Many people think the terms “Preventative” and “Anti-aging” mean the same thing; in fact, they are two very different concepts as far as skincare goes. Many women of a certain age—myself included—spent our teens, twenties, and thirties sleeping in our makeup, fluffing off sunscreen, staying up too late, and eating too many processed foods and too few healthy ones.
Then the day comes when we find ourselves in a brightly-lit room with a mirror and are horrified to see the beginnings of tiny lines. Immediately we head to the department store, loading up with every skincare product that has “anti-aging” in the title. The goal, of course, is to undo all the damage we have so carelessly done to our skin over the course of a couple of decades.
Japanese Women Start Preventative Skincare Early
If you’ve ever wondered what Japanese women know about skincare that American women don’t—and they must, because they have the most beautiful, luminous skin—the term “preventative” pretty much covers it. Japanese women start preventative skincare at a young age. They are much more vigilant about always removing makeup and always wearing sunscreen than women from virtually any other country.
Japanese Women Never Rub Their Face!
Additionally, Japanese women use exceptionally nourishing skincare products and make a point of never, ever rubbing their face. Japanese women have made “patting” the face or gently pressing the product into the face an art. After washing their face, they gently pat it dry. When applying lotions, serums, or creams, they always gently pat the product or press the product into the skin, rather than slathering it on, then rubbing to make sure it gets “into” the skin. Japanese skincare experts believe that even gently patting may cause a certain amount of friction to the skin. They recommend warming the product in the hands, then gently “pressing” it into the facial skin.
Beautiful Skin Begins on the Inside, and Skincare Routines Start Early
Japanese women also know that beautiful skin starts on the inside. They are much more likely to eat natural, healthy foods, get lots of healthy exercise, and keep their skin covered up when the sun is shining.
Skincare starts early, with Japanese teens having a morning and evening skincare routine that generally consists of a cleanser to remove makeup, a gentle, foamy face wash, an essence toner (different from the harsh astringent used in the U.S.), an emulsion to maintain a good balance of essential oils, and a cream to seal in the moisture and protect their skin.
This routine is strictly adhered to throughout the twenties, thirties, and forties. Then, once age inevitably brings lines to the face, the routine changes from preventative to anti-aging. In the end, what you need to remember is that anti-aging products simply cannot counteract the damaging choices we make when we are younger.
Preventative Measures are Crucial for Beautiful Skin
Perhaps you’ve heard the old adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is especially true where skincare is concerned. Slathering on anti-aging products simply can’t reverse years of smoking, tanning, getting too little sleep, and eating an unhealthy diet. The more you take care of your skin—both inside and out—the more it will show on your face, and the longer you will be able to get by without anti-aging products. In fact, leading a healthy lifestyle is even better than good genes when talking about your skin.
Preventative Skincare or Anti-Aging?
I tested two skincare lines from The JBeauty Collection - the first, Kitao Matcha - is considered a preventative skincare line, while the second, La Vie Précieuse, is an anti-aging line. Keeping in mind that I, like many of my American counterparts, did very little preventative maintenance on my skin in my earlier years, these are my conclusions! I used the Kitao Matcha line for the first week, then changed over to the La Vie Précieuse line.
The Kitao Matcha skincare line is made with ECOCERT certified organic matcha, harvested in a small town in southern Kyoto, Japan. Matcha contains polyphenols and Vitamin C, and the products also contain chia seeds, quinoa, and acai. I love that these products contain natural ingredients and no harsh chemicals.
I started with the Matcha + Chia Cleansing Cream. It removed my makeup easily, leaving my face very soft and smooth. I loved the sweet matcha smell of this cleansing cream, as well as the fact that when you add a little water, it turns into a soothing cleansing milk.
I then used the Matcha + Chia Enzyme Powder. Because I am used to the more granular exfoliating scrubs, I was really prepared not to like this light powder that, when mixed with water, transforms into a foam that to my surprise, left my face feeling absolutely heavenly.
Next, I patted on the Matcha + Chia Essence Toner. This is nothing like the astringent toners we have come to expect from American toners. It is an extremely light lotion-like product that promises to “soften and rehydrate the top layer of dry skin cells.” After using the essence toner, my skin was silky-soft, not the least bit tight and dry. I have to say, my skin felt so good at this point, I could have actually stopped right there.
The papaya extract in the enzyme powder claims to “brighten and refine,” and it did that and more. I finished off with the Matcha + Chia Facial Cream—a light moisture veil that protects the skin from damage. My skin felt amazing the first night after using the products—firmer and dewy-soft. Even better, it still felt amazing the next morning. I used the products twice daily for a week and was really loving my skin for the first time in a while.
After using the Kitao Matcha line for a week, I really didn’t think it could get any better, but I was wrong! The La Vie Précieuse skincare line contains apple-derived ceramides, proteoglycans (which are even better than hyaluronic acid), and glycyrrhizinate, extracted from Aomori licorice roots—it is chock-full of natural ingredients, a big plus for me.
I began my skincare routine by using my old standby, DHC oil, to remove my makeup. Next, I patted on the Moist A.P.G. Lotion (Essence).
Like the Kitao toner, this is not an astringent toner; it is a light essence that softens the skin, preparing it for the emulsion and cream. The Moist A.P.G. Emulsion is a light, but rich emulsion that I patted on following the essence. This time, I focused on the fine lines under my eyes and around my mouth.
Like the other La Vie Précieuse products, there was no greasy feel, just a glorious feeling of hydration and softness. Then, I finished my skincare routine with the Moist A.P.G. Cream.
After a week of using the La Vie Précieuse skincare line, I felt like I could really see a difference in the darker “spots” on my face, as well as a diminishment of lines and wrinkles. I also thought my skin looked brighter, and my husband commented that I must be getting more sleep (I wasn’t).
On balance, while I thought the Kitao line made my skin feel a tiny bit firmer, at my age, (and considering I skipped over skin maintenance in my youth), I would personally choose the La Vie Précieuse skincare line—but I would add the Kitao Matcha + Chia Enzyme Powder a couple of times a week just because I loved how it made my skin feel!