, I’ll keep searching.
Honestly, there are so many technique in this book, including a very involved set of steps for cleansing your face, that I feel like I need a giant, laminated sheet of instructions to stick on the bathroom walls!

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to my, how yellow you look today

  1. Heather says:

    Ok first, something about the puss comment is truly cracking me up. Ahem.
    Back to the matter at hand: my mum and I both love DHC (a Japanese company) and they of course do the many-samples-in-the-catalog thing and I have tried several of their lotions and many have seemed very thin as you describe. I am pretty sure that you can purchase samples from them so you wouldn’t have to lay out a ton for something that wasn’t right…

  2. splatgirl says:

    dawg. I am so on the middle age splotchy skin bus.
    I’m trying a couple of Avon products just now. Yes, Avon. Did you know they have kitchenware (in addition to the junky jewelry and chachke) in the catalog these days, too? Bizarre.
    Vitamin C serum has the consistency you’re describing. Maybe that’s what you need to look for.

  3. Mima says:

    Wow, It is amazing to know that there is an English version of her book available! Last summer I happened to see the demo of “lotion mask” by the author on TV in Japan and my mother and I tried it together! It felt great afterward yet a bit complicated for me to be honest. I think she recommends to do it twice a day, NO WAY! I even bought the “Saeki Chizu Cottons” sold only for this lotion mask(ridiculously expensive!).
    Upon returning to US I was doing the mask on regular basis but I can’t remember when was the last time I did it! Another famous skin care guru in Japan whose name is Ikuko (I think) Tanaka who has a great technique on facial massage, which I saw on my mother’s magazine and tried it several times. Again I haven’t done it for a long time! I hope you will have strong will to continue this regimen to see the great result unlike me!

  4. Laurie says:

    What is the difference between a lotion and moisturizer? I have used moisturizers that were milky and white. I do stick to the Aveeno products because my skin is so sensitive. But they also have sun block which I’m religious about.
    I’ve always been pretty good about moisturizing my skin since I was in my 20s so my skin looks pretty good except for the brown blotchies. But those are because of hormones. Stupid hormones.

  5. MicheleLB says:

    Yes, Laurie above has a point. Are the brown blotchies from hormones? I got really blotchy last August during a sunny vacation, and the dermatologist said that it was due to hormones plus sunlight. It’s just like a “pregnancy mask.” You can either skip the hormones, or the sunlight, or use an awfully expensive prescription cream to get rid of it.
    Other than the brown patches (gone now), my middle-aged Asian skin is pretty decent.
    Good luck!

  6. freecia says:

    #1 Nars is having a 20% off sale right now http://dealnews.com/NARS-Cosmetics-coupon-20-off-skin-care-products/279356.html
    #2 Do you mean an emulsion type of lotion? Might the local Japanese Grocer or asian market carry Shiseido, Kanebo, Kracie, or the Korean equivalent like Laneige (I think they’re korean…) Otherwise sasa.com might have something.
    #3 I just found sasa yesterday while looking for something called “BB Cream” which is evidently an Asian woman favorite. Luckily for me, the Korean Markets in Santa Clara plus Japanese Markets carry a few of them. eBay does too (but once again, which one). Let me know if you want a specific brand available at Mitsuwa since I’m headed there on Saturday for “Kiss Me Heroine Mascara” or some other absurdly titled eye product.

  7. tomoko says:

    I do “lotion mask” thing, too.
    I use Floral water(e.g.Rose water)and I add and dissolve a bit of skin cream into it in winter.

  8. wow. i have butt loads of “you name it” lotions and creams I wish that I could share with you.
    the fermented soy milk is something I really should try….
    secondly… you, as an american, have probably spent your life worshipping the sun and therefore, are screwed…. the chicks here… carry parasols, cover up at the beach and basically spend all their energy avoiding the sun…spending mucho bucks on UV cover ups ….I know lots and lots of over 50 women with beautiful skin, way way better than mine and I guess it’s sun avoidance… not necessarily whatever skin care products they choose….
    if you would like me to box up all my samples (dhc and seikyo and whatever…) I will send it all on to you…. i have spent a lifetime of AU NATURAL living and use soap and water…i imagine that i totally look my age…and then some…

  9. Hi there! I love your blog, but rarely have anything to contribute…I love pens, but never have owned any from Japan or even heard of them! That said, I have a comment, a suggestion, and a question…
    The comment: My mom rarely washes her face on the weekends and she has the softest, clearest, most even skin ever…it makes me jealous, and she’s turning 53 on Monday!
    The suggestion: Paradise Regained Moisturizer from Lush…it might work, although I am confused by the distinction between lotion and facial lotion…so perhaps I have missed the boat completely.
    The question: I am black, but these techniques sound like good skincare for anyone…is there anything specifically Japanese in them that would preclude my using it?
    Thanks! And can’t wait to see the finished underwear…I really want to start making my own too!

