Main Japanese Secrets to Beautiful Skin & Weight Control: The Maeda Program

Japanese Secrets to Beautiful Skin & Weight Control: The Maeda Program


This book is written just for you. It is based on the simple and natural principle that diet and bathing are the most important factors in creating healthy, beautiful skin and a general feeling of well-being. And once your skin glows and you feel full of energy and enthusiasm, you are well on the way to realizing your complete beauty potential. How would you rate your physical condition and appearance? Are you satisfied with the way you are, or would you say there is room for improvement? Do you feel frustrated because it is difficult to find the time—much less the e n e r g y — t o give attention to health and beauty maintenance? In today's fast-paced world, time for personal care and relaxation is often forgotten, yet the price of neglect is too high to pay. Your eating habits, beauty routines, and techniques for managing stress all need to be as simple, streamlined, and effective as possible. To meet this need, the Maeda Program combines the best of Western...

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Hisayo Grace Maeda, Ph. D.


Lucille Craft

Illustrations by

Motomi Naito

Charles E. Tuttle Company

Rutland, Vermont & Tokyo, Japan

Published by the Charles E. Tuttle Company, Inc.

of Rutland, Vermont & Tokyo, Japan

with editorial offices at Osaki Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 141-0032

© 1989 by Charles E. Tuttle Company, Inc.

All rights reserved

Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 89-50661

ISBN: 978-1-4629-0392-4 (ebook)

First edition, 1989

Printed in Japan


Preface 9

1 The Japanese way of living 13

Of rice burgers and squid pizza 14

A day in the life of "Yoko" 17

Japanese women do... and don't... 19

How old are you? 20

2 The way to beautiful skin 23

What is "skin"? 24

Five signs of ideal skin 28

What's your skin type? 28

The basics of beautiful skin 32

A three-step cleansing routine 34

Treating skin problems 36

About suntanning 41

Skin care products and cosmetics 44

Hunting for the right cosmetics 45

3 A cosmetics primer 55

For clean, healthy skin 55

Makeup: Getting it right 61

Tips for perfect makeup 66

Masking wrinkles 70

Drawing beautiful eyebrows 72

Other makeup hints 74

Fighting acne 77

Eyeglasses as makeup 77

Makeup and eyeglasses 83

Contact lenses: Eye makeup without tears 84

Removing unwanted facial hair 85

4 One-step beauty secrets 87

Hormones and your body 87

A vitamin rundown 89

Skin workout: Japanese massage 93

Where's the point? Tsubo and shiatsu 93

The Maeda special homemade tofu facial pack 98

Grooming hands and feet 99

Are you eating-and digesting-right? 100

Dietary fiber: How to check on yourself 100

Shampoo sabotage 103

Sleeping beauty 103

Silk underwear—try it! 105

Coffee and cigarettes 105

Eating for health and beauty 106

For beauty's sake, mak; e love in the morning 107

On-the-job beauty maintenance 108

5 The sublime ritual of bathing 111

Naked acquaintances 111

The land of volcanoes 112

To bathe indoors——or out? 113

Priests, emperors, and samurai 115

How hot IS it? 117

Balneotherapy 117

The secret: Japanese-style bathing 119

Bathing for beauty 123

More than just plain old bathwater 124

Some like it hot 125

Face care in the bath 126

Treating ailments 127

Basic regimen for naturally beautiful skin 128

The Maeda Method for removing old skin and calluses 129

Bathercise! The three-minute shape-up 133

Steamy contemplation 137

After the bath 138

Classic Japanese beauty-bath recipes

6 Getting and staying slim—forever! 141

Health and your diet 142

The perils of eating American-style 143

The benefits of eating Japanese-style 148

Secrets of "thinking thin" 150

Dieting smart 152

Japanese food = healthy cuisine 155

The mysterious qualities of "diet" tea 162

Exercising for weight loss 165

Think positive: Be thin 167

Love and losing weight 167

And finally, sushi 168

Blood analysis 169

Substituting good habits for bad 170

7 Your one-week total beauty program 173

The programs 174

Wakeup program 174

Know-your-skin program 174

Bathing program 175

Eating program 175

Exercise program 177

Massage program 182

Makeup program 183

A sample one-week total beauty program 183

One week to total beauty 185

Extra tips 192

Traditional Japanese beauty secrets 192

Twenty-four essential beauty habits 196

A personal note 200

Appendix 201

Some Japanese foods: a nutritional breakdown 201

A typical, modern, Japanese menu 203


All women can be beautiful. If you've ever wondered whether you could be as radiant as a model on the cover of a magazine, the answer is yes, you can. But first of all, it is important to understand that the basic ingredients of beauty involve health, skin care, diet, and makeup appropriate to your skin type. With a commitment to following certain lifestyle strategies and beauty techniques, you can accomplish an amazing beauty makeover that is based on real, rather than cosmetic changes. By picking up this book, you have already taken the first step toward looking and feeling great. Allow the Maeda Program to be your guide, and you can develop a lifelong system for health and beauty.

The human body is naturally abundant in health-restoring agents and resources of beauty. By having the courage and the commitment to discipline ourselves in our daily lives, we can mobilize our own natural resources—our healing and beauty powers—to make ourselves over to our personal satisfaction. And when we feel fit and look great, all the other challenges of modern life—at home, at work— become easier to handle.

If you had to give your face, body, and mind a score, would each receive a "ten"? If not, what would each score be? You may give yourself a "seven," and even through the application of modern beauty techniques add another few points, but perhaps you've despaired of ever being a "perfect ten." In fact, though, over eighty percent of beauty derives from your inner beauty—your intelligence, tenderness, and sincerity, as well as your healthy internal body functions, whereas the remaining twenty percent is manner, expression, and technique. Wouldn't you like to let your inner beauty shine through? Forget about failures or disappointments you may have had in the past; put them all aside and commit yourself to creating a new you now.

Japanese women, and men, are famed for their longevity. The long Japanese lifespan is partly a tribute to medical progress, but it is equally a product of the traditional Japanese diet and lifestyle. The Japanese believe that the natural beauty of skin and the suppleness of the body are especially important to maintain, and put a great deal of effort into combating the cumulative effects of stress, sunlight, and changes in the climate and environment. I believe that these efforts combine to strengthen the body and the spirit in ways that promote longevity.

I have advised many women between the ages of sixteen and eighty-four. Each and every one of them expressed a strong desire to stay healthy and beautiful. But of these women, the ones who enjoy the best health are those who maintain a balanced diet and lifestyle. Others are troubled or unhealthy because of worry, stress, or conditions around them that are beyond their control. However, misuse of medicine or cosmetics, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, inadequate skin and body care can be controlled, and once they are, the negative effects of stress and worry can be minimized. I recognize, however, that to achieve this it is vital to have accurate information on health and beauty, as well as straightforward, worry-free routines that can be incorporated into a daily schedule for lifelong benefits.

After teaching and lecturing on health and beauty all over the world, it became clear to me that many women don't know the basic techniques for a "beautiful life." What was needed was a common sense program that could be followed without resorting to elaborate or expensive techniques. I have taught mainly in Japan, but my research and lectures have taken me to the United States, Canada, Europe, and Southeast Asia. In many places I found people using unnecessary medicines, impure cosmetics, and complicated diet and makeup routines that often served to create more stress and less beauty in their lives! My message was (and is): simple and natural is best. In every lecture or consultation I insist that diet and bathing are the most important factors in creating healthy, beautiful skin and a general feeling of well-being. And once you look and feel great, the likelihood of illness and the signs of aging are minimized, so that you truly do become beautiful, inside and out.

Japanese woman often envy the clear-cut faces, long legs, and well-proportioned bodies many Western women are endowed with. On the other hand, as Japanese women, we are proud of our smooth, youthful skin and slim figures. I also admire the commitment to exercise that exists in the West, but recognize the wisdom of the East when it comes to skin care and diet. So after many years of travel and research, I see how advantageous it can be to combine the best parts of each, the East and the West, to help women all over the world realize their most complete beauty potential. The Maeda Program combines the best scientific techniques and strategies with traditional Japanese methods to create a simple, practical beauty program that is truly good for you. It is my sincere hope that you find it a helpful guide to rejuvenation that you can follow for life.

—Grace Maeda


1 The Japanese way of living

In a recent television interview, the oldest person in Japan—a female centenarian—related the secrets of her longevity:

—A life relatively free of worry or anxiety, thanks to a circle of peaceful and supportive family members

—Plenty of Japanese-style food (that is, a daily variety of low-fat foods served in small portions)

—Regular and frequent baths

—A full night's sleep, every night

Her advice was hardly news to most Japanese, who usually live in tightly knit family groups, take nightly baths, and retire early. In addition, the Japanese diet, based as it is on rice, fish, and vegetables, is considered by many experts to be a very healthy one. While a Westerner may view these basic lifestyle and dietary habits as calculated strategies for longevity, to Japanese they are simply ordinary ways of living. Yet now that Japan's longevity rate is recognized as one of the world's best (Japanese women, for example, reached an average life expectancy of 82.1 years in 1987, setting a world record), more and more Westerners are interested in knowing, and perhaps following, the Japanese way.

How does all this relate to beautiful skin and weight control? Health, beauty, and fitness are deeply connected. By following a healthy lifestyle, not only will you live longer, you'll live better, too. If you have ever yearned for a better complexion, ever wished you could be slim—forever!—and you hope to enjoy glow ing health well past your 80s, then read on, and find out about some of the traditions that have been followed in Japan for centuries.

Of rice burgers and squid pizzas

On the surface, Japanese seem, and in fact do consider themselves, utterly Westernized. Kimonos are reserved for ceremonial or rare occasions, if they are worn at all; school lunch menus often consist of un-exotic standards such as hamburgers, spaghetti, or sandwiches. Yet the Japanese tend to adapt imports to their own tastes. Western salads are served not only at lunch and dinner, but also for breakfast. Hamburgers may be stuffed with that perennial favorite, white rice, and the local pizzeria's choice of toppings may include corn or squid. The veneer of Westernness in Japan conceals a solid Oriental tradition of balance, based on the belief that food and medicine are derived from the same source (i-shoku-do-gen). Perhaps a Western equivalent would be "you are what you eat." The Japanese accept Western food and customs, but on their own terms, in proportions that make sense in the context of their own lifestyles.

To a discerning observer, the "secrets" of Japanese good health are not hard to recognize. As our resilient senior citizen explained, a sensible diet and a rigorous routine of bathing (that is, cleansing and relaxation), are behind the country's remarkable longevity rate. Neither of these is a fad or a recent lifestyle discovery. Rather, a low-fat diet and hot baths are ways of living developed and maintained over centuries.

The relative material inferiority of a middle-class Japanese home to its Western counterpart may surprise foreigners, but there is no question that despite the restrictions their crowded country places upon them, the Japanese do enjoy and have a lust for life. One of the best examples of this is the bathing ritual. For a Japanese, no more sublime pleasure on earth exists to surpass that of bathing in any of the hundreds of beautiful hot-spring resorts, some so remote they are accessible only after hiking from a mountain train station on foot.

