7 Step Japanese Skincare Routine (+ linked products)

1. Cleanse.

The first step to method of skincare begins with washing your face. I use Sheseido Elixir Cleansing Mousse. It is light and works well with my sensitive skin. 

2. Exfoliate.

I usually prefer a natural exfoliation/scrub. I either use baking soda or a textured washcloth. 

3. Cleanse, again.

This step sounds redundant but is very important. By cleansing your twice, you are guaranteeing a face free of grime. I like Kanebo Beauty Clear Powder Wash. It helps unclog and minimize pores. 

4. Toner.

Toner is important for balancing the pH of your skin after cleansing and exfoliating. You want to make sure your skin doesn’t become dehydrated, so don’t skip this step!

My favorite toner is Hada Labo GokuJyun Clear Lotion.

5. Lotion/moisturizer.

Again, now that you have dried your skin from previous steps, we want to help hydrate the skin. Make sure your moisturizer isn’t too thick. Always put hydrators on from thinnest to thickest. 

I use Sheseido Elixir Lifting Moisture Emulsion II.

6. Serum.

Serum is a great way to attack problem areas. One problem I have is even complexion. I use Sunday Riley’s Juno antioxidant oil to help maintain an even skin tone. 

7. Eye cream/gel.

I have found that most eye creams contain too much acid and therefore deplete collagen, making under-eye bags even more prominent. A natural fix is Vitamin E oil. This not only hydrates skin under your eye, but actually has a tightening effect, making bags less noticeable. 

There are many other amazing products to use from Japan! And of course, the best way to take care of your skin is to maintain a healthy diet. In Japan, eating 30 Types of Food a Day is a great way to take care of your skin from the inside-out!

What are some of your favorite skin care products or routines?


5 Easy Japanese Health Practices To Improve Your Health

In college, I minored in Nutrition, and I have danced my whole life, so the importance of nutritional and physical health is not foreign to me. But in Japan, the emphasis on health is a part of EVERYONE’S daily life.  (Which is why they have one of the highest life expectancies in the world.)  There are billboards, commercials, lessons in school…. (the list goes on) all focused on ways one can stay healthy.  But here are 5 easy Japanese health practices you can start today:

Easy Japanese Health Practices:

1. Take a bath.

 Not just for obvious reasons of cleanliness, but because the benefits of taking baths have been scientifically proven. Benefits like: preventing, and even curing, some illnesses due to the rise of core body temp; improve sleep because of the decline in body temp after a bath; promotes blood circulation; and can even promote weight loss. 

In Japan, the ritual of onsen (Japanese hot springs) visits are a huge part of Japanese culture.  When visiting Japan, visiting an onsen or staying at a ryokan (Japanese inn with public baths) is a MUST!  

Onsen, bath, tea, relax, meditate

2. Nutrition.

The importance of proper nutrition is taught in the home AND at school.  One agenda is to eat 30 varieties of food a day to ensure each organ has the appropriate nutrition it needs to function optimally.  If you want to learn more about what daily consumption is like in Japan? Read about it here:

3. Walk it out.

No seriously, walking is a HUGE thing here.  Most people don’t own cars in Japan.  It’s not that they can’t afford it, it’s just there is not much space on this tiny island.  Instead, people walk or bike for their daily commute.  Also, not just space being an issue, they know the importance of physical activity.  I know 93-year old’s here that still get out and walk every day for 30 min!  You know what they say, if you don’t use it you lose it.

Japanese street, walking

4. Limited snack attacks.

Japan has some pretty delicious, and of course nutritious, snacks.  But most adults skip snacking on empty calories and eat three big meals a day.  Yep, I mean BIG. 

I think the common misconception about Japanese women staying thin is because the portions are small in Japan than America.  I can guarantee you… they’re not.  If anything, some portions are even LARGER than in the states. So much so that I can never clean my plate when we go out to eat :/  

Japanese food, tonkatsu rice

5. Wash yo hands!

Japan is known for its OCD when it comes to cleanliness.  And it’s true!  I’ll never forget the first time I went to Tokyo and I actually saw workers scrubbing the subway tile on the wall…. I mean, that is dedication!

But it’s no surprise when one of the most common customs is to take off your shoes before entering a home.  Since living here, I find it weird that we wear our shoes inside in America… gross. 

Since living here, I take my shoes off, go straight to the bathroom and wash my hands when I enter the house.  Then, when I take a shower, I do it the Japanese family way: shower outside the tub, soak inside the tub, then shower again to get the sweat off.  Yes. They shower, soak, and shower again.  See… OCD (but totally makes sense)! 

Onsen, shower, Japanese bath

Want to see what our Japanese home looks like? Check out the video below! 