  10. Hi there! I love your blog, but rarely have anything to contribute…I love pens, but never have owned any from Japan or even heard of them! That said, I have a comment, a suggestion, and a question…
    The comment: My mom rarely washes her face on the weekends and she has the softest, clearest, most even skin ever…it makes me jealous, and she’s turning 53 on Monday!
    The suggestion: Paradise Regained Moisturizer from Lush…it might work, although I am confused by the distinction between lotion and facial lotion…so perhaps I have missed the boat completely.
    The question: I am black, but these techniques sound like good skincare for anyone…is there anything specifically Japanese in them that would preclude my using it?
    Thanks! And can’t wait to see the finished underwear…I really want to start making my own too!

  11. Eileen says:

    Yonka (which you can find at http://www.dermstore.com) has lots of different lotions & creams, which I think are exactly what the book is talking about. They’re not cheap . . .but definitely worth a look. I’ve used a few & have been pretty happy with them. Good Luck!

  12. melissa says:

    what about cetaphil? that seems like a cleansing lotion to me…it doesn’t foam or anything, it just cleans and moisturizes gently.

  13. Meg McG says:

    You should try Origins Balanced Diet. Its a light, milky lotion. I have dry skin, so I use their thicker stuff, but all my sisters love Balanced Diet. I used to work at an Origins about 5 years ago and it was our most popular moisturizer. It’s about $20 a bottle and should last at least 3 months. They will also give you a sample if you ask.

  14. sue says:

    I have very sensitive skin after years outdoors in the plant biz. I use a lotion from Jan Marini, with spf 30. Be careful to look at ingredients, these are so many BAD chemicals in commercial lotions, cleansers and cosmetics.
    check on them at: deliciousorganics dot com slash controversies slash chemicals
    there are lots of great things you can do with organically grown fruits and vegetables for your skin. I make ‘parsley water'; that is, make tea from fresh organic parlsey. (which is loaded with Vit A. Great for skin which tends to break out) Make the tea, let cool, and swab on skin with a cotton ball twice a day. Make a small amount; refrigerate leftovers. Let come to room temp before using.
    Avocado, and fruit pulps like apple and pear, mashed and used as a mask, are great for skin. The pectin is good for skin. Lemon pulp/juice can help lighten brown spots. There are loads of good books on this. Good luck with your investigation.

  15. Seanna Lea says:

    I’ve seen facial lotions at the local drug store and use Eucerin once or twice, but it was way too rich for my skin (though if I was then going to remove it like you would a mask, then it probably would have been about perfect). The bottle was opaque white and the lotion inside was a relatively loose white fluid that would pool slightly in the hand rather than being thick enough to hold peaks (which makes me feel like I’m talking about cooking again).

  16. Lydia says:

    Have you tried DHC Skincare products? It’s a Japanese company that sells only through catalogs or online. http://www.dhccare.com/dhc/ They might have what you’re looking for, but just labeled differently for the US market.
    For me, I took a chance last year and started using Institut Arnaud (a French company) facial care products (marketed by Walgreens) last summer after years of trying fancy and expensive this and that, and my middle-aged face feels better than it has in over 20 years.

  17. Charlene says:

    Oil of Olay comes immediately to mind . . .

  18. grace says:

    i received some shiseido samples a while ago that sound similar to the facial lotions you described. i received the them w/ a purchase from one of their department store counters so i’m not sure if they give those out w/ out a purchase. sephora carries the brand so perhaps you can get a sample from them? they used to give out small samples of any perfume (poured from the tester bottle into a sample tube) and any lotion/moisturizer/whatnot (also scooped out from the testers into a tiny jar).

  19. My skin fortunately is very soft and smooth however I have those same “age spots”/”sun spots” or whatever they are on my face. They make my skin look as if I have crazy acne or something sometimes. If you find a miracle “spot remover” I’d love to hear about it. I’ve yet to find one. Right now I’m into the aspirin mask (dissolved aspirin and honey… have you heard?) and it works great once a week as an exfoliator type mask. I haven’t been doing it long enough to notice any effects on the spots though… we’ll see. (^_^)

  20. yuan says:

    would you please do me a huge favor and post a pic of the masked mariko so we in internetland can get the full effect? that would be so awesome! :P

  21. Alma says:

    Boy, your post brought back memories of my mom and her strange (or seemed strange to me as a child) Japanese obsession with skin care. Her ideas were so different from what I read in beauty books (this was over 40 years ago). She had (has) lovely pale skin and she was embarrassed, I think, by her children’s strange, olive mixed blood skin. She was always trying to lighten our “elephant’s elbows”.

  22. megan says:

    your skin is super soft. thanks for letting me stroke your cheek the other day :)
    and…i’ve tried it all. ain’t nothin’ but acid gonna take your splotches away. i’ve given up because i can’t afford it. i am getting 2 facials in the next 2 weeks though. does that make me spoiled?

Comments are closed.