At these watery retreats, known as onsen, you can find both indoor and outdoor baths of every description. The very finest are fashioned of hinoki, Japanese cypress wood, which is recognizable even through the diminished visibility of a steamy bath by its distinctive and pleasing woodsy scent. And the famous Japanese attention to detail is put to no better use than at the hot-spring bath, where ceiling, walls, and floor are designed to enhance the atmosphere of relaxation. The warmth of the water, the beauty of the decor, the aromatic scent of the hinoki, all serve to create an atmosphere of total self-indulgence and luxury. After the bath, guests are further pampered by being served an elaborate feast of local dishes laid out on low tables in their rooms. Wearing comfortable cotton yukata, kimono-like loungewear, they may then opt for an evening stroll before retiring to their freshly laid-out futon beds. Is it any wonder that people feel rejuvenated after visiting an onsen? They find it so wonderful, in fact, that the ambience of a hot spring is recreated on a smaller, less grand scale in thousands of neighborhood bath-houses and private homes. Never mind the frenetic world outside: in every home the bath is made into a sacrosanct oasis of peace and relaxation, a haven for even the most fervid Japanese workaholic.

A day in the life of "Yoko"

For most people, rejuvenating visits to hot springs are possible only a few times a year, so health and beauty care has to become a daily "at home" regimen. Let's consider the lifestyle of a typical young Japanese woman. We'll call her "Yoko."

Yoko is not a woman of unlimited resources. She works in a typical office, but she doesn't like to sacrifice quality just to save money. Her clothes and makeup are on the pricey side, but she believes the investments are worthwhile, since it means not only fewer dropped hems, or cosmetics that don't deliver as promised, but also that she looks her best at all times. Her cleansing routine is careful, deliberate, and thorough, and she avoids using cheap skin-care products, knowing that the temporary savings in cost may mean trouble for her complexion later.

In the morning she'll have a cup of tea, toast, and maybe a small green salad. In coffee shops, this repast is known as "morning service." For lunch, she likes to go out for a set meal (usually rice, a serving of meat or fish, some vegetables, and tea), or maybe a bowl of noodles. Dinner may be fish again, or perhaps an Italian or French meal in a fashionable restaurant. Whatever cuisine she chooses, Yoko is unlikely to eat dessert—still not a popular custom in Japan—and the portions served will be about half the size of those in the U.S.

Yoko works hard, but it isn't so much for the money. Like many young singles, she lives with her parents. Her main goal is to be able to belong to a group (that is, to fit in with her peers), and to move according to a prescribed life passage. She may join her workmates at a bar to sing a few rounds of bluesy ballads, called enka, to pre-recorded music, before catching the subway home. No matter how late she stays out, Yoko is fastidious about taking a nightly bath. (Undoubtedly, her exhausted male colleagues will be just as anxious about hitting the tub, too.) She may even shower the next morning before work.

Though she is in good health, and eats well-balanced meals, Yoko is very slim by American standards. Heredity is partly responsible, but much has to do with the fact that the typical Japanese diet is low in fat and comprised of small portions of a great variety of foods. (Vegetarianism for dietary reasons has never taken off in Japan except among Buddhist adherents, because most people view their diets as being already in balance.)

Japanese women do... and don't...

To sum up, Japanese women generally do:

—buy quality products, considering the money spent in the short-term as money saved later

—go to great lengths to maintain their skin, protect it from the environment, and nourish it by eating a healthy diet

—eat many different kinds of food every day, but in small portions

—take a leisurely bath every night, and sometimes a shower the following morning

—work hard and industriously, and put in overtime if called for

—reserve time for regular visits to a spa, to relax and rejuvenate

—sing often (and often out of tune!) to let off steam and they usually don't:

—use cheap lotions or creams that are not suited to their particular skin types

—go to sleep with their makeup on

—eat a huge meal late at night—or anytime, for that matter!

—miss taking a bath or shower every day

—forget to "treat" themselves once in a while—to a massage, a facial, or whatever!

How old are you?

Calculating your age according to the year you were born is only one way of appraising how "old" you really are. Consider that you have four other ages: skin age, appearance age, sexual age, and mental age. All of these have an impact on your physical and mental health—on how you feel from day to day.

In terms of skin age, all of us are middle-aged after our 22nd or 23rd birthdays. That is when the sebum film that naturally coats and moisturizes the skin breaks down, and needs to be helped by applications of creams or lotions.

Appearance age, unlike skin age or chronological age, is one we can control. An active life, positive outlook, and careful makeup and cleansing routines help determine how old—or young—we are in appearance.

Sexual age, again, is up to the individual. A fulfilling and satisfying sexual life with a loving partner is part of the way to stay youthful, whether you're 28 or 82. And keeping your mental age low means acting a little like a kid. Not in the sense of being selfish or immature, but in keeping a balanced tension in your life and giving yourself the chance to play once in a while.

No, you can't turn back the clock, but remember that the means of controlling your age are in your own hands. Take control, now!

2 The Way to Beautiful Skin

Your skin serves as an excellent barometer of body and spirit. Sickness, sadness, worry—all are reflected in a poor complexion. But when you're healthy, satisfied personally and professionally, and have a lust for life, your face shows it. When people tell you, "You look great!" it's probably a tribute to your lustrous, lively complexion.

To have great skin, be happy. Sound too simple? It isn't—your state of mind has an enormous influence on the condition of your skin. A positive mindset promotes the healthy functioning of nerves and hormones, which in turn ensures good circulation and the production of natural chemicals for all parts of the body, including the skin. Achieving a positive frame of mind requires reducing stress, getting enough sleep, and balancing your nutritional and exercise habits.

By the way, when was the last time you took good care of your skin? Ever go to bed with your makeup still on, or without washing your face? Ever stay up all night, or oversleep? Do you smoke, or tend to have one drink too many at the bar? Do you spend a lot of time in rooms loaded with stale air? Expose yourself to sudden chill or heat? Neglect to wash your skin after a workout?

It's hard living in today's fast-paced society without having your skin take a beating. The trick is to eliminate "skin enemies" whenever possible, and to "train" your skin to be strong enough to withstand foes like extreme temperature and stale, smoky air, without obstructing the natural breathing of the skin.

But, first, let's get down to basics.

What is skin?

The skin is the body's largest organ. We tend to take it for granted—we scrape it, stretch it, expose it to the elements, and still expect it to hold up without much help. How vitally important is skin? Let's look at the six major functions it performs:

1. A window on the emotions

Japanese people are often considered inscrutable and poker-faced, but needless to say, given the right situation, they are as capable of expressing emotions as anyone else. Feelings are expressed by a rush of blood—to the face, when flustered or embarrassed, away from the face, when angry or afraid—and by contractions of the facial skin. Women often try to hold back a smile or other expressions, in the belief that this will stave off the wrinkling process. This is foolish and may even give your face a mask-like appearance. Natural expressiveness is an important human trait, one that distinguishes our personalities. Instead of giving up smiling, a more sensible approach is disciplining yourself to a good skin-maintenance routine. (On the other hand, you should try to avoid habitual frowning, pursing of the lips, or any other nervous tics that can etch deep lines in your face over time.)

2. Nature's armor

Skin wraps the entire body and internal organs, providing a shield against various irritations. This natural armor takes a considerable amount of punishment— it's the only thing between you and bacteria, ultraviolet rays, chemicals, vast temperature fluctuations, poisonous substances, and sudden blows to the body. Cosmetics, if used properly, act as a kind of skin-on-the-skin.

3. A thermostat

The skin does 80 percent of the job of regulating body temperature. In cold environments, the blood vessels and pores constrict to conserve heat. Subcutaneous fat—a layer of fat beneath the surface of the skin— also keeps the body warm. And when it's hot, the blood vessels expand to induce sweating and help the body shed heat. Sweat glands are generally concentrated in the palms, soles of the feet, and forehead. In addition to sweat, a minute amount of moisture—insensible perspiration—is constantly being released both from the surface of the skin and by exhaled water vapor. The water lost via insensible perspiration can amount to as much as 1.5 pints (700 milliliters) a day.

4. In with the good, out with the bad

Only certain kinds of substances can be absorbed by the skin, so understanding its role in absorbing nutrients and excreting wastes is critical to the correct application of cosmetics. Excretion is performed by two types of glands: pores, which expel oil, and sweat glands, which give off perspiration. The pores are also capable of absorbing substances, but ONLY those that are liposoluble, or non-water soluble, that is, dissolvable in fat solvents and alcohol. Note: Rubbing lemon juice on the skin or applying other water-soluble substances is a waste of time if deep-down skin health is your goal, because these liquids cannot be absorbed, and work only on the surface of the skin.

In the prime of your youth—when you're around 22 or 23—your skin has already hit middle age. Until then, your skin is preserved naturally by a film of oil and sweat. Even after washing with soap, the skin quickly produces a new filmy layer, a kind of natural skin cream. But after your early 20s, your skin can't manufacture enough moisture by itself, and has to be assisted by lotions and creams with a surface active agent, or emulsifier, which assists your skin with the absorption process.

To avoid an allergic reaction or irritation, care is required in choosing skin preparations. And if your skin is already in good shape (not too dry, not too oily), you must be especially careful not to pile on heavy creams that may disturb your skin's natural balance. The trick is to add only what is needed, leaving all the unnecessary extras where they belong—in the jar. Your goal should be to help your skin maintain its peak condition naturally, not to make it dependent on synthetic helpers.

Caring for your skin is like tending to a pair of your favorite leather shoes. With proper maintenance, they will get better with age. But expose them to the elements, neglect to clean them properly, forget to buff them once in a while, and soon that lovely, smooth pair of shoes will look like bargain-basement junk. Spare your face from a similar fate.

5. A transmitter of sensations

Skin transmits a plethora of outside stimuli, anything from heat and cold, to pain and itching, to the central nervous system. The softness of a cashmere sweater, the coolness of silk against your body— all are conveyed via the skin.

6. It breathes, too

Cutaneous respiration—when your skin "breathes"— resembles pulmonary respiration. What most of us think of as the process of breathing occurs when the lungs take in oxygen and expire carbon dioxide. Your capillaries also take in oxygen, but expel carbon dioxide in far greater proportion. This process is unique to human beings.

Five signs of ideal skin

The skin has a natural ability to guard itself against disease, recover from abrasions, produce new cells, and clear pimples and blotches. Try to avoid interfering with the skin's natural ability to cure itself, and assist it only when necessary.

There's no way to stop the natural biological process, but there are ways to keep your skin looking healthy and younger longer. To begin with, know the Five Signs of Ideal Skin:

—Supple, firm

—Glossy and lustrous, with oil and water content in perfect balance

—Free of blemishes

—Strong enough to withstand normal conditions


What's your skin type?

