Beauty is big business in Japan. In these times of economic stagnation, people need any edge they can get to stand out from the leagues of other highly educated and hungry job seekers. And that’s just in the boardroom. With numbers of singletons at an all-time high, the pressure is on for women to retain youthful, husband ensnaring beauty well into their thirties. Whether that means spending an hour a day rolling your face to create the perfect foxy jawline, or allowing slimy molluscs to nibble the dead skin on your cheeks, it seems like every day a new wonder treatment emerges- and Japan can’t get enough. Here are five of our favourites from the last few years:
1) Snail facials. Yep, you heard us. Conceptually, it’s not too far from the fish pedicure. The lucky pampered client reclines on couch as a beauty therapist/ insect wrangler places a troupe of specially reared snails on their face for five minutes. The slimy secretions excreted as the creatures explore the contours of your face is said to contain proteins, antioxidants and hyaluronic acid, perfect for soothing burns, rashes, and providing all important anti-aging benefits.
2) The Kogao face mask. Although this fabric face mask looks more like the ‘hers’ counterpart to the Hannibal Lector killing face than a soothing gadget, it’s supposed to work wonders for toning and helping to improve the elasticity of the skin. Just make sure you put the kids and boyfriend to bed before you go strutting around the house with it on.
3) Eye enlarging contact lenses. Once the preserve of wacky street fashion followers, large, doll like eyes scream baby beauty. With a range of natural colours to choose from, wearers can decide how far they want to take their big eye look, even just adding a few exotic hazel flecks to their natural brown eyes.
4) Fermented sawdust baths. Burying yourself in a bath of pungent warm sawdust may not sound like the most pleasant of pastimes, but its reputed to generate the amount of sweat you would achieve after two hours of marathon running, boosting both the immune and the digestive system.
5) The vibrating nose clamp. This buzzing gizmo will give your profile that added distinction by keeping your nose taught and toned, helping to lift the tip and straighten overall shape.