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June 11, 2020

Transport Yourself With These Japanese Beauty Rituals

Given boarding a flight to Narita is off the table for now, here are some of the inspiring ways to bring the allure of Japan into your home. 


Like everyone else, my plans for the next few months have either been cancelled or put on pause. The biggest one: the six weeks I planned to spend in Japan, getting my yearly fix of favorite foods, hot spring dips, J-beauty shopping, and the many other indulgences I miss whenever I’m on this side of the Pacific. 



Traveling girl walking through streets of japan
Luckily, I’ve developed strategies for bringing Japan-inspired touches to my life in North America


Luckily, I’ve developed strategies for bringing Japan-inspired touches to my life in North America, such as subscribing to TV Japan through my cable provider, regularly playing Taiko no Tatsujin (a crazy cute and addictive rhythm video game that’s popular in Japanese arcades, but can also be played on certain home consoles), and, of course, Japanese beauty rituals that are easy to incorporate at home and instantly bring me back…


Adding Soaking Salts To Bath Water


If you’ve ever been to Japan (or maybe watched a lot of anime), you’ve likely noticed that bath time is a big deal there. A lot of people still go the sento (public bath house) even though they have a bath at home, and trips to the onsen (hot springs) are a regular activity for many Japanese. At home, a typical Japanese bathroom consists of an area with a sink and another one that is closed off with a shower door. It’s in this actual “bath” room where you’ll find a deep tub, as well as a shower and wash station next to it, which are usually equipped with a mirror, a low stool, and a shelf for storing shower essentials. No matter where you’re bathing in Japan—the sento, onsen, or at home—the ritual is the same: first, wash up at the shower station and rinse off any soap or shampoo well before heading into the tub for a relaxing soak. That feeling of first stepping into the heavenly warm (or scorching, when at an onsen) water of a deep Japanese bath—that, is one of the things I most look forward to when I’m in Japan.


Unfortunately, standard North American baths usually aren’t as deep (or as high-tech) as the Japanese counterparts. But, they still work. Adding a scoop or two of Japanese bath salts into the tub doesn’t magically make it bigger, but the smell, feel, and color of the water helps bring the experience one step closer to bath time in Japan. Lavender, Yuzu or Japanese Cypress-scented Bath Roman Bath Salts do the trick. Some varieties even contain skincare-inspired ingredients like collagen, shea butter, hyaluronic acid, or ceramides for an extra boost. 



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Not sure why I started drawing this, but bath time has always been important to me. When I’m happy, it’s my favourite way to relax, and when I’m upset about something, I always feel better after a soak in the tub. ⠀ ⠀ The beauty rituals that are associated with bath time add to the experience of course, but what I really love is that second of happiness when your skin touches the warm water, and makes you feel embraced as though you were wrapped in a warm blanket. I take baths at home almost every day, and going to an onsen is always the highlight of any trip to Japan. Sheer bliss! ⠀ In short, this scene depicts one of my happy places: bubble bath, skin care essentials, and a purring kitty to keep me company. ⠀ What is something that makes you happy? 💛 ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #byminoue #madewithpaper #abcommunity #abskincare #illustratorsoninstagram #illustratorsofinstagram #illustrated #illustrationartists #illustratrice #catloversworld #catloversclub #beautyillustration #paperby53 #digitalartist #digitalarts #digitalartwork #beautylover #beautylovers #beautycommunity #cuteillustration #beautyjunkie #bathtub #bathlover #illustrazione #kbeauty #kbeautyaddict #kbeautyblogger

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Scented Products Reminiscent Of Japan


As we know, scents can trigger vivid memories. And, the fragrant aroma of Kracie Naive Aloe Body Wash, which I find at my local Japanese cosmetics store, reminds me of Japan. Throw some Shiseido Tsubaki Shampoo and Conditioner into the mix, and I can almost hear the recognizable sound of a Japanese pedestrian traffic light on the street just outside my imaginary bathroom window. As a bonus, many of these products come in a bottle with a pump dispenser. Not only does this make them practical, but it’s another small detail that transports me to Japan, where a lot of shampoos, conditioners, body washes, toners and sunscreens are packaged with a trusty pump.



Sheet Masking Often


Although sheet masking is something many people associate with K-beauty, I first discovered sheet masks in Japan, where they were a regular part of  skincare routines long before they infiltrated the West. When I’m missing Japan, I happily peel open my pack of 20 Melano CC Vitamin C Masks or one of my Lululun bundles, apply it carefully to my clean face, add a silicone sheet mask on top, light a scented candle, and relax for at least 20 minutes. Using my favorite Hadabisei Intensive Wrinkle Care under-eye sheet mask is another way I add a sprinkle of Japanese joy into my skincare routine. 