Knowing your skin type means being able to avoid the pain and hassle of wasted money and skin irritation. You can do a quick diagnosis yourself. (Those with especially sensitive complexions should have a more thorough analysis done by a dermatologist using a tissue sample, and should always test cosmetics on just a small patch of skin first.) Check the size of the pores and the amount of oil on your face by holding a magnifying glass over:

1. Center of the forehead

The best place to determine how fine-grained, dry, or oily your skin is.

2. Nostrils

The condition of the skin here will show whether or not you are washing your skin thoroughly. If not, this area will exhibit signs of trouble, such as blackheads.

3. Outer corners of the eyes

These tend to be quite dry, and also show early results of wear and tear, such as wrinkles or droops. The state of your skin here reveals whether or not you have a tendency toward wrinkling.

4. Under the eyes

Capillary vessels are concentrated in this area, and some people—those with allergies or users of steroids—have red and/or puffy skin here.

5. Centers of the cheeks

This is a good place to examine skin tissue to see if the pores are enlarged or blocked with dirt and oil.

6. Chin

Check the hollow under your lower lip to see how much oil your skin is secreting.

There are five basic skin types: Neutral, Oily, Dry, Combination, and Sensitive. To figure out what kind you have, check each of the areas mentioned on the previous page, and then consult the Skin Types chart below.

The basics of beautiful skin

1. Water your skin

The human body is 70 percent water; the blood, 92 percent water. Water carries nutrients to the organs, and carries wastes away. It helps regulate body temperature. When the body doesn't get enough water, it affects the heart and brain, and causes sleeplessness and constipation. The skin, of course, doesn't escape damage. Five or six glasses of water a day is the minimum you should drink, unless you are suffering from kidney ailments. Try to drink purified or mineral water.

2. Feed it essential nutrients

Protein is another essential element of skin care. Collagen and elastic fibers of the skin need amino acids, ingested both through protein-rich foods and nutrient creams. Your diet should include ample amounts of vitamins and minerals. (See Chapter 4 for a rundown of good-for-your-skin vitamins and minerals.)

3. Avoid emotional upsets

Well-functioning hormones are vital to smooth, beautiful skin. Emotion does wield some influence on the secretion of hormones, as does a woman's natural menstrual cycle. By striving to remain as calm and cheerful as possible, you can help keep your body's hormone levels in balance. Pregnancy also has a strong effect on hormone levels, with a corresponding change in skin texture. But no matter what the cause of a hormone imbalance, its effect on skin can be minimized by avoiding unnecessary stress in your life. (Note: Hormone creams can't correct a hormone imbalance, but are strictly for wrinkle control.)

4. Don't miss those important eight hours of sleep

The autonomic nervous system, divided into sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions, guides the body's organs, and is responsible for making beautiful skin. It is said that "a beautiful woman is made at night," and in a way this is so. The parasympathetic nerves operate throughout the night to regulate our body functions. For the nerves to do their important task, we need a full night's sleep, every night. This is something creams, vitamin supplements, and cosmetics can't make up for. Try to set a regular bedtime, and stick to it.

5. Wash your face every day

The basis for beautiful skin is clean skin. All of your cosmetic efforts will be for naught unless you maintain a good skin-cleansing routine, so we'll start by first giving you a regimen for removing makeup and oily dirt. Being busy is no excuse—once you get used to it, the routine takes only a few minutes a day.

A three-step cleansing routine

1. To remove makeup, massage cleansing cream into the skin, including eye area and lips, for 10 seconds. Wipe away using tissue mitt (see illustration on facing page).

2. Wash by massaging cleansing foam (preferred), or weak acidic soap into the skin for 10 seconds. Rinse thoroughly by splashing face with lukewarm water for 10 seconds.

3. Once or twice a week, apply a facial pack geared to your specific skin type for 5 to 10 minutes. The cream type is the easiest to use when taking a bath, but the jelly type is the easiest to remove.

Cleansing tips:

—Many women tend to stop at Step 1 above, but this removes only oily dirt. Steps 2 and 3 are necessary for truly beautiful skin.

—Exercise your skin by massaging in outward circles on cheeks and forehead while you cleanse. Press firmly as you circle up; lightly on the way down.

—While cotton ball fibers tend to pull off and remain on the face, and cotton pads are best suited for patting on astringent, good old facial tissue is the easiest and least expensive tool for removing makeup. Fold tissue in half to make triangle; wrap around four fingers so that point is sticking up. Then fold point down to palm to make a mitt. When mitt is covered with makeup, fold inside out and use reverse side. What it all means: A few lucky people are born with perfect complexions but 99 percent of us are not so blessed. However, developing good basic cleansing habits, proper diet, a calm, optimistic attitude, and a regular night's sleep, can make a face of difference.

Treating skin problems

Problem: Acne

The skin's small sebaceous glands secrete an oily substance called sebum, which normally keeps the skin soft, supple, and protected. But when the skin is too greasy, the glands clog with sebum and may become infected, which appears as acne. Acne may be compounded by the presence of staphylococci bacteria, which create a yellowish pus. Resist the temptation to squeeze pimples, because this risks scarring and further infection. Serious conditions require treatment by a dermatologist, who may prescribe antibiotics, or vitamin-A acid creams.

There are a host of reasons why acne is triggered. Teenaged girls, for example, often lack enough female-hormone secretions to counter the amounts of male hormone in their systems, which makes sebum secretions more active, and in turn creates acne.

Heredity also plays a large role. If your parents or siblings have acne genes, you are likely to, also, particularly given the fact you and your family live together, are exposed to the same stresses, and eat the same foods. (The probability of inheriting acne genes is 80 percent.)

Acne can be brought on by high temperature and humidity and certain foods, especially those high in acid, fat, and sugar. You can counter these irritants to a degree by avoiding acidic foods or those high in fat and sugar, especially when it's hot and humid.

Stress, constipation, and lack of rest can also induce acne. Regular elimination, a well-balanced diet, and plenty of rest are obvious remedies. Last but not least, keep your face clean. Neglecting to wash your face attracts acne-inducing bacteria.

Treatment: Wash three times a day to remove the dirt and sebum. Soap is alkaline, so after lathering your face, rinse five times with lukewarm water. Apply an astringent, which will remove excess oil (you may want to experiment with astringents of varying strengths to find the one best suited to your skin), and then use a hydrophilic (water-based) foundation rather than an oily one. Before washing your face at night with antibacterial or anti-acne soap, remove the foundation with a cleansing cream. Keep the skin as dry as possible during the day by patting occasionally with astringent and applying a face powder to soak up the oil. Be careful not to apply cosmetics on inflamed areas. These should be treated with antibiotics and special hormonal drugs prescribed by a physician.

Since proper elimination is important to the maintenance of clear skin, try to get moderate exercise every day, drink lots of water, and eat whole, fresh foods (preferably alkaline rather than acidic-based). Vitamin B6 is also helpful in clearing up acne. Take it in a B-complex form, two tablets daily.

Finally, don't treat acne symptoms alone. If you aren't getting enough sleep, a balanced diet, and exercise, you aren't treating the whole problem.

Problem: Blotches (liver & sun spots, freckles)

When your skin is young, it replaces itself about every four weeks. But as you age, this process slows, leaving the skin susceptible to permanent deposits of black pigment, or melanin. This condition can be brought on by overexposure to the sun, taking contraceptives or other drugs, or occasionally, cosmetics. A hormone imbalance, either because of pregnancy or the natural aging process, can induce blotching, as can liver-related ailments, fatigue, stress, and acne.

Treatment: Blotches can be completely removed only by laser treatment or surgery. But there are several ways to make blotches less prominent and to retard darkening.

Wash the face carefully every night to remove all trace of cosmetics. Massage blotchy areas to stimulate circulation and metabolism, and to spread pigment to prevent deposits from forming. Vitamin C helps lighten blotches, and vitamin E helps reduce blotch-inducing lipid peroxide in the blood. As mentioned earlier, vitamins can't be absorbed through the skin, so the only option is consuming either vitamin-rich foods or capsules. Take 1000 mg of vitamin C— or, even better, try to eat more raw foods like strawberries, oranges, cucumbers, and lemons, with a supplement if needed. You'll want to take about 100IU of vitamin E a day. Wear sunscreen or extra foundation to protect the skin from ultraviolet rays. Get treatment for constipation or other ailments. And relax, or you'll produce extra melanin.

Problem: Wrinkles

This problem varies greatly from individual to individual. A woman in her 20s may fret over it as much as someone twice her age; and two 55-year-old women may look as much as 30 years apart. The variables include genetic factors like race, as well as controllable factors such as stress, nutrition, and skin care.

Hormone creams and massage help to some degree, but in general, the final recourse is cosmetic surgery. The best approach is to try to slow the progress of wrinkling. It occurs when the skin becomes thin and dry, and the connective tissue weakens and loses elasticity.

Treatment: Each night, remove oily cosmetics with oily cleansing cream. Then wash the face with soap or cleansing foam, rinsing five times, to extract makeup left in the pores. Eat balanced meals, with adequate protein and vitamins. These are necessary for new tissue formation, and for preventing rough, dry skin. Remember your beauty regimen continues even as you sleep, so get to bed before midnight.

There are compelling reasons for this. Skin cell division tends to peak between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. Beauty-related hormones are secreted, and the autonomic nervous system goes on duty at night. Not getting enough sleep at night disturbs these mechanisms. So staying out until late into the night is an invitation to wrinkles.

An aside: One of the stars of the Kabuki theatre, Tamasaburo, plays feminine roles so convincingly that a small army of young women follows his every move in the hope of picking up some pointers on comportment. Tamasaburo makes it a point to get plenty of sleep, and he also abstains from alcohol, to avoid wrinkles. However, some people may find that the relaxing benefits of alcohol—in moderation—outweigh the disadvantages. But be careful to control your intake of alcohol, as well as coffee and spicy foods, which also promote wrinkling.

Supply the skin by applying nutrient creams containing amino acids, collagen, elastin placenta, or female hormone. Stimulate circulation and the sebaceous glands by massage, taking care to massage upward, not in the direction of gravity. Follow with a moisture cream or lotion to prevent drying. Use facial packs for nutrient value and to stimulate the circulation. Protect your skin from the sun. Use a humidifier in dry rooms, particularly during the colder seasons when the heating is on. (Nothing dries out the skin like very warm, moistureless rooms.) If possible, re-apply foundation during the day.

Problem: Allergies and irritation caused by cosmetics

These occur either because the user has a sensitivity to certain ingredients in the product, or because the cosmetics were used improperly—an emollient cream applied to oily skin, for example, or an astringent to dry skin. Allergic rashes can lead to blotching.

Treatment: Stop using the product immediately. Wait 48 hours. If the irritation continues, consult a dermatologist. Note: If your cosmetic reaction is an allergic one, skin will react within an hour of contact with the offending substance. But if the problem takes longer to appear, it's probably a reaction to a poor-quality product.

