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The Orient's Secret Natural Skin Care Ingredient

For example, a Japanese woman of 60 will tend to have fewer wrinkles than a Caucasian woman of the same age. Although skin color is primarily dependant on the quantity of melanin in the skin, which does regulate the effects of the environment, the same natural skin care routine is appropriate for skin of every color. But, the Japanese have added an ingredient that would no doubt be the last thing most Westerners would think of - sake.

In Japan, the hands of sake brewers have long been admired for their fair color and youthful appearance. In a traditional sake brewery, the rice is washed by hand at the beginning of the process - then it's cooked, separated by hand and spread on a cotton cloth to cool. After sprinkling it with a fermenting agent, it is again mixed by hand, and may be moistened and separated by hand several times as it undergoes the fermentation process. In other words, the brewers spend much of their day handling rice. In an attempt to derive the benefits, some Japanese pour sake into their bath water in place of bath salts and powders, and others wash themselves with a bath mitt filled with rice bran.

In fact, rice bran is the key. Rich in vitamins and minerals, rice bran - the outer part of the grain, removed when brown rice is milled - is one of the most valuable by-products sake makers have to offer. In recent years it has become recognized as such, and many brewers in Japan have now added the manufacturing of cosmetics to their business ventures to take full advantage of it.

As a skin care product, sake is rich in nutrients and you might consider using it in your bath. Rice bran in a bath mitt is perfect for exfoliation because of its nutritive content. However, to avoid excessive abrasion, it is important to use the bath mitt rather than applying it directly.

Although exfoliation is necessary to remove dead skin cells, it can also dry the skin and rough it up a bit leaving it less protected than it should be. So, after using rice bran, or any exfoliating product, it's best to apply a shielding lotion. A good shielding lotion bonds with the outer layer of the skin to form a protective barrier, and lock in moisture.