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I’m a HUGE fan of eye patches of all kinds. The Hadabisei Intensive Wrinkle Care Mask (肌美精目もと集中うるおいマスク) were actually the first I tried, and the inspiration behind my illustration of the cat with eye patches (from my skincare stickers). I had randomly picked them up in Tokyo a few years ago because I thought they looked interesting, and ended up loving them! ⠀ With retinol and hyaluronic acid, they target wrinkles and help hydrate the under eye area. If I remember correctly, they cost under ¥1000 (around $10 🇺🇸, $12 🇨🇦), and there are 60 sheets in the pack (30 uses). I’m on my second pack, which @cosmeticdiarytokyo was kind enough to send me when we did an exchange several months ago. Although I have a variety of collagen eye patches at home, these are my go-to because they’re effective, simple, and quick to use. I’ll definitely be stocking up next time I go to Japan! 🇯🇵 ⠀ Do you use eye patches regularly? Which are your favourite? ⠀ By the way, the strawberries have nothing to do with the product (although in the past, I’ve often illustrated ingredients or something related to the formula). I’m just been enjoying drawing fruit lately. 😅 ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #byminoue #asianbeautyblogger #asianbeautygram #asianbeautyproducts #japanesebeautyproducts #bbloggersca #instaskincare #skincareblogger #skincarelover #skincareobsessed #beautyaccount #beautycommunity #スキンケア #化粧品 #skincareaddict #japanskincare #asiancosmetics #igskincare #abskincare #abcommunity #japanesecosmetics #japaneseskincare #jbeauty #beautygram #abbeatthealgorithm #skincareroutine #kbeautyaddict #美肌 #radiantskin #skincarejunkie

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Grabbing Those High-Tech Beauty Tools


Although advanced anti-aging gadgets are now popular in North America, they’ve been big in Japan for many years now. I’m the proud owner of a Panasonic Memoto Este eye steaming mask (warm steam and a massage does wonders for tired and jet-lagged eyes). The other tool I use regularly and always reminds me of Japan is my kuru kuru dryer: this is a hair dryer with a brush on the end and has been around a lot longer than Dyson’s admittedly effective-yet-pricey, Airwrap (although the latter does include a very innovative curling attachment). The Nanocare facial steamer is next on my most wanted list. Stroll into any electronics store in Japan and you’ll  likely spend hours frolicking in the beauty tech aisles, marveling over everything from never-before-seen facial rollers and heated lash curlers to leg massagers and wireless hair straighteners. It’s endless fun. Can’t wait to return!


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These are the three beauty tech devices I use regularly: my @panasonic_beauty Ion Effector 🇯🇵, (got it a few months ago for my birthday), my Panasonic Memoto Este 🇯🇵 (bought it last year in Japan), and my @wayskin_ 🇰🇷(bought it last year online). I wrote a quick overview of what each of them does and how I use them. Head over to my blog if you’d like to find out more! [Link in bio.] ⠀ Do you use any beauty tech devices? If so, I’d love to know which ones! ⠀ Oh, and enjoy your weekend! ☀️ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #byminoue #beautygram #abcommunity #instaskincare #kbeauty #koreanskincare #skincareroutine #skincarecommunity #flatlaysquad #flatlayforever #flatlaytoday #igbeauty #asianskincare #igskincare #rasianbeauty #glowingskin #radiantskin #beautyregimen #abbeatthealgorithm #skinroutine #jbeauty #japaneseskincare #panasonicbeauty #目もとエステ #イオンエフェクター #wayskin #beautytech #beautydevice #スキンケア #美容器

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One of the top Japanese recommendations by Beauty Advisors (aestheticians, makeup artists, facialists, and beauty professionals) is the Sekkisei White Powder Wash. It’s great for travel because it’s in powder form. 


Sekkisei white powder wash
Sekkisei White Powder Wash is perfect for traveling and the powder foams incredibly well
Mariève has been writing about beauty online and in print for over 10 years. Half-Canadian and half-Japanese, she loves that being a freelance beauty writer gives her the opportunity to explore the cosmetics landscape from Montreal all the way to Tokyo. Also on her mind at any given moment: cats, music, figure skating, food, and her next trip to Japan. You can find her (and her beauty illustrations!) on Instagram at @by.minoue.




Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

I love the bath room routine they have. I actually have the same routine, naturally. I did not realize it was an actual Japanese routine until now! There is nothing better than a relaxing bath salt soak after a good shower. I also love sheet masks and enjoy using them while I am soaking/relaxing in the bath.


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

This is really important. I love seeing different cultures come into play and I also realized that Japan skin rituals are used a lot all throughout the world.


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

I'm really interested in that powder wash. I wonder, has anyone here tried it? I would love to know how it worked for you! I think I might just have to try it for myself!


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

how amazing is to learn about the different cultures beauty routine

I am learning so much about beauty-tech! I've not heard of an ion effector, moisture analyzer, or an eye steamer. Truly, the Eastern beauty world has changed the whole game.


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

Although somewhat unfamiliar with Japanese beauty culture, I found myself nodding right along. I love scented bath salts, candles, and sheet masks! I feel a bit silly though, as I usually bathe and then finish up by showering off! Definitely makes more sense to do it in the reverse order.


I have always had a love for the connection Japanese culture has with beauty. Being healthy isn't just about the foods you eat or how much you exercise, it's also about being mentally healthy by focusing on your respect and care for your mind and body. It is a very important aspect of overall health and happiness.


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

I was working for well known & high end J-Beauty cosmetic brand for quite sometimes and cannot agree more. I love how Japanese ritual is more about respectful and graceful to your body and mind. We definitely need this lifestyle!

Stay Safe, Stay Beautiful

Alice Q

Great read! Also I just want to say you do lovely illustrations! :)


I feel relaxed just by reading this article! I absolutely love hot baths with bath salts and calming aromas. What I would not do for a deep tub!! It is wonderful to learn new techniques for beauty care from other cultures!