About suntanning

Traditionally, Japanese women have avoided the sun. One reason is that clear, pale complexions have been a mark of class and beauty since ancient times. Another reason is that Japanese skins are quite sensitive to sunburn and blotching from over-exposure. While the West has had sun worshipers since the early part of this century, it is only in the last few decades that they've appeared on Japanese beaches. The results are already becoming visible: Older Japanese ladies who grew up avoiding the sun generally have smooth, clear complexions—in fact, you'd be hard-pressed to guess their ages—while younger women who bake themselves every summer are experiencing early wrinkles and spot-pigmentation. That is, the typical leathery, blotchy skin that results from sun damage.

Suntanning is a trade-off. Besides giving you a healthy-looking color, it can help strengthen the skin, and the ultraviolet rays are a good source of vitamin D, which makes bones stronger. But there is no getting around the fact that tanning makes your skin wrinkle, and is a leading cause of skin cancer. If that concerns you, you should simply stay out of the sun, or, take precautions. Use a sunblock base cream (total sun-block), with thick foundation over it. Stay under the beach umbrella, wear a hat, and keep yourself covered. Re-apply foundation every two to three hours, checking the mirror to make sure you haven't missed any patches. Note: If you have very oily skin, use a powder-based foundation with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor); up to 30 SPF is now available.

Whether or not you want to tan, prevent burning by wiping off sweat frequently, and occasionally cooling your face with a spray of mineral water—or try the Japanese summertime solution and use a brightly colored fan to cool yourself!

If you do opt for tanning, by all means don't get sunburned. When starting a tan, stay out of the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., when the ultraviolet rays are strongest. Begin with just a few minutes of exposure from 10-11 a.m., or 4-5 p.m., before building up to longer exposures. Use suntan oil with an SPF factor of at least 4 (or more, according to your skin type) to screen out some of the ultraviolet rays.

If you do burn, for about a week afterward, do not scrub or manipulate the skin roughly, as that could complicate the damage already caused by the burn. After sunning, bathe or shower in lukewarm water, being sure to lather soap into skin with the palms, not with a rough washcloth. After bathing, massage for three minutes to get rid of dry skin. Apply moisture lotion. Use a face pack twice a week to open the pores and assist in recovery. Take ample amounts of vitamins C and E. Neglecting these steps can lead to blotches, freckles, wrinkles, and rough, dry skin. In short:

KNOW your skin—its weak and strong points.

COMPENSATE for any deficiencies with the right skin-care products.

GET HELP for acne, either at the cosmetic counter or from a competent dermatologist.

THINK DEEPER than skin—eat and sleep right.

SUNTAN SMART—and beware of the trade-offs.

Skin care products and cosmetics

Cosmetics often are mistakenly viewed as things we put on the face. The fact is, some of those cosmetics become part of the skin, if only for a while, and so should be chosen with the same care and attention to quality that you give to the food you eat or the medicine you take. Without this care and attention, cosmetics will have that put-on, heavy look. A fresh, natural look can come only from applying cosmetics and skin-care products correctly.

There are some basic Dos and Don'ts about using cosmetics:


—Leave containers uncapped

—Try to put excess contents back into the container

—Leave containers in direct sunlight

—Use too much makeup

—Use makeup you don't need

—Expect water-based cosmetics to perform nutritional or healing functions, since these cannot permeate the skin


—Look for quality when selecting oil-based cosmetics, since these can permeate deep into the skin

—Use oil-based cosmetics in modest quantities, and water-based cosmetics in more generous amounts

—Choose makeup colors according to your skin type, in the same way you select foundations and skin cleansers

—Buy cosmetics according to YOUR specific needs—whether it be healing blemishes, supplying moisture, blotting excess oil, or whatever

—Throw out old, stale cosmetics

Hunting for the right cosmetics

Before buying cosmetics, decide what you want and what you want it for. If you have skin trouble such as blotches, for instance, you'll want cosmetics that function mainly as concealer. If you suffer from acne, you'll want cosmetics that absorb oil. Read labels carefully, and ask questions at the cosmetics counter before buying.

Become familiar with your skin type and constitution. Think basics. One of the most important things you can do for your face is to find out what kind of basic cosmetics your skin needs. Ignorance can take a toll both on your skin and your pocketbook. After you pin down what kind of skin you have, you will be able to choose the cosmetics and skin-care products that work best for you.

If you have neutral skin:

Tip —Vary your cosmetics according to the seasons. Your skin needs less moisture in the warmer months, more during the colder periods.

1. Cleansing cream or cleansing foam? You can use either a cleansing cream or cleansing foam. In winter and fall, when you should be using an oily foundation, be sure to wipe it off—all of it—with cleansing cream, then wash with cleansing foam. In spring and summer, when you should switch to a water-based foundation, use only cleansing foam.

2. Massaging cream

In fall or winter use an oily type. For the rest of the year, use plenty of neutral-type cream. Massage for at least three minutes, every day.

3. Nutritious cream

When your skin feels dry, use a moisturizing (oil-based) product. In summer, if your skin feels slightly oily, use a hydrophilic vanishing cream or moisture cream.

4. Acidic lotion (astringent)

Pat on small amounts of a mildly acidic lotion.

5. Alkaline lotion

Use to soften rough skin.

6. Milky lotion/moisture lotion

A touch of milky lotion is enough. Moisture lotion is fine, too, if your skin requires it.

7. Pack

Use it according to the season. A nutritious pack guards against dryness in the colder months, and a cleansing pack once a week during spring and summer prevents dirt from accumulating.

8. Soap


If you have oily skin:

Tip —Oil control is the most important thing. Learn the techniques that help to keep the shine off your face.

1. Cleansing cream or cleansing foam?

In winter, wash with cleansing foam after wiping off any dirt with cleansing cream. In the warmer months, when your face feels sweaty or greasy, use only cleansing foam and plenty of warm water.

2. Massaging cream

You don't need to compound the oiliness with an oily cream. But olive oil—out of the bottle—is okay. If you are young and your skin secretes large amounts of oil, massage a few times a week, not every day, and be sure to wash your face thoroughly afterward.

3. Nutrient cream

If you are young and have very oily skin, skip it. After the age of 23 or so, use a tiny bit—enough to cover a fingertip—before bed. You don't need oily nutrient cream at any other time.

4. Acidic lotion (astringent)

Pat this lotion on to control oil. It also serves as an astringent, keeps skin on the slightly acid side, kills germs, and dries the skin. You should use enough to consume two bottles a month. To prevent inflammation and to sterilize, apply calamine lotion.

5. Alkaline lotion

You don't need much. Use just a bit to remove rough skin and oil.

6. Milky lotion/moisture lotion

Skip it. If personal preference dictates that you use it, stick to moisture lotion.

7. Pack

Use a powdered pack, such as an astringent pack with almond, or a kaolin (clay) pack to clean the skin and control oil.

8. Soap

If your skin tends to be especially greasy or you sweat profusely, in summer wash with soap three or four times a day. This helps to prevent pimples and rashes. Try using an anti-bacterial soap, or one made especially for oily skin.

If you have dry skin:

Tip —Nourish your skin with nutrient cream to ward off wrinkles and silken the complexion.

1. Cleansing cream

Use a rich, oily-type cleansing cream, enough to fit on your thumb up to the joint. Cleansing foam is okay, too.

2. Massaging cream

Choose a nutrient massaging cream instead of an oily one.

3. Nutrient cream

Nutrient cream is important for dry skin, since it is an important weapon in your fight against wrinkles. You have a wide range of choices here. Creams can contain an exotic array of ingredients—vitamins, squalene (a substance found in shark livers!), amino acids, collagen, placenta, female hormone, herb medicine, and other things that compensate for skin low in water and oil.

4. Acidic lotion (astringent)

Use only a small amount to kill bacteria; slightly more in summer. Choose a moisturing type especially made for dry skins, or one containing oil.

5. Alkaline lotion

When your skin feels drier than usual, use to remove rough skin.

6. Milky lotion/moisture lotion

To prevent wrinkles and drying, use either one.

7. Pack

Use a cream-type pack that nourishes, to smooth and moisturize.

8. Soap

Since your skin isn't oily, you don't need it. But if you prefer to use soap, choose one with amino acids, to prevent your skin from tightening.

If you have combination skin:

Tip —T-zones and the rest of your face weren't created equal. Treat them differently!

1. Cleansing cream or cleansing foam?

Either one is fine.

2. Massaging cream

Use only on the dry areas, like cheeks. Skip the T-zone—forehead, nose and chin—which is oily.

3. Nutritious cream

Skip oily areas, but apply cream on dry spots.

4. Acidic lotion (astringent)

Pat only on the T-zone.

5. Alkaline lotion

Use more on the dry areas, less on oily spots.

6. Milky lotion/moisture lotion

Use a touch of milky lotion on the dry parts.

7. Pack

Use a pack that is specially formulated to moisturize.

8. Soap

Choose a neutral soap with a pH (degree of acidity/ alkalinity) around 5-6.

If you have sensitive skin:

Tip —Treat your skin with kid gloves—don't massage too forcefully, choose products that are mild, mild, mild.


Cleansing cream or cleansing foam? Don't use cleansing cream. Work foam into a good lather, and wash gently. Don't rub skin hard. Rinse carefully to remove all traces of soap.

2. Massaging cream

Use only when skin is free of inflammation or other trouble. Not a necessary part of your regimen.

3. Nutritious cream

Again, not a necessary step. If you do opt for it, use just a touch of moisture cream. Avoid brands with fancy ingredients, oil, perfume, or coloring, and stick to simple, pure products.

4. Acidic lotion (astringent)

Carefully choose a mild product with low alcohol content. Even a low-alcohol brand will be astringent enough for your skin.

5. Aikaline lotion

Not necessary, but if you do use it, choose a mild one.

6. Milky lotion

Use a gentle product with a low-oil, high-water content.

7. Pack


8. Soap


3 A cosmetics primer

Cosmetics can be divided into skin-care products and makeup, or coloring. Western women, starting in their teens, tend to focus on making-up, and often don't think about caring for their complexions until it's too late. But the Japanese cosmetics market is overwhelmingly geared toward skin care. Japanese learn at a young age how to be fastidious about cleanliness, and how to keep their complexions youthful. Both for genetic reasons, and because of their excellent skin-care regimens, Japanese women tend to look 10 or 20 years younger than their Western contemporaries.

For clean, healthy skin

Broadly speaking, skin-care cosmetics exist to control oily complexions, to compensate for the lack of moisture and oil in dry skins, and to smooth rough or dry skin. A good product should:

—Clean the skin

—Protect it from bacteria, dirt, temperature extremes, and ultraviolet rays

—Promote metabolism

—Stimulate circulation

—Make the skin smooth

—Moisturize the skin

—Be absorbent

—Be safe to use

—Be free of toxic substances

—Contain few impurities

Here is a brief rundown of product types and what they do:

1. Cleansing cream. Removes oily cosmetics and makeup. Should be mild. It is made from ingredients such as vaseline, paraffin, surface active agents, and antiseptics. Note: It can't take the place of soap or cleansing foam.