7 Sanity-saving Tips for Working From Home

Okay… the world is turning upside down right now. Schools are closed, social events cancelled, and EVERYONE is working from home. It’s so easy to fall into the rut of staying in your pajamas all day, becoming unproductive, binging ALL the tv shows, and mindlessly watching TikTok. How do you avoid this? Here are 7 simple tips for saving your sanity when working from home:

1. Get your blood flowing. 

While you’re waiting for your Kerig to warm up, do a quick workout to boost your endorphins, as well as your metabolism. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, just a few jumping-jacks, crunches, push-ups… just a 5-20 min routine to wake-up your nervous system. Plus: it really does energize you. 

2. Get ready, and get dressed.

One of the FIRST things people fantasize about working from home is having the luxury of working in their comfort of their pajamas. This is bad. Studies have shown that what you wear does have psychological benefit. As Scientific American points out, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” Doesn’t mean you have to get runway ready or sport your “power suit” every day, but look presentable, as you would if you were going out in public. 

3. Top 3.

As humans, we are CONSTANTLY juggling multiple tasks every minute of every day. Sometimes we can get so consumed with what we need to get done, that we never even fulfill those duties. The BEST way to succeed in daily tasks is to prioritize. Make a list of ALL your duties for the day and put the MOST important 3 at the top of your list and DO THOSE FIRST! It sounds simple, but each night commit to making a list of TOP 3 PRIORITIES for the next day. It will be a game changer! 

4. Get out!

Sometimes, when working from home, we find ourselves so secluded that we basically become hermits. Now, I now right now we are social distancing, but you can still go outside and get some fresh air. It will revitalize you, plus the vitamin D boost will help with your hormones so that you can get a good night’s sleep. Without daylight, you may fall into the trap of sleeping all day and working all night which can really affect your sleep pattern in the worst way. 

5. Unplug.

Give yourself 1 hour a day without any technology. Let’s face it: the temptation to stay connected to our devices is strong. Fight that urge and allow your mind to decompress. Not only will it will improve your productivity and may help with sleep. Of course, the better you get at digital detox, you could add onto your “unplug” time. Give it a try 😉

6. Me, me, me.

Yes. I’m telling you to be a little selfish. Often times we are committing our time, mind, and even our physical selves to others whether we realize it or not. Whether you’re a parent with 3 kids or you live alone, chances are you give your time and thought to others more than you give yourself. It could be with social media, work, caring for your family or a pet… doesn’t matter how you give your time, but you do. Set aside a little time for yourself each day. What is your guilty pleasure? What do you enjoy? What makes you happy? Whatever your answer, take time to do that each day.

7. Feed your body.

No, not chips and soda. I mean prepare meaningful, nutritious meals that will truly feed your body with what it needs. Psychology Today suggests that cooking can actually improve your mental health. Plus, if your body is happy, you are happy, so be conscious about what you put into it.

Do you know anyone that can benefit from this article? Please do share with your friends and family by hitting your preferred icon below!


30 A Day: Why People in Japan Live Longer

In Japan, it is known as Shokuiku, the importance of teaching healthy eating habits. It is so important in Japanese culture that it starts in primary school, and in the home as soon as birth! The guideline is to eat 30 different varieties of food a day. No, that does NOT include pizza, donuts, fries, chips, Oreos, etc. It needs to be nutrient-dense foods. Eating 30 different nutritious foods is the best way to achieve optimal health for your body and therefore a longer life!

So, what should you consume?

I know what you’re thinking, “Eating 30 types of nutritional foods a day sounds tedious,” and I assure you, it is! It takes preparation, time and commitment. For example, my entire Sundays are dedicated to grocery shopping, prepping, cooking, packing, and so on. But to me, it is worth it if it adds a few extra years to my family’s life.

Here are some of the best foods you can put in your body and why:

Seaweed– supports thyroid function, a great source of minerals and vitamins, promotes healthy skin and hair.

Fish– omega 3, promotes brain function, and skin health.

Umeboshi (pickled plum)- high in antioxidants, promotes GI health, protects the liver, prevents cavities and oral disease.

Kimchi (spicy, pickled cabbage)– healthy bacteria (lactobacilli) may prevent cancer growth.

Citrus fruits– vitamin c, supports healthy skin.

Lotus Root– Boosts digestion, improves skin, hair and eye health.

Red beans– antioxidants, fiber, protein (when eaten with whole grain).

Okra– promotes digestion.

Green Tea– antioxidants, cognitive function, energy booster.

These are the foods that are typically in a Japanese diet, and well, they have some of the oldest people in their country so…

What does my 30 a day look like? 

Breakfast
Lunch

With just these two meals, I have already hit 30. I know, you’re probably counting and saying “there aren’t 30 different foods in this photo.” But drinks (milk, tea, juice) and other ingredients (vinegar dressing, sesame seed topping, etc) still count!

Tip: If you like soup, this is a GREAT way to consume many food varieties in one sitting!