Monday, January 9, 2012

Won't Miss #405 - skin care advice (that is ignored)

Nine times out of ten, when a Japanese woman says she has bought "cosmetics", she has picked up a plethora of skin care products (not make-up). In fact, most women under 50 have a "skin care regime" that they go through which costs them a pretty penny. Because my skin is clear and pale, I'm often asked what I do to maintain it. The answer is, "nothing." I buy soap which is 3 bars for 98 yen ($1.22) and I wash my face once, sometimes twice a day. Other than that, I apply cheap moisturizer (bought at the 100 yen shop) after I shower because I'm getting older and my skin is thinner around my eyes. I don't use sun screen or a parasol either. I tell my Japanese acquaintances who ask that it's not what you put on your face that matters, but what you put in your body. Good skin comes from eating (preferably, cooked) tomatoes, carrots, and citrus, and from drinking plenty of water. I get nods and proclamations that they, too, will do these things, but they never do it. Japanese women drink plain water very rarely, if at all, and the promise of better skin at no cost isn't enough to compel them to start doing so.

I won't miss wasting my breath talking about skin care basics with women who'd rather throw money ineffectively at their issues than do what works.