2. Cleansing (washing) foam. Offers the benefits of both soap and cleansing cream. Water-based. Particularly effective if your skin is sensitive to soap, or if you're in a hurry.

3. Massage cream. Keeps skin moist while rubbing. Be careful to select a high-quality product, since it will be absorbed, and make sure it fits your skin type. Dry skin types should choose a cream that is nutritious, and formulated especially to prevent wrinkles and blotches. Oily skin types should choose a cream that is non-comedogenic, and should avoid over-massaging. (Once a week may be enough if you have very oily skin.)

4. Nutrient cream. This covers a broad range of creams with different uses: night, day, vanishing, nourishing, emollient, and moisture. All should protect the skin, smooth it, and operate like a sebaceous membrane, supplying the skin with water and oil. Most importantly, they should penetrate into the skin. Again, use only high-quality products, since nutrient cream can reach deep into the skin lining.

5. Special cream (night cream). Acts as a covering on the skin, and can also penetrate into the skin. Ingredients include vitamins and collagen. This cream is aimed at slowing the formation of wrinkles, preventing blotches and sunburn, and lightening skin; it is most effective when used before going to bed at night. Ingredients include vitamin A and B groups, vitamins C and E, collagen, elastin, chondroitin, Gamma-Orizanol, placenta extract, amino acids, female hormones, herb medicines, natural oils, and hiaruronic acid.

6. Facial pack. It takes a little extra effort to use packs, enough so that many women don't bother with them. But the effort is worth it.

Packs form a temporary barrier between skin and air when spread on the face and then washed or peeled off 5 to 10 minutes later. While on the face, a pack feeds the skin with water, oil, and nutrients, while at the same time inducing the skin to get rid of wastes. Good for deep cleansing, facial packs are also good for softening, stimulating, and bleaching the skin, and opening the pores. This enables pores to take in nutrition and get rid of wastes. Packs promote blood and lymph circulation as well.

There are four kinds of packs. All should be applied, then allowed to dry for 10 to 15 minutes, before removing:

— Jelly. Spread thinly over the face, let dry, then pull off in a sheet.

— Cream. Spread on thickly, let dry, then wash off.

— Paste. Spread thinly, dry, then wash or pull off.

— Powder. Mix with water, spread thinly, dry, then wash off. Good for oily skins because it has a drying effect.

7. Soap. The most conventional cleanser. Soap tends to be alkaline, so thorough rinsing is essential to preserving the skin's happiest state—a weak-acid pH. Today stores sell soaps that are neutral or low-acid, as well as those containing amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. Soap should be selected carefully according to skin type. Cheap soap is usually pH 8-9 (alkaline) while high-quality soaps are around pH 5-6 (acidic); pH 7 is neutral.

A good soap should:

—Be water-soluble

—Make a good lather

—Feel good

Soap should not:

—Stimulate the skin

—Leave skin feeling taut or dry

—Leave a film

8. Lotion. Differs in function according to its pH, or degree of acidity/alkalinity:

— Acidic lotion, or astringent, is good for oily or acne-prone skins. It removes excess oil, sterilizes, bleaches, and deodorizes the skin. Patting it onto the skin assists circulation.

— Alkaline lotion softens dry or rough skin. The pH of this lotion is higher than 7, and it feels slightly "slimy" to the touch, but it is especially good for dry skin types.

— Moisture lotion is good for skin that feels tight or dry. It generally contains amino acids.

— Calamine lotion and lotions containing powder are good for drying oily skin, especially in summer, since the main ingredients (zinc oxide mixed with a little ferric oxide) absorb oil.

— Emollient lotion, plus nourishing lotion, moisture lotion, skin milk, and milky lotion, tend to contain less oil and more water than creams. Excellent for younger, oily skins, these permeate deeply, so be careful to choose one that is of high quality and suited to your skin type.

Makeup: Getting it right

Makeup should:

—Have a reasonably long shelf life

—Be free of impurities, toxins, or anything that causes allergies or wrinkles

—Look as good on your face as it does in the box

—Feel good on

—Be easy to apply

—Protect the skin from ultraviolet rays

Makeup should not:

—Stimulate the skin

—Irritate the skin

Base cream. Also known as makeup cream, or pre-makeup cream, base cream is applied thinly under foundation as a kind of adhesive between skin and makeup. Be careful not to use too much, since it can make the foundation look uneven. Switch to oily-based creams in dry seasons, and water-based as needed.

Foundation. The first step to making-up, foundation lets you create a blemish-free "canvas" on which to add color. Foundations come in liquid, cream, oil, solid, stick, and powder form, and should: Even out face color, and make it healthy-looking; protect against ultraviolet rays, bacteria, and dirt.

How to use: Start by spreading a thin layer of base cream evenly over your face. (This will help the foundation spread smoothly.) After applying base cream, spot foundation on five places: forehead, cheeks, nose and chin (fig. 1).

Since your hair grows downward (including the tiny hairs on your face), don't rub face toward the hairline. Spread with a light touch from the sides of the nose outward, toward the ears; from the center of the forehead outward in all directions; from the bridge of the nose to the tip; and from the center of the chin outward in all directions. Your strokes should fan out from the center (fig. 2). Don't rub back and forth. Choose your foundation—thick, medium, or thin (that is, oily, neutral, or water-based) both according to your skin type AND the season.

Hiding blemishes

Spots, freckles, birthmarks, scars, or other discoloration can be "erased" using a special thick foundation. How to use: Spread a small amount of your regular foundation evenly all over face. Then apply a tiny bit of the special foundation to discolored areas that show through the first layer. Pat the spot with your ring finger (ensuring a lighter touch) and spread with a circular motion, radiating from the center (fig. 3). This will blend the two foundation layers so that the two shades of color will become one.

Apply a layer of powder, and voila—the blemish will be perfectly and naturally concealed (fig. 4).

To tone down a reddish complexion, blend foundation with control colors such as green or yellow.

Applying cosmetics

Foundation. Dab five spots onto face as previously indicated. Spread in an outward direction by patting with fingertips. Don't rub back and forth.

Note: To cover blemishes with foundation, place foundation on fingertips, pat blemish about five times, moving from center outward until the color is blended. Blusher. Available in liquid, powder, paste, solid, and stick form, this brings out the highlights in the face and can soften the imperfections in a face. For example, a round face looks thinner if blusher is applied (fig. 5) in vertical strokes. A long face appears less so if color is applied horizontally across the cheekbones (fig. 6).

Eye shadow. This is the most difficult area to do since, depending on the application, eye makeup can make the wearer look elegant or vampy. The aim is to carefully blend colors to play up the strong points of your eyes, not work against them. Be careful also to choose a product with ingredients geared to your skin type. Shadows come in creams, powders, sticks, and pastes.

Eyebrow pencil. Not everyone needs eyebrow makeup. If you are reasonably well-endowed, simply brushing and tweezing stray hairs is enough. Artificial eyebrows tend to make you look older, so exercise restraint. A good brow pencil should be easy to use, neither too soft nor hard, resistant to breaking, and gentle on the eyebrows.

Eyeliner. Used to correct eyes that are too big or small, slanted, or drooping. Don't overdo it, or you'll come out looking like a raccoon. Good liners should be soft and smooth, easy to remove, nonstimulating, odorless, safe, and not blurry. These come in liquids, pencils, and creams.

Tips for perfect makeup

The Base

1. Apply a clear lotion before making up. Holding cotton pad between index and middle fingers, as well as ringfinger and pinkie, stroke up and out (fig. 7).

2. For oily complexions, or in summer, pat briskly with astringent (fig. 8).

3. For wrinkle prevention, place a drop of moisture lotion on forehead, cheeks, and chin. Spread all over face using middle and ring fingers, to avoid pressing skin roughly. Those with dry skins should use "night" cream or moisture cream instead.

4. Choose a foundation that matches neck color— either beige, pink, or ochre (yellowish). Don't forget to cover behind nostrils, and to blend over the jawline into the neck.

5. Apply spot concealer by first dabbing a small amount on the blemish. Then gently pat until blended—don't leave an obvious patch of color behind (fig. 9).

6. Dust with powder, unless you have wrinkles. (The powder settles in the nooks and crannies and highlights them instead of concealing.) (See fig. 10.)

Adding color

1. Before applying eye shadow, wrap square of tissue around fingers that rest on face, to avoid smudging foundation.

2. To avoid "bent," unnatural look in lashes (fig. 11), use lash curler like this: With lashes inside curler, squeeze gently, one-two-three-four (fig. 12), while moving from base to ends of lashes (fig. 13).

3. Stroke mascara over, then under, top lashes. Then roll mascara wand across bottom lashes. Hold up eyebrows to avoid poking eyes (fig. 14).

4. If you have small eyes, use eyeliner all the way across the lid. For large eyes, line just the outer one-third (fig. 15).

5. A dark, racy blusher is for fancy occasions. A soft, gentle hue is best for casual use or work.

6. Finish makeup with pearlized highlight powder, applied lightly with a brush on forehead, nose, chin, around eyes.

Masking wrinkles

Don't give in to wrinkles without putting up a good fight. A bit of pre-makeup preparation and some makeup tricks can go a long way toward concealing, and making your appearance more youthful.

The base. Start with basic skin care before makeup. First, massage your face gently to make the skin soft and pliant (fig. 16). Before foundation, apply a cream with a high oil and Vitamin E content, and, if needed, female hormone. Apply only on wrinkle-prone areas (fig. 17). This preparation is important, because without it, your wrinkles will be emphasized rather than hidden once foundation is applied.

Avoid liquid foundations, which tend to stiffen the skin, and powders, which make the skin too matte. Use a cream type that goes on in a thin, even layer. Pat on face moving from the center outward. Think radiant. If you have combination skin—wrinkles, plus a tendency to sweat and show oil in the T-zone—pat a pearly face powder over foundation. This won't become matte, and controls oil and sweat.

Eyes. Before applying eyeshadow, color in entire area from lashes to brows with a pink or white background (fig. 18). This highlighter may also be applied under the eyes to conceal dark circles (fig. 19).

Stay away from cool colors like blue or gray—they tend to make you look unhealthy—and stick to cream, rather than powder shadow, again, to avoid emphasizing wrinkles. A light green pearly shadow is flattering and youthful. Experiment with mascara colors and ways of applying eyeliner to see which is most attractive for you.

Eyebrows. Start with brows that are shaped attractively to fit the shape of your face. For a youthful look, avoid pencil-thin brows, and don't draw the ends too high. The arch is most important, but also draw brows to fit your character. Not everyone has sharply arched or curved brows—straight lines are perfectly acceptable, provided the look is natural.

