Japan holds a formidable reputation in the beauty industry. Per capita, Japanese women are the number one spenders on beauty in the world — skin care being the most in-demand category. With a focus on preventive care, they often swear by a multi-product regimen sure to include the all-important step of exfoliation. But, in the spas and on shelves, facial scrubs are scarce, and there is nary a microderm treatment in sight. Huh?
Elana Jade, expat beauty therapist and owner of the Elana Jade Spa in the tony Azabu Juban area of Tokyo, explains that, “Japanese skin tends to be sensitive, so harsher exfoliation techniques like microderm may cause sensitive skin to react.”
So, unlike in America, where morning scrubs and gritty facial polishes run rampant, chemical exfoliants are much more popular. They come in the form of peeling gels, creams, and powders, which reign supreme in day spas, department stores, and even on drugstore shelves.
“I believe that it’s important to exfoliate the skin in a safe, non-invasive way,” says Jade. “This is why our treatments contain either a granule exfoliant that is cream-based, or an organic peel made from flower extract.”
Here are six of Japan’s top skin sloughers (and one bizarro find just begging to be tested).