Miyakofuzoku kewaiden: The Foundation of Japanese Beauty
- Published: Saturday, May 2nd 2015
- in Beauty
As I pored over the pages of our centuries-old beauty manuscript from Japan—the Miyakofuzoku kewaiden —I noticed that handwritten text kept referencing green tea, Okinawa red algae, and Rice Bran. These nutrient-rich ingredients form the foundation of the Japanese diet, and form our proprietary Hadasei-3 Bioactive Complex, the heart of TATCHA’s collection. Today, I want to share with you how these unique ingredients nourish the skin and improve health.
Green tea has deeply symbolic roots in Japan, representing harmony and tranquility. It is the centerpiece of the traditional tea ceremony performed by geisha. Today, science tells us it is a source of Epigallocatechin Gallate, or EGCG, widely regarded as one of the most powerful antioxidants available. At Tatcha, we sonically extract our green tea to obtain the complete DNA, which is more potent than Vitamin C and protects against UV-induced oxidative damage. Like the geisha, I love drinking a freshly-brewed cup of green tea for its many benefits—the high content of flavonoids and catechins have been shown to reduce risk for heart disease and lower bad cholesterol, while increasing good cholesterol.
Okinawan Red Algae
Off the southern coast of Japan, there is a beautiful collection of islands called Okinawa. The residents here have the longest life span in the world, credited in part to their diet. Red algae has long been a staple, full of calcium, proteins, and vitamins. In skincare, it’s also a vital source of Beterhelin, a natural polysaccharide proven to enhance the skin’s barrier function. Red algae can hold up to 100 times its weight in water, ensuring smooth and hydrated skin.
For centuries, Japanese women rinsed rice in fresh water several times before steaming it. Rice is a rich source of essential vitamin B1, vitamin D, Niacin, and calcium, which are easily absorbed by the body. Savvy home cooks realized their hands emerged soft and cherubic after dipping them in the first wash of rice. They began to set aside the milky water from the first wash and use it for bathing or cleansing the skin. Geisha, who also used the ingredients closest to them, washed their faces with this rice bran-rich liquid. Japanese rice bran, or komenuka, has an array of actives, including inositol, and gamma oryzanol. Together, these potent ingredients offer a powerful antioxidant and a nourishing moisturizer for the skin. In addition, the enzymes in the rice bran gently exfoliate and polish the skin to reveal its natural luster.
It was remarkable to witness the Tatcha Institute’s research on these time-tested ingredients, and seeing the results affirm the secrets of the ancient beauty text. It only becomes clearer to me that for skincare, less is more. These simple, nutrient-rich ingredients beautify skin from the inside and out.