Drawing beautiful eyebrows

Tip —Use eyebrow makeup sparingly, and brush at edges of brows to soften outline. Always draw in brows using strokes that move from below upwards, not vice versa.

Most women are less than confident when it comes to trimming or drawing their eyebrows. Many have eyebrows that are too thick or thin, too close together or too distant, or too far away from the eyes. Let's spend a minute with yours. Remember after drawing, to shade off the edges using a brush—stark, sharp brows are for dolls, not people. A modern look is to have the highest part or peak of the arch at the outer corner of the eye (this will give you a young, open-eyed look).

Ten rules for shaping eyebrows

1. Follow the shape of your natural eyebrows.

2. Pencil in the desired shape before trimming or plucking.

3. Pluck along the grain (the direction that the hairs are growing in), and always pluck from underneath.

4. Trim with scissors AGAINST the grain, and only trim hairs that are longer than the rest.

5. While trimming, continue to shape with brush.

6. To avoid off-center brows, mark the arches first. The peak of the arch is on a line directly above the outer edge of the pupil of the eye.

7. For brows that can be re-styled for each occasion, shape from front of brows (section closest to nose) to arch. Cut or pluck the back half. This area can be styled to fit the occasion.

8. Brow color can be selected to match your hair, eyeglass frames, or favorite shade of clothes, but a color slightly darker than your hair often looks most flattering.

9. For better control while penciling in left eyebrow, brace elbow against the body, and position hand below the eye.

10. To avoid an older, unhealthy appearance, don't trim brow hairs too short.

And finally, don't forget to choose brow shapes that suit your face:

1. Standard. The most natural and easiest to match with any face (fig. 20).

2. Straight. Less curved; emphasizes horizontal direction, so it's good for long faces (fig. 21).

3. High point. The higher arch emphasizes vertical direction, so it's good for full-cheeked faces (fig. 22).

Other makeup hints

Charming eyes need shapely lines and lashes—a few tips

1. Oversized eyelids. Line naturally. Apply mascara so that lashes become long, but not thick.

2. "Oriental," no-fold. Use a wide line (liquid liner only), and longer lashes.

3. Small eyes. Line eyes with wide, full lines on both upper and lower lids. Add mascara to outer and lower lashes only.

4. Big eyes. Lining unnecessary, but can be applied to outer corners of eyes if desired. Add just a hint of mascara.

5. Medium-sized eyes. Draw narrow, natural lines, and add two coats of mascara on upper and lower lashes.

6. Roundish eyes. Lengthen with long, narrow lines and mascara at outer edges.

7. Narrow eyes. Open eyes with wide lines on upper and lower lids (use liquid liner). Lashes should be thick and of uniform length.

8. Drooping eyes. Lines should widen toward outer corners of eyes, and slope up slightly. Leave a little space between line and eye when lining lower lids. Lashes should be thicker on outer corners.

9. Upturned eyes. Line should start out wide and narrow as it reaches the outer corner. Leave a little space between line and eye when lining lower lids.


Women often select one on the basis of skin color, and stick with it. But try changing blushers according to the occasion.

Lip color

Middle-aged women should not use brown, wine, or light pastel colors. Go for brighter shades.


Brush highlight powder on areas you want to bring out, like forehead and cheeks.

Fighting acne

If large areas of your skin have broken out, it's best not to cover the pores with foundation until you've healed. Try to stick to lip and eye color, and perfume. If you must use foundation, apply a liquid type with a high water and powder content. In severe acne cases, apply adrenal ointment or an antibiotic ointment sparingly, and only on the affected areas. Then cover with a thin layer of foundation or translucent powder.

Eyeglasses as makeup

Eyeglasses used to have a shabby reputation. But the day of the squinty-eyed, bespectacled look is past. Nowadays, fashion-conscious young Japanese are so fond of eyeglasses, most wearers seem to buy them for sheer fun, rather than for lack of perfect vision. Some even wear frames without any lenses at all! Indeed, glasses, especially dark boxy frames, have become an essential fashion accessory for the young people of Tokyo.

Whether or not you wear glasses out of necessity, you should be as discriminating about them as you are with your makeup. Perhaps more so, since the frames will be the most prominent part of your face. Your selection should take into account not just the shape of your face, but your whole body, as well, and whether you're using them for casual or formal wear.

With the range of frames available today, glasses can be selected to fit the occasion—and to help cover flaws in a face, or play up its strong points.

First, let's assess just what your particular look is. What's your image of yourself? What kind of image would you like to project: fashionable, dressy, soft, casual? Take a look in the mirror (a full-length one, since glasses affect your entire look). Are you tall or short? Thin or chunky?

Finally, take a look at your hairstyle, makeup, and favorite clothes. What color of frames would best complement them?

For "perfect" and less than "perfect" faces

A perfectly proportioned face measures this way: The distance between the hairline to eyebrows = eyebrows to tip of nose = tip of nose to chin. The owner of this face can wear any kind of frames with ease. For the rest of us, there are frames that don't work, and ones that look great.

Frames and your face

In general, there are two kinds of faces in the world— long and round. If you have a long face you should select frames that don't make it look longer. Conversely, if your face is round, you should buy glasses that thin your face.

Good for a long face —Frames that don't play up the distance between eyes and chin. Large frames and dark colors go well. If your face is on the thin side, choose big frames that are uniformly wide or narrow all-around, but not wide on top and narrow on bottom (fig. 23).

Good for a round face —Small, thin frames, with little or no decoration, look great. Stay away from large frames. Frames that are thicker on the outer rims are flattering. Dark frames can make you look like a raccoon. Choose metal or plastic frames in pastel colors (fig. 24).

If you have a long nose —Frames with a double bridge create a strong horizontal line that shortens the nose (fig. 25).

If you have a short nose —Frames with an overarching bridge de-emphasize the nose (fig. 26).

Do the frames suit your face?

—Check your brows. The upper frame should follow the shape of the eyebrows, with the arch slightly visible above the frame. If brows float above or sink below frames, your glasses are too small.

Are your eyes far apart or close together?

—To check, first measure the length of your eye, then the distance between the pupils of both eyes. If the two measurements are unequal, then your frames can be used to draw away from that feature. Those whose eyes are set far apart should choose frames with decorative bridges. If your eyes are close together, opt for frames with striking color on the outside edges.

Is the fit right? Glasses fit if:

—They don't hurt your nose and ears

—They don't dent or touch cheeks

—They don't feel heavy. (Even thick lenses can be made in lightweight plastic.) Glasses should never weigh more than 35 grams (1.225 ounces)

—They settle properly, not listing to one side

A few hints to help you select frames: Metal frames are good for all occasions, while plastic tends to look more casual. Size considerations do not apply to sunglasses (anyone can wear large ones), nor if you find something that is you—go ahead and enjoy!

The traditional look

For round faces

Colored metal frames in a cute round shape play up your strongest features. Formal but soft, these kinds of frames can add a touch of elegance.

For long faces

Chose elegant plastic frames in a color suited to formal and everyday occasions. Decorations at sides of frames add interest and width.

The casual look

For round faces

Plastic frames with a sharp, fox-eyed shape, and gray-to-clear shading are large but flattering to round faces, because of their color.

For long faces

Plastic frames with a strong horizontal line shorten the face. Large frames with a dynamic shape and double bridge can also soften an otherwise hard look. Avoid aviator-style frames—they lengthen the face.

The fashionable look

For round faces

Brimless frames add up to a smart look, and an unexpectedly high bridge slims the face. Lenses tinted in grades of pink and purple make for glasses so interesting even people with perfect vision will want them as accessories.

For long faces

A "Boston" shape in plastic, candy-cane striped in coffee and ivory, makes for a sporty as well as a fashionable look. Lenses that are wider-on-top shorten a long face.

Makeup and eyeglasses

Eyeglasses, left alone, can accentuate flaws. But selected carefully and combined with skillful makeup, they can hide or distract from weak points.

Some common facial flaws:

1. Eyes that are too narrow. Narrow-eyed women should line eyes clearly. Select frames that are large but feminine.

2. Eyes that are too far apart. Create the illusion that eyes are closer together by applying shadow to inside corners of eyelids. Choose frames with a double bridge to draw attention to the center of the face. (For eyes that are too close together, shadow the outer corners of eyelids.)

3. Round, "wide" faces. Apply a touch of blusher high on the cheeks in sharp vertical strokes, with a brownish shade on the cheekbones. Distance from top to bottom of frames should be on the short side.

4. Long, narrow faces. Apply blusher in gradations to lower cheeks in horizontal strokes, with a touch of blusher or a heavy coat of foundation to make a pointed chin look less so. Distance from top to bottom of the frames should be on the long side.

Contact lenses: Eye makeup without tears

Substituting contact lenses for glasses can make you look more youthful, but many women think wearing them means giving up eyeshadow, mascara, and liner. They think it will be painful, or that it will become messy when lenses slip out of place and eyes begin tearing. But having the convenience of contact lenses doesn't have to mean renouncing eye makeup. Here are some tear-free tricks.

1. To make sure lenses are in place, first, relax! You're doing things the rightway, so there's no reason for it to hurt.

2. Shadow. Close eye, then using the ring finger, push up skin just below brow. This ensures lid is out of the way of the lens. Open eye halfway—opening fully prompts tearing— and apply cream base eye shadow with downward strokes. Open eyes a bit more when applying main color, and use a brush.

3. Mascara. This takes a bit of practice. It has to be applied quickly, or the lens (not to mention your eyes) will dry. You'll improve your chances of success if you find a place that isn't too dry, is free of drafts, and away from an air conditioner. Use a waterproof mascara so that makeup doesn't dissolve with tearing. Curling the lashes first will make it easier to apply mascara, since the wand will be away from the eyes.

4. Liner. Brush on a liquid liner—lining with a hard pencil can move the lens—and make sure the product does not contain ingredients harmful to lenses. A hypo-allergenic liner may be less irritating to contact wearers.

5. At the end of the day, remove lenses first, then clean off makeup slowly and carefully.

Removing unwanted facial hair

While American women are obsessed with removing leg hair, Japanese women somehow find hirsute legs natural. But they are equally obsessed with facial hair. Hair in the mustache and "sideburns" areas is shaved to keep the skin smooth and shadow-free.

If your hair is darker than your skin, you may have noticed it is prominent on your face in pictures. If you think your appearance would be enhanced by removing it, there are several options: using a bleaching agent to lighten it; waxing, which leaves a smooth surface; removal by electrolysis, where a small current is applied via a needle to zap hairs at the roots; and shaving. The latter is the method most favored in Japan, probably because it is cheapest, easiest, and has been around the longest. Women use a special straight razor, rather than the kind used by men to shave their beards. On the plus side, shaving (once a week, mind you, not daily, as men do) leaves skin smooth and makeup goes on more easily. The overall look is a more refined appearance. If you do shave, make sure to apply a mild astringent after shaving (just like the men do!), and a moisture lotion as well if your skin is dry or easily irritated. Note: If your skin is acne-prone, shaving may irritate it further, so it is not advisable to shave too often.

