You’ve probably never thought the answer to beautiful skin was eyeing you from across the bar. You might be familiar with sake from sushi nights and sake bombing, but we’re guessing rice wine hasn’t quite found its way into your bathroom vanity – yet.
Although sake is best known as the national alcoholic beverage of Japan, it also has a long history in skincare and beauty. Sake aka “Nihonshu” production is estimated to have begun around 300 AD. Over the years, sake caught the attention of Japanese scientists as a potent skincare ingredient. They found that Toji, the master brewers of sake, retained smooth, baby-soft hands way into their old age, since they so frequently submerged their hands in fermented rice during the brewing process. This turn-back-time effect is partially attributed to koji, a cultured grain that helps to ferment the rice. Fermentation alters the molecular structure and increases the nutritional value of food, making it significantly higher in vitamins, enzymes, peptides, and probiotics than if it wasn’t fermented.
But it didn’t take the Japanese long to catch on to the beautifying properties of sake. Well before modern science, even the geisha used sake as a lotion to plump, soften, brighten and hydrate the skin. Let’s take a look at what makes sake an attractive multi-tasking skin savior.
How can sake help your skin?
Sake contains kojic acid, which brightens the skin by inhibiting melanin production. Kojic acid is a gentle yet effective bihaku ingredient, and can help to correct discoloration, hyperpigmentation, sun damage, age spots, acne scars, and even out skin tone and texture.
2. Acne Prevention
Sake not only helps lighten acne scars, but it works to stop acne in its tracks before a breakout. As a natural astringent, sake helps to control sebum production, tighten the skin and minimize the appearance of pores.
Sake is included in many beauty products in Japan due to its high amino acid and glycerol content. You would think that as an alcohol, sake might dry out your skin, but on the contrary, amino acids such as glutamic acid help to retain moisture and prevent it from evaporating from your skin. No wonder the geisha used to soak their entire bodies in sake-filled baths! For an at-home spa treatment, we recommend using the Clear Turn Beautiful Skin Artisan Japanese Sake Moisturizing Mask to hydrate and moisturize the skin.
The Clear Turn Beautiful Skin Artisan Japanese Sake Moisturizing Mask is formulated with sake and natural Japanese hot spring water, to hydrate and moisturize the skin. This mask is a soft hand-made material similar to traditional Japanese washi paper.
Sake is rich in enzymes that gently exfoliate the top layer of the skin, without stripping the skin of moisture. The high concentration of amino acids and saccharides also help to smoothen out uneven skin texture, maintain elasticity and replenish the skin of nutrients. For an easy way to smooth out the texture of your skin while cleansing your face, try the Hakutsuru Handmade Daiginjo Facial Cleansing Soap.
Hakutsuru Handmade Daiginjo Facial Cleansing Soap is made with pure rice Daiginjo sake. The dipotassium glycyrrhizinate gently cleanses the skin and helps prevent breakouts and dry skin. This soap helps protect the natural moisture of the skin while smoothing the skin’s texture.
Apart from the amino acids that also triple as anti-aging heroes, sake also contains ferulic acid, an antioxidant that acts as a UV light absorber and helps to shield the skin from sun damage. By neutralizing free-radical damage, ferulic acid can aid in reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and spots. If you're looking for a cleanser that helps with anti-aging, we recommend Mutenka Sekken Kobe Sake Cold Process Soap.
Handmade by artisans in Hyogo, Japan, this handcrafted soap is made of Japanese sake extracts derived from rice to help soothe and moisturize the skin for a more radiant complexion. Japanese sake is rich in anti-aging amino acids and helps to hydrate and brighten the skin.
The skincare benefits of sake are pretty incredible, with the rice wine bringing something to the table for everyone, no matter skin type or concern. So slather it on, raise a glass, and kanpai to your skin’s happiest hour!