Why Japanese skin is flawless?
I’m fascinated with how different cultures have their own beauty secrets. Japanese women have a mystery to them, and are known for their beautiful porcelain-looking skin. So how do they keep their skin healthy? How do they keep their skin clear so that they don’t need to cake-on makeup?
Japanese skincare routine
Japanese are obsessed with cleansing. They wash their hair and bathe daily. They even shower before bathing so that they are not sitting in grime.
Yet they use only gentle cleansers and gentle methods as they know that tugging and pulling weakens skin and makes it prone to wrinkling later in life.
The products they use are made with the gentlest ingredients. No harsh chemicals or drying SLS.
The gentler the product, the better!
The typical daily routine consist of morning cleanse, lotion (the equivalent of our ‘toner’), serum and moisturiser… and exactly the same at night.
What is considered beautiful in Japan?
Their concept of mie-nai osharé (unseen, hidden beauty), means that beauty does not have to be displayed to be appreciated. True beauty radiates from within.
Japanese beauty secrets
Along with daily bathing and regular trips to hot baths, they make sure their menu is packed with healthy foods like matcha tea, seaweed, probiotic foods such as miso and pickled vegetables, mushrooms, omega 3 rich fish and Vitamin C packed Yuzu (also known as Japanese Mandarin, it’s super yummy to use in aromatherapy treatments and natural perfumery), Kaki (Japanese persimmon), and shiso (wild basil).
They use plant extracts like Camellia oil (also called tsubaki ) and rice bran (komenuka). Not surprising as rice is cultivated in the East.
Rice water has been used as a cleanser, rice bran oil is used for cooking, cosmetics, makeup and soap making. Rice bran oil helps to reduce those dark rings or shadows under your eyes as well as improving skin texture and evening skin tone.
Now modern science has discovered another secret to rice.
Inside rice bran oil is a powerful skin protective extract called Gamma oryzanol.
After experimenting with it, I decided that rice extract (in the form of gamma oryzanol) had to be included in Ultra Radiance face cream.
What is Gamma Oryzanol?
Antioxidants are essential to keeping our skin healthy and happy. Oxygen as an element is destructive, although we inhale it, it causes havoc. It wanst to make ur body rust and so we combat this with powerful molecules called anti-oxidants.
Gamma-oryzanol (γ-oryzanol) is a complex mixture of several antioxidant molecules called steryl ferulates.
The specific molecules inside gamma oryzanol are a bit of a science geek festival- Cycloartenyl Ferulate, Cycloartenol, Beta-sitosterol, 24-methylenecycloartanol, and Campesterol and they are all built on a ferulic acid backbone.
If you spotted the word ferulic acid in that tongue twister- you’re sharp. Ferulic acid is brilliant on skin.
Gamma Oryzanol benefits
Rice bran oil is used in Asia for cooking as it has a high smoke point.
Gamma-Oryzanol extract has powerful antioxidant effects and a Japanese medicine for anxiety and menopause. It’s been studied for mood, nervous system, heart health, stress, immunity and sleep.
When used in skincare products, Gamma-oryzanol acts as a protective shield against UV and smoke that cause free radical damage such as melanin synthesis (skin darkening).
Because gamma-oryzanol activates sebum glands, it can be used to reduce skin dryness. This is one secret to how Japanese women keep their skin hydrated and soft.
Oryzanol and menopause
Rice bran extract protects against ageing-related skin symptoms, such as roughness and wrinkling. Oryzanol is actually more effective than Vitamin C in slowing down collagen degradation. (This is why it’s included in Ultra Radiance (Glow’s made to order face cream)
After menopause our skin naturally thins and wrinkles – oryzanol can help to keep our skin thicker and smoother, for longer.
Cycloartenyl ferulate has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce allergic reactions, so this keeps your complexion more even.
Oryzanol is also used in hair care products because it promotes hair follicle proliferation and secretion of growth factors.
Is Gamma Oryzanol safe for humans?
Yes, it is safe for human use.
Gamma Oryzanol is sold as a medicine in Japan. It’s also a beauty secret for healthy hair and hydrated skin.
It is a natural extract from rice bran husks. The Latin name for rice is Oryza sativa, so you can see how gamma oryzanol gets its name.
It’s also known as Gama Orizanol, Gamma-Oryzanol, Gamma-OZ, Oryzanol.
The ‘science’ behind rice bran extract and skin care:
- Supports antioxidant defenses (SOD, GPx)
- Supports Nrf2 signaling
- Supports phase II antioxidant enzymes (HO-1, NQO1)
- Counters ROS production and oxidative stress