Ryujin Onsen

Due to its location in the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” Japan has many onsen (natural hot springs). The mineral composition of each onsen varies and is said to provide bathers with different health benefits. One onsen in particular, named Ryujin (lit. Dragon God), is also known as bijin no yu or “the beautiful women hot spring.” It is hailed as a hot spring for enhancing beauty and the waters are said to smooth and moisturize skin. Despite these claims being repeated for hundreds of years, some may still be skeptical. However, a recent study suggests that the waters of Ryujin Onsen actually have beautifying capabilities.

Researchers from the Wakayama Medical University and representatives from a major manufacturer of bath salts conducted the study in November of last year with a total of twelve male and female participants ranging from ages 30 to 50. Participants soaked each of their hands for five minutes in a water bath with the same alkalinity as the waters of Ryujin Onsen. Scientists then measured the amount of moisture in each hand and found that after soaking in the water, skin retained three times more moisture. Scientists are still unsure if the increase in water-retaining capacity is due to the high levels of sodium bicarbonate in Ryujin Onsen’s waters. They plan to continue their research and will share their results at a conference for the Japanese Society of Balneology, Climatology, and Physical Medicine held at Beppu Onsen in Ooita Prefecture.

Aside from having beauty enhancing waters within its borders, Japan also has the highest life expectancy in the world. The country could possibly be the closest we’ll ever get to the fountain of youth.

Source: NHK News Web

Image: Wikipedia