Blog image

The Tokyo Fast Life

May 2014

By Helene F. Salvini, Tokyo

While the concept of detoxification is not new to Japanese, especially to women seeking natural beauty, its extent is much broader these days, extending far beyond quick, one-off remedies to lifelong, lifestyle commitments.

The most popular detox method much talked about is Puchi danjiki, or small (intermittent) fasting. Its focus is a regular act of resting the digestive system in order for the body to shift the energy used in digestion towards releasing toxins.  For this activity to remain sustainable, the method doesn’t advocate a full fasting, but recommends going on a diet solely based on natural fruits and vegetables, along with plenty of water, from one to six days per month. That way, the method can be repeated without completely having to sacrifice a social life. Various methods suggest that the diet be put back on regular track by eating yogurt and rice porridge (okayu) which are of a slightly liquid consistency and thus easier on the stomach than hard food. Typical Japanese detox ingredients are tofu, ginger, garlic, scallion and natto (fermented beans). 

Another more recent detox boom is magma yoga. This type of detoxifying yoga is fairly new, following the trend of hot yoga, but with its own twist. Magma yoga uses lava stone plates from Mount Fuji, offering an environment filled with minerals that emanate from the heated stones. By practicing yoga poses on these hot stones, participants get the benefit of exercising, together with a heavy detox effect from the continuous perspiration during the class. As a result, the metabolism is increased as the mind and body are given a heightened sensation of self-cleansing.  

While the trend is for natural self-care in a natural way, skincare companies still influence consumers with using detox as a marketing gimmick. Products have not come up with many new beauty innovations since the wave of amino and hyaluronic acids; however, masks have made a spectacular & entertaining come-back with the utmost unexpected formulas such as diamond powder, pearl essence, chocolate, snail or sea cucumber essence and even cobra venom, bee venon, pig placent and collagen. 

In these times of air pollution (Japanese are threatened by the polluted particles spreading from factories in China), women here believe the masks are an effective shield to protect themselves from the external aggressions. Masks are sold in individual packages of facial cotton sheets damped in lotions containing special essences as mentioned above. The act of leaving the mask on your face for an extended amount of time (usually 10+min) provides the feeling that the pores of the skin are cleansed throughly, while the top skin cells are protected with a layer of skin-enhancing essence.

Beauty & Cosmetics
Health & Fitness
Food & Drink
Magma exercise is popular in Tokyo
Japanese beauty mask treatments made from pearl, snail and more
Detoxifying face masks help Tokyo women combat city pollution

Subscribe Form