Did you know that every part of the yuzu citrus fruit can be used for something?

The yuzu is a sour yellow citrus fruit unique to eastern Asia, and though in Japan it’s not generally eaten on its own, it’s often used in cooking and can be a delicious flavor addition to sweets, snacks, and alcohol. But did you know that yuzu also has numerous health benefits? It’s got tons of vitamin C and lots of other vitamins and minerals, and yuzu baths are thought to be excellent for the skin and for circulating the blood.

Our Japanese-language reporter Meg recently learned from a yuzu farmer in Kochi Prefecture that you can use the seeds to make a moisturizing face toner. You don’t even have to crush or grind them, so of course, Meg had to give it a try. Here’s her recipe for a “yuzu face moisturizer”:


  • Seeds from 3-4 yuzu fruits
  • About 200 milliliters (6 ounces) of sake

You will need:

  • A clean jar with a lid
  • A coffee filter


It’s so simple, there’re just two steps! Place the seeds and the sake in a boiled, sterilized jar, close the lid, and leave it in the refrigerator for about one week. You should give the jar a shake about once a day, but that’s all you have to do. Meg made it even easier by using one of those single-serving sake jars you can buy at convenience stores, so she didn’t even have to sterilize the jar.

▼ Plus, she could drink the sake that overflowed from the jar when she put the seeds in. Win-win!

Surprisingly, after a week had passed, the mixture became really syrupy, completely unlike the original solution. It looked just like a gel-type toner or moisturizer that you could buy at the store (albeit in a sake jar)!

▼ It doesn’t even smell very much like alcohol, but instead has a very refreshing yuzu scent.

The next step is to filter the mixture with a coffee filter. You’ll need another sterilized jar to do this, but luckily Meg had another single-serving sake jar on hand, so she used that.

▼ Might as well drink the sake from that one, too!

Simply spoon it into the filter to get rid of all the impurities…

And voila! It’s done. Meg immediately gave her new DIY face lotion a try. It felt really nice going on her skin, and somehow it made her face feel smooth and velvety!

She did feel some tightness in her skin afterwards, which is something she experienced before when she used another cream that had a high concentration of vitamin C. She heard that if tight skin is an issue for you, you can use purified water to dilute the mixture and soften it. You could also prepare your skin for the acidity by using a milky cream first…Ah, that would be really nice!

▼ “Ahhh….”

Yuzu-based face lotions are thought to be great for moisturizing the skin, but sake is also thought to be excellent for maintaining youthful skin. It’s used in SK-II’s luxury skincare lotion Pitera Essence, so you know you’re doing something right with this recipe. But while one bottle of Pitera costs over 10,000 yen (or US$100), this will only cost you the price of a few yuzu and a bottle of sake, and you know exactly what’s in it, so it’s absolutely worth giving a try if you’re looking for an affordable, natural skincare routine!

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[ Read in Japanese ]