Japan is known for being one of the world leaders when it comes to the beauty and cosmetics industry. Although very different from what we are used to in the West, Japanese beauty products do wonders for all skin types and complexions. Especially if we are talking about beauty supplements, which are usually collagen-enriched products for external or internal use that are extremely popular with Japanese women. They have all sorts of benefits – from rejuvenating the skin to delaying the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, as well as giving the skin a natural glow and a soft texture. Collagen supplements make up about 90% of the Japanese beauty supplement industry, but you can also come across other active ingredients, such as green tea powder, agar jelly, and… placenta? No, we’re not fooling around – read on to find out more!
1. Ogaland Placenta Capsules
Yes, you’ve read that right. People in Far Eastern countries (mostly Japan and Korea) have been using placenta extract as a youth-preserving, beauty-enhancing dietary supplement for over 50 years. At this point, it’s kind of considered an old-timey thing, with collagen being a hundred times more popular, but you can still find placenta-based supplements in most Japanese drugstore. Some come in the so-called ‘health drink’ format, but if you’re scared enough by the concept of eating placenta to even think of what it tastes like, we recommend sticking to the Ogaland capsules.
2. Natto Kinase Capsules
Natto is the Japanese word for fermented soybeans. It is a common food consumed in Japan and it does have a bunch of health an beauty benefits, including firm and bright skin, improved metabolism, and so on. However, it does have a pretty peculiar taste for the Western palate, and it’s hard to get hold of outside of Japan. The Fine Japan Natto Kinase is another capsule-type supplement which can offer you all those nutrients and benefits without having to eat it as is.
3. Immun’Age Papaya Capsules
Immun’Age fermented papaya extract supplements are extremely popular in Japan, as they are said to help achieve both a clearer and firmer skin, and a leaner body. Fermented papaya extract is considered very effective in combating fatigue and stress as well, so many people take it for that purpose as well. However, it is mainly marketed as a beauty supplement to prevent skin aging and boost the metabolism.
4. Haba Blueberry Honeysuckle Drink
There is a whole range of beauty supplements in Japan that is specifically aimed to whiten the skin. And while this may sound weird to most Westerners, for whom a sunkissed look is more desirable than pale skin, the Japanese associate paleness with elegance and beauty. However, the Haba blueberry honeysuckle drink has more than just skin-brightening properties – the honeysuckle from Hokkaido is also said to give the drink anti-aging properties, among other things. The drink is also low-calory, for those who might be worried about it conflicting with their diet.
5. Orbis Collagen Drink
Let’s move on to collagen products, as most Japanese beauty supplements you’ll find on the market are collagen-based. Collagen is confirmed to keep the skin looking young and fresh, as well as increase elasticity, preventing the formation of wrinkles and fine lines. Orbis chose to put it in a health drink, which is actually delicious and tastes like fruit (pomegranate or grapes). Its main active ingredients are 6,000 mg of collagen peptides, but it also contains royal jelly extract, elastin, vitamin C, ceramide, rooibos tea extract, all of which are absorbed by the body in 1 to 2 hours. This particular drink is harder to find online, so make sure you grab it in drugstores in Japan if you’re visiting.
6. Inner Radiance Collagen Drink
Another collagen drink, but this time with a much higher concentration of active ingredients, one single bottle of Inner Radiance boosts 13,000 mg of collagen peptides. It is also said to have skin brightening properties, which makes it extremely popular among Japanese women. All in all, Inner Radiance has been chosen as the #1 collagen drink in many Asian countries, including Singapore and Japan, so you might want to start from here if you’re still on the fence about trying weird collagen supplements. It also comes in powder format, which might be more convenient if you’re planning to bring it all the way from Japan.
7. SHISEIDO The Collagen
We can’t just pass by SHISEIDO’s The Collagen series when talking about Japanese beauty supplements. After all, it is one of the most famous collagen-based supplement, both in Japan and the West. It comes in multiple forms, including drinks, powder, and even tablets. The tablets are probably the best choice for someone who is not used to the taste of collagen drinks (some of which have a faint fishy smell/taste, due to the marine origin of the collagen used.) However, SHISEIDO’s collagen drinks and smoothies have a mixed fruit flavor, which can also be enjoyed as is.
8. Meiji Amicolla
Meiji Amicolla is another collagen supplement that claims to be the #1 best-seller in Japan. Their approach is slightly different than that of other companies since they have a full course you can purchase, which includes higher concentration powder, lower concentration powder, and a bunch of utensils you seed to make your drinks at home. The purpose of switching from high concentration to low concentration is said to stimulate your skin to produce more collagen by itself, even without the aid of a product.
9. Brand’s Innershine
Lastly, Brand’s Innershine RubyCollagen is a beauty supplement targeted specifically towards women between 30 and 45 years old. Most of the drinks mentioned above are aimed at people in their 20s, and usually have over 7g of active collagen peptides, which can be a bit too overstimulating for adult skin. With just 3g of collagen per bottle, Innershine RubyCollagen provides just the right amount of collagen to keep the skin smooth and elastic. They recommend you take two bottles per day – one in the morning and one before bed, but you can adjust it to your needs and preferences. The drink tastes like pomegranate too, so you don’t have to worry about fishy smells.
The Japanese beauty supplement industry is definitely alive and well. However, it has moved on from weird ingredients that were popular in the past (placenta extract seems to be here to stay, though), and is focusing more on collagen, which is arguably the most effective ingredient for maintaining a fresh and young complexion. Whichever of these products you end up trying, we hope you achieve the desired results.
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