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Japanese women are probably the OG beauty gurus – yes, even before YouTube channels and blogging were a thing. Beauty is a huge part of their culture and tradition because they believe that good grooming habits are a form of etiquette. So, trust them to have the best beauty tips and secrets!

If you’ve been wondering what Japanese women have been doing in the beauty routines to achieve the immaculate skin and hair that you see them with, read on as we unveil each of the beauty secret they have been keeping close to their hearts.

1. They love oils

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Ask most Singaporean women if they’d apply oil on their faces and very likely, you’ll see them squirm. The idea of using oil on our faces that typically grease up by mid-day, no thanks to our humid weather, turns us far, far away.

But Japanese women know that oils have the best affinity with oils, and have been using many different types of oil-based beauty products for a long time now.

The most popular among them has to be cleansing oils. The Japanese believe that oil has the ability to remove oil effectively, so they love using cleansing oil as a makeup remover or even as a regular cleanser in the morning. They also pamper and nourish their skin with facial oils that they believe can restore moisture better.

2. They aspire to achieve “virgin hair”

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With such attention paid to their hair, you probably would expect them to demand a lot in their hair care routine too. Flamboyant colours are no longer a huge fad in Japan – well, unless you are a teenager who hang out at Harajuku. Modern Japanese women aspire to have “virgin hair”, which refers to the hair quality they had when they were in high school, when it was undamaged and in prime condition.

Pantene Packshots

Holy grail hair product: One of the products that was available only in Japan was the Pantene Pro-V Japan Series range of shampoos (and treatment conditioners). These shampoos are enriched with Damage Blockers, a technology that removes mineral impurities that damage hair quality, to help women achieve “virgin hair”.

The products also contain Histidine, an antioxidant that doesn’t just protect hair, but also expels mineral impurities that are located deep within our cuticle layers.

This range of products attained holy grail status in Japan, with many women raving about how they were able to achieve “virgin hair” with it, and that their hair feel smooth and lightweight after using it.

Thankfully, after so many of us head to Japan to stock them up fervently, the Pantene Pro-V Japan Series is now in Singapore! There are three variants you can choose from: Extra Damage Care, Silky Smooth Care, and AFC (Extra Volume). Head over to RedMart to buy now and get 25% off!

3. They double-cleanse

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While we tend to only use one cleanser in our basic routine, the Japanese subscribe to a double-cleansing routine. What this means is that, after using an oil cleanser, they would follow up with a cleansing gel to clean their faces again. This step ensures that all debris of makeup and oil that may have been left behind in the previous step is thoroughly removed, and they can start the rest of the skincare routine on an absolutely clean canvas.

4. They pack hair-styling tools in their bags

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Dont be surprised if you see Japanese women, especially those who work in Tokyo, to primp their hair during lunch in the restroom or even at a table in public. Looking good all the time – from head to toe – is an important etiquette to them, and making sure that their hair looks good all the time is very important to them. Now you know why women walking down the busy streets in Shibuya always look like they’ve just walked out of Vivi magazine!


5. They subscribe to a minimalist routine

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While the Koreans are known for their complicated 10-step skincare routines, it’s in the Japanese culture to de-clutter and be minimal with their possessions, and this is why they have a much more understated skincare routine. Typically, it would only consist of cleansers, a softener (or toners), and a moisturiser. They prefer reach out for quality products in small quantities.

6. They prefer skincare products that don’t carry preservatives

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While preservatives are important to give our beauty products longer shelf lives, the Japanese are also minimalists with their skincare ingredient list. Preferring products that are free from preservatives, they are willing to compromise with products that they can’t keep for very long.

But it’s not that much of a trouble for them too – since they don’t horde products (see Point #4) and go for those that are in put in smaller containers so they can be finished before their expiry dates.

7. They use face rollers

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Their skincare and haircare routines may be straight-forward but they spend a lot of time with face-rolling devices. These can range from a very affordable one from Daiso, or a high-end one that emits special wavelengths to enhance firming. Japanese women believe that massaging their faces regularly with these devices can help improve blood circulation so their complexion can look brighter, attain V-shaped facial contours.

This article is brought to you by Pantene.