What is hatomugi?
Known all over the world by many names including job’s tears, pearl barley, adlay millet, coix seed, and jali-jali, hatomugi extract is derived from a grain-bearing grass that is indigenous to tropical parts of Asia. The plant has long been a staple in Traditional Chinese Medicine to help invigorate the spleen, support the urinary tract, and cool the body. Today it’s mainly known as a popular health food across Asia, often found in soups, porridge, drinks, and desserts. (P.S. Hatomugi is gluten-free!) But there’s more. Let’s see why this little grain has been a favorite with J-Beauty skincare junkies.
What are the skincare benefits of hatomugi?
Frequently featured in J-Beauty brightening skincare products, hatomugi has an impressive ability to reverse hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and regulate melanin production due to its high Vitamin B3 content. Although melanin is a natural skin pigment, UV ray exposure can trigger overproduction of melanin, leading to unwanted discoloration in the skin.
Studies show that continued use of hatomugi extract can help increase the skin’s natural hyaluronic acid production. Hyaluronic acid is the gold standard in hydration due to its capacity to retain up to 5000 times its weight in water, so it’s no wonder that hatomugi is famed for increasing skin elasticity. Not only that, but it’s abundant in skin-firming peptides.
Hatomugi contains antioxidants that are said to help delay premature skin aging by reducing free radical activity. Free radicals are unstable molecules that attack DNA, break down collagen reserves, and cause damage to our cells.
Our hatomugi skincare picks
Want to reap the benefits of this popular grain? Here are our top J-Beauty picks.
For a no-fuss J-Beauty essence toner, try Naturie Hatomugi Skin Conditioner.
This one’s a cult-favorite in Japan due to its versatility and affordability. Don’t let its simple and unassuming appearance fool you. Its milky and watery consistency is weightless and fast-absorbing, yet offers a rich boost of moisture without a sticky residue. Fans also say it has a “cooling” effect that helps to calm inflamed, irritated, and acne-prone skin. This skin conditioner is known for its all-in-one properties, so if you’re seeking more bang for your buck, don’t pass this one up!
For a multi-purpose face mask, try Clear Turn Beautiful Skin Artisan Coix Seed Brightening Mask.
Another wallet-friendly option, this mask harnesses the power of classic Japanese ingredients: onsen water and hatomugi. Together they help to moisturize, revitalize, purify, and tighten pores for an all-in-one skin treatment. Plus, the mask’s ultra-soft hand-made paper feels luxurious and fits the face snugly like a glove for enhanced absorption.
The icing on the cake is that both hatomugi-based skincare products tend to do well with most skin types, including dry, oily, combination, normal or acne-prone. This makes them reliable skin companions even when the seasons change. Here are two guys you can keep in your bathroom vanity all year round!