4 One-step Beauty Secrets

Up until now we've focused almost entirely on facial care. But of course it makes little sense to fuss over the face when you've ignored what's underneath. In this chapter, we'd like to give you a quick set of tips for body maintenance and total beauty.

Hormones and your body

First, a brief outline of what hormones do for you.

Hormones are vital to great skin. They are produced in one of the organs—such as the pituitary or adrenal glands—and carried by the bloodstream to control or trigger the activities of many of the internal organs, thereby ensuring that your system works smoothly. The system operates in a very delicate balance. A minute amount of hormone secreted at the wrong time—or not secreted at all—can cause severe illness. There is a vast difference between how vitamins and hormones are introduced into the body. Hormones are produced internally by our bodies (though there are now synthetic versions available), but vitamins have to be ingested via our food.

Female hormones

Estrogen. This is the most important hormone for beautiful skin, since it suppresses the secretion of male hormone, controls secretion of subcutaneous matter, promotes growth of mind and body, and improves circulation and metabolism. Estrogen assists in keeping skin fresh and healthy. Progesterone. This is the hormone involved in preparing the body for pregnancy, getting the uterus ready for the fertilized egg, and the mammary glands for milk production. Progesterone in turn produces pregnenolone, which is sometimes added to facial or eye creams as a skin enhancer.

Testosterone or "Male" hormone

"Male" hormone is actually found in both sexes, though obviously in smaller quantities in women. It promotes the secretion of sebaceous matter, and the growth of body hair.

Pituitary hormones

These hormones influence and control the other endocrine glands, promote the growth of the sex glands, help control the reproductive cycle, promote the periodic sexual excitement known as estrus, promote hair growth, and generally control the autonomic nervous system. They also stimulate the production of melanin and modify contractions of smooth muscles.

Renal gland hormone

Adrenocortical. This stimulates the parasympathetic nerve, controls circulation, removes spots, cures rashes, and stimulates mineral, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism.

Adrenal marrow. This stimulates the sympathetic nerve, stabilizes blood pressure, extends the capillary vessel system, and contracts the conjunctiva vessels, which helps to make our eyes look clear and healthy.

Thyroid gland hormone

Promotes metabolism and produces fresh, smooth, and lovely skin.

Salivary gland hormone

Prevents wrinkles, increases freshness of skin.

A vitamin rundown

Vitamins play an important role in our bodies. They help in the metabolism of nutritive substances taken from food, and promote the absorption of nourishment and cell division. This, in turn, has a great influence on our general health, and on the skin's appearance. (As the body's largest organ, the skin is one of the first to show telltale signs of ill health or malnutrition.)

If you want to look beautiful, you must nourish your skin from within first, and the best way to do that is by getting adequate amounts of all the essential vitamins for beauty care: A, the B group, C, and E.

Vitamins are divided into fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins, especially A, D, and E, can be stored—and for that reason, are toxic if over-consumed. Water-soluble vitamins—B and C—may be destroyed by heat, air, and light. They tend not to be stored and so must be replenished daily.


Vitamin A

Vitamin E


Vitamin Bi

Vitamin B2

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B6

Pantothenic acid

Vitamin B12

Vitamin C

Vitamin A. Provides all-around nutrition for the eyes, helps keep the skin fresh and moist. It protects the skin's outer layer, and makes mucous membranes throughout the body resistant to bacteria and infection. Symptoms of an A deficiency include weak hair (falling hair, split ends), rough skin, acne, and eye fatigue. Those who overdiet risk becoming deficient in A; but ingesting too much vitamin A can contribute to overweight, and large doses are toxic. Make sure you're getting at least 0.2-0.3 mg. a day.

Good sources: Liver, fish-liver oil, butter, cheese, egg yolks, eel, sea urchin, spinach, carrots, seaweed, whole milk, fortified margarine, and dark green, yellow, and orange vegetables.

Vitamin B group. Helps body absorb nutrition and promote metabolism. Symptoms of B deficiency include fatigue, numbness, irritation, digestive problems. Vitamin B helps make skin smooth, prevents oversecretion of sebaceous glands, strengthens skin, eyes, and mucous membranes, relieves fatigue, prevents oily skin and acne, and has a calming effect both on the digestive system and mind. It is vital for metabolizing protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Those who indulge in alcoholic beverages frequently, in particular, should take extra B group to metabolize the carbohydrates. Consult with your doctor as to dosages if you have a particular problem, but a safe supplement is about 25 mg. a day.

Good sources: Yeast, milk, liver, egg, tomatoes, spinach, ham, sausage, eel, codfish eggs, poultry, green vegetables, fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms, peas and beans, nuts and seeds, and whole grains and cereals. (Brown rice is an especially good source of B vitamins.)

Vitamin C. Essential for collagen, the protein that "cements" cells together, vitamin C helps in absorbing or retaining other vitamins and iron. It also helps in calcium absorption, which in turn strengthens bones, helps the body resist sunburn, and reduces pigmentation. Vitamin C promotes the activity of female hormones, thereby helping the body to resist blemishes and wrinkles. Nobel prizewinner Dr. Linus Pauling has spent many years demonstrating the effectiveness of vitamin C as a flu-virus suppressant and as a natural catalyst for interferon production, which protects the body from cancer.

You should increase your intake of vitamin C if you:

—smoke (add extra 500 mg/day)

—are under stress, or suffer insomnia (add 100 mg/ day)

—have poor circulation (add 500 mg/day)

—are exposed to prolonged sunshine (add 500 mg/ day)

A daily dosage of at least 250 mg. is recommended. Good sources: citrus fruits, strawberries, green peppers, spinach, broccoli, and tomatoes.

Vitamin E. Promotes circulation, reduces blood cholesterol, prevents high blood pressure, promotes healing of acne, prevents aging, promotes metabolism, prevents chronic disease, and controls production of lipid peroxide, which causes blemishes. Regular dosage: 10 mg/day; 300 mg/day will help to clear blemishes.

Good sources: Legumes, vegetable oils, egg yolks, wheat and rice germ.

Skin workout: Japanese massage

Your facial muscles need a workout as much as your body needs exercise. In both cases, exercise slows the aging process. On your face, massage helps reduce wrinkles, blemishes, and puffiness, and so helps keep you young-looking. It is especially useful for the woman whose face has a tendency to plump up, since massage prevents fat deposits from settling by "exercising" the facial tissues.

But massage the right way, or you'll do more harm than good. Massage upwards and outwards, always using a strong upward stroke and light downward stroke. The time to massage is when wrinkles appear on corners of eyes and between the eyebrows, to help minimize those creases. Massage every night using liberal amounts of good-quality massage cream. Afterward, wipe face with tissue and wash thoroughly.

Where's the point? Tsubo and Shiatsu

Shiatsu (finger pressure), or traditional Japanese massage, works by stimulating tsubo, or points in the body that regulate the flow of energy. The role of Shiatsu is to encourage the body to heal itself, and it has proven especially effective in curing diseases related to stress, as well as muscle and functional disorders.

In Japan, where excellent service is taken for granted, Shiatsu is provided as a matter of course at barbershops and beauty salons. One of the things foreign residents miss most when they return home from Japan is that invigorating massage, which usually starts with the scalp after the hair is washed and wet, and then moves around the temples, and even includes a workout on those stiff shoulder and neck muscles. The massage alone is worth at least as much as the price of the haircut, but never costs extra.

Shiatsu can be especially useful in reducing wrinkles before they deepen. Use Shiatsu on your face when it is clear of makeup, but before washing. The areas that will benefit most are around the eyes, between eyebrows, forehead, around the mouth, and the sides of the nose.

Shiatsu can be done lying in bed, leaning back in a chair and looking up, or lying in the tub with your neck against the rim. The following techniques do not require cream or oil, and once you get used to them, take just a few minutes a day. Anyone over the age of 25 can benefit from these.

Eye area. Place ringfingers underneath brows, and press gently for a count of three. Move fingers away from each other, and press again for three counts. Repeat, moving between eyes and brows until you reach temples.

"Thinker's wrinkles." Caused by straining to see because of poor eyesight, or from knitting brows as in thought. As soon as wrinkles appear, massage with ring and middle fingers of both hands, circling up and out, pressing hard on the upstroke, softly on the way down.

Mouth area. Begin under the wings of the nose; using ring and middle fingers, massage outward in a circular motion. Repeat, beginning from the corners of the mouth.

Around nose. Place ring and middle fingers on either side of nostrils and circle out, pressing lightly and staying just below cheek bones.

Expressive wrinkles. Appear if you frequently move eyebrows upward, open eyes wide, or look up while speaking. Use ring and middlefingers, circling up and out from center of forehead.

Massage is part of your war on wrinkles—a war that should be fought long and hard. Unlike the so-called Swedish massage, Japanese Shiatsu tends to be sharper and more intense, but with greater overall benefits. Like other massage, Shiatsu leaves the body with a feeling of well-being, and is an excellent way to make yourself relax.

The Maeda special homemade tofu facial pack

Westerners have devised all kinds of ingenious recipes using that old Japanese staple, tofu (soybean curd). But even few Japanese are aware that tofu, applied to the skin, is a mild and inexpensive way to smooth and help reduce wrinkles and blemishes. One block of 130 grams (4.5 ounces) contains almost 9 grams protein, plus calcium, iron, vitamins Bl and B2, niacin, and plant oil. Tofu's oil and sugar content are good for skin, and best of all, tofu has no stimulative effect on the skin. To blend your own facial pack at home, take one-fourth of a block—about 30 grams (1 ounce)—and combine with either three tablespoons of wheat flour or half an egg yolk and four tablespoons wheat flour, adjusting flour for thickness. Wheat flour helps make the pack soft, able to stick to the skin, and is mild, with a "calming" effect on the skin. Egg yolk contains lecithin and vitamin A, both good for wrinkles.

The pack will go on unevenly, and dry in about 10 minutes. Wash off with warm water. You'll be surprised at the results!

Grooming hands and feet

We sometimes see women who evidently have labored over their faces and hair, but give away their real ages because they have neglected their hands. Hand and foot care should be an essential element in your beauty regimen. After bathing, apply body lotion, massaging it in from the nails to the wrists, and toes to thighs (use any leftover cream on the elbows!). Keep hand lotion, body lotion, and moisture cream handy so that skin never has a chance to dry out. Invest in a consultation with a nail specialist. A pro should be able to advise you, based on the shape of your hands, fingers, and nails, about how to groom them in the most flattering way. Ask about the condition of your nails. If they break easily, it's a sign of protein deficiency.

Are you eating—and digesting—right?

