kombu 7

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, in Japan, beauty is in the water of the bath taker. Over here, winter has arrived, and many people woke up to falling snow in much of the country this past week. And while pets are finding ways to stay warm and stylish, there isn’t much for us ol’ humans to do besides desperately stand in front of the heater or soak in a nice hot bath. Besides being a great way to heat up the frozen flanges, people around the country are using common items found in the Japanese household that are really great for giving your skin the extra luster and moisture to fend off the cold, dry months. Try adding any one of these three ingredients to your next bath!

In addition to making you warm when it’s frigid cold outside, baths are good at relaxing the mind and body, while relieving stress. Taking a bath also helps to expand blood vessels and stimulate your nerves. With Japan’s well-known love of baths, many homes are equipped with a tub that keeps the water at your preferred temperature, allowing everyone in the family to enjoy the bath. While it’s common for bath takers in North America to add bubbles and bath salt to help unwind, people in Japan are adding the following ingredients to their relaxation time.

1. Rice Bran

kombu 4Image: Meal and a Spiel

Already considered a natural beauty treatment in Japan, it’s no surprise that it is finding its way into tub time. Rice bran contains high levels of oleic acid, which makes it easily absorbed by skin. It also has over 100 known vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all good for replenishing and moisturizing your dry skin.

How to make a rice bran bath

kombu 5Image: Flickr (Elin B)

The simplest way is to add the rice bran to the water, but due to legitimate concerns of clogging drains and pipes, adding it in something like a spice bag is recommended. While there is a slight scent, it is by no means unpleasant and one can easily relax in a tub with rice bran.

2. Sake

kombu 6Image: Hamazo

Already recognized for moisturizing and alleviating dry skin, adding a few cups of sake is also good for lowering high blood pressure and improving circulation. The sake also really helps with warming you from the inside out.

How to make a sake bath

kombu 3Image: Kai Ryokan

Certainly the easiest of the three, find some sake, add 2-3 cups to the bath water, and then enjoy. It’s also recommended to heat the bath water to around 37°C.

3. Kombu (Edible Kelp)

Kombu 1Image: Wikipedia

The amino acids in kombu make it an excellent choice for getting lustrous and moist skin. Various experiments have noticed a considerable difference in the skin of those who take kombu baths versus those who take regular water baths.

How to make a kombu bath

kombu 2Image: Latte

There are two recommended ways to add kombu to your bath. The first is to cut up dried kombu into 5cm (about 2 inches) squares and put them into a mesh bag to float around the water. The second, for a much more intense kombu bath, is to boil the kombu down, making a kombu broth and adding both the liquid and the kombu (again in the mesh bag) to the bath.

If you are going to spend time in a bath any way this winter, might as well add a few skin benefits to the mix. RocketNews24 guarantees that you’ll have moister, softer skin, or you will just get out of the tub smelling like you are ready to make some miso soup.

Source: Naver Matome
Additional Information: Wikipedia (1, 2)

Top Image: Flickr (Dennis Wong)