It's no revelation that ample sleep, a good diet, and regular elimination are essential to beauty care. In fact, constipation is a prime cause of skin flare-ups. To ensure your "plumbing" is in working order, make sure you:

1. Exercise, especially abdominal and back muscles.

2. Get enough vitamin A, B2, and minerals.

3. Eat high-fiber vegetables.

4. Have a routine—eat a healthy, well-balanced breakfast, with regular elimination afterward.

5. Avoid stress.

6. Drink plenty of water.

7. Drink milk or tomato juice each morning.

8. Massage the belly with a circular motion while in the bath.

Dietary fiber: How to check on yourself

The many benefits of fiber, or roughage, in our diets have been well established. For those who are trying to lose weight, fiber increases volume, gives a feeling of fullness, and takes longer to chew, without adding calories. Fibrous foods leach slowly into the bloodstream, providing a steady flow of energy for long periods of time. And the roughage helps protect and clean the digestive tract. Speaking of beauty—there is no understating the importance of regular elimination in order to properly cleanse the body and maintain a healthy intestinal tract. If you suffer frequently from constipation, consult a physician. If you do take a laxative on your own, make sure it's a mild one, so that it will stimulate, rather than take over, the body's natural function.

How can you make sure you're eating the right foods and getting enough fiber? There is a simple, practical method. I often ask my clients if they check their stools every day. The usual reply is, "I wouldn't dream of it!" But actually, this is an excellent way to monitor your health and general day-to-day condition. Which is why mothers check their children's stools to make sure they are well and getting the right nutrition.

After the body ingests the nutrients it needs from food, the rest is excreted as waste, and this is a good barometer of digestion. About 15 percent of the food you eat will become waste the body excretes.

So what are you supposed to look for? The key point is whether the stools are watery and light enough to float, or whether they are small in volume and heavy enough to sink.

Stools that float indicate you are getting enough water-soluble fiber, which is found in foods like fruits, beans, and vegetables. Fiber is not a nutrient, but is believed useful in preventing diseases such as cancer of the large intestine or age-related illness, and obesity. Among communities such as those in Africa, where no processed foods are available and food is eaten unrefined, appendicitis and diverticulitis are almost unheard of. One theory is that while fiber speeds the way for digestion to take place, it also dilutes toxins and hurries them through the digestive tract—thus decreasing the chances of cancer.

If your diet is low in fiber, your stools will be hard and heavy. A high-fat, low-fiber diet will produce small, heavy stools; high-fiber, low-oil foods will result in larger, softer stools. (Note: If you have diarrhea, soluble fiber—found in many fruits—which absorbs water, is needed to thicken the stool.)

Japanese foods tend to be low in oil and high in fiber, so they are excellent choices for a balanced diet. Just 300 grams (10.5 ounces) of vegetables, on average, produces 10 grams (0.35 ounces) of dietary fiber. Green peas, which are a prime source, contain 18.6 grams of fiber per 300 grams. Try to eat 10 grams of peas a day. Some other examples:

3.5 ounces of yields

pumpkin 1.9 grams of dietary fiber

broccoli 1.4 grams

spinach 1.3 grams

carrot 1.2 grams

green pepper 1.1 grams

lettuce 1.0 gram

tomato 0.9 grams

celery 0.7 grams

cucumber 0.6 grams

Shampoo sabotage

Is your shampoo harming your skin? Shampoo contains stronger ingredients than soap, and of course is not meant to be used on the face. Make sure you rinse your face off well after shampooing to get rid of residues, which can cause allergic reactions or lead to dry skin and wrinkles. Certain skins can suffer redness and swelling if they come into contact with shampoo. A shampoo with extra amino acid may solve the problem.

Sleeping beauty

There are some good reasons for sleeping on the floor, Japanese-style—the firm back support provided by a tatami straw mat floor, the clean feeling of futon bedding, which is draped on poles and aired outside daily, and the tiny soba-gara (pellet-filled) pillows. They are a far cry from your beloved goosedown pillow, but they are more sanitary, since the small hard pillow permits air to circulate.

But a firm bed mattress should accomplish the same thing as a straw-mat floor. Once you've got a firm place to sleep, the important question is, how do you sleep? If you want to prevent wrinkles, the best position is flat on your back, looking at the ceiling. Consider the consequences of spending eight hours prone on your stomach with your face mashed into a bed—helped by the forces of gravity, you hasten vertical wrinkling under your eyes, sides of the nose, cheek, and mouth. Lying on your side is just as wrinkle-promoting, since it helps create creases between the eyebrows, forehead, cheeks, around eyes, and allover the side of the face. In addition, habitually lying on one side, and perspiring, induces acne. Note: To fall asleep easily, take a bath just before retiring, or have some wine, a bit of brandy, or warm milk. Avoid tea or coffee, and do not eat for at least two hours before you go to sleep.

Silk underwear-try it!

Common wisdom holds that cotton underwear is the most sanitary, but silk has a lot going for it, too. Silk allows air to circulate, wicks out moisture, resists odor, is cool in summer and warm in winter. It's lightweight, comfortable, easy to clean and dry. It feels luxurious-and it is!- but consider it also a practical investment.

Coffee and cigarettes

Many people can't seem to make it through a day without coffee and cigarettes on the desk. But both are about the worst enemies a complexion could have. More than five cups of coffee a day makes the skin rough, not to mention the havoc it wreaks in your stomach. A heavy smoker is distinguishable by "fishskin" that is coarse and dry. Smoking consumes vitamin C (one cigarette uses up 25 mg. of vitamin C), which is necessary for healthy skin, and induces wrinkles by interfering with the skin's metabolism and the transfer of oxygen to cells. If you care about your skin, quit smoking and try to keep your caffeine intake to a cup a day.

Eating for health and beauty

Ten commandments

1. Try to eat at the same time every day

2. Eat three meals a day: Large breakfast, mediumsized lunch, and small dinner. Skipping breakfast and making up for it in the evening will cause you many digestion and weight problems.

3. Try not to abruptly reduce or increase the amount you eat.

4. Don't eat or drink too much—it's bad for the digestion, and the skin.

5. Aim for 30 different kinds of foods a day, in small quantities, to achieve a nutritional balance.

6. Try to get a balance of meat, fish, and non-meat proteins (beans, tofu, pasta, etc.).

7. A green salad is not a main dish, even if you're dieting.

8. To ensure regular elimination and circulation, eat vegetables high in fiber, and try to include liver and bluefish each week.

9. Eat seaweed, mushrooms, and small fish (such as sardines), all of which are rich in minerals, iron, and calcium.

10. Chart what you eat over three days, to assess nutritional value and volume.

For beauty's sake, make love in the morning

Tradition and custom has dictated that lovemaking take place at night, after the date, or after work, when nighttime releases our inhibitions, makes us more sexy and exciting (or covers our flaws!). And I fully endorse the idea that when the urge hits, you should act on it.

But there are good reasons for saving romance for the morning, preferably the weekend, when we don't have to rush off to work. Good skin care needs a relaxed sleep in the evening, after a slow bath has washed away the dirt and fatigue of the day. The time from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. is when skin cells are produced most actively, and beauty-related hormones are secreted. Night is when the autonomic nervous system goes to work. Nighttime lovemaking can deprive us of this important period we need to prevent wrinkles and blemishes.

There is nothing worse for your face than staying up late at night, every night. As your mother always said, women need their beauty sleep. Learn to wake up to the joys of morning romance. What better way to begin the day!

On-the-job beauty maintenance

If you work in an office, or anywhere outside the home for that matter, you face some special beauty challenges. Here are some tips for keeping your best face forward, and your body well-cared for. (In general, you should relax your skin by going without makeup at least once a week. And no matter how late you get home, wash your face.)

If you work in an office —Apply moisture lotion as needed to counteract the effects of air conditioning or heating. If you're going out after work, take a few minutes first to cleanse your face, moisturize it, and apply new foundation. Keep a few bottles of cleanser and lotion in your bag.

If you work outdoors —Apply a light, oil-based foundation to protect skin from ultraviolet rays and wind. Use just a hint of blusher. During the day, apply hand-cream and astringent over makeup, as needed. Beware of sunburn on face as well as arms and any other exposed areas.

When you fly —Apply moisture lotion even over makeup, since cabin air tends to be cool and dry— and tough on skin. Try to drink several glasses of water during the flight to prevent dehydration. Japanese, whether they're traveling via train or plane, are famous for knowing how to make themselves at home. No sooner has the plane left the ground than the shoes come off, to be replaced with slippers (now provided on many Western carriers as well as Japanese ones). If the flight is long, get out of your seat occasionally to stretch or stroll, and try the Japanese trick of removing your shoes to get comfortable and to prevent your feet from swelling. Refresh before landing by brushing your teeth, adjusting makeup, smoothing hair. Try ordering a vegetarian meal instead of the standard fare—a heavy meal feels heavy when you are inactive for a prolonged period of time. The ingredients in the vegetarian meal tend to be fresher, higher in dietary fiber, lower in sugar and fat. Pass up the alcoholic drinks- pressurized cabins compound the harmful effects of intoxication.

If you spend a lot of time on your feet- On rest breaks, do stretching exercises and massage feet to help tired legs and back recover. As soon as you get home, take off your shoes and put up your feet for a few minutes to reduce swelling, then soak feet and legs in cold water, or rub a moist towel from ankles to calves.

5 The Sublime Ritual of Bathing

"Bathing once, the visitor was made fair of face and figure; bathing twice, all diseases were healed; its effectiveness has been obvious since of old."

—Izumo regional chronicles, 733 A.D.

Naked acquaintances

Five a.m. finds a historic downtown section of Tokyo chilly, dark, and deserted. But within an elegant old two-story building, six men are stripping down for a daily ritual they have performed for 30 years.

While most of the city sleeps, the Early Morning Bathing Club comes to order, in a room with a high ceiling and white-tiled walls lined with spigots and mirrors. The members range from a rotund middle-aged taxi driver to a couple of stooped retirees in their seventies. Each sits on a small stool, to scrub with gusto at the grime accumulated from the previous day. Only when he is thoroughly clean, does each member immerse himself with a contented sigh into the bath, kept at a scalding 107.6 degrees F (42 C). After an hour of repeated scrubbing, soaking and rinsing, the members quickly dress and leave for work.

The neighborhood bathhouse, which has existed in Japan for 400 years, has such a fraternal, pub-like atmosphere that the Japanese refer to their closest friends as hadaka no tsukiai, or naked acquaintances. The deep fondness here for bathing was expressed in a 1960s pop hit called //' Yu Da Na (What a Great Bath)!

Nearly 90 percent of the adults in Japan take a bath at least every other day. Bathhouses, some of them quite luxurious, still have a strong following, but most people tend to pass them up nowadays to bathe at home. Yet as public baths fade in popularity, onsen, Japanese hot springs or spas, are booming. One popular TV program hosted by a burly, crewcut, exsumo wrestler focused solely on the joys of bathing in spring waters, and featured a different onsen every week. (The ex-sumo's reporting involved surrounding himself with a complement of lovelies who giggled as he hefted his