Archive for May, 2011

okoii Blog ImageGetting cold…I am very weak with cold weather. I am like a cat, roaming and looking for warm spots. Ah, I found it! In the bed! Well, getting lazy, I forget about skin care for a day. And guess what happened? It must be a nightmare or daydream? My skin looks dry and dull like a desert, and even my cute (?) lips have become chapped. Emergency help, please!

You may have experienced before that the condition of your skin changes dramatically, depending on how well you look after your skin. A good example is the condition of your skin after you had a nice facial massage. Your skin would look radiant and fresh because of the high content of moisture and better blood circulation.

This means your skin will respond to your skincare if you do it properly. Your skin never betrays you if you take time to look after your skin (unlike a man ! Hahaha…).

Especially, skin care in winter time is a bit tricky. Due to the cold and dry weather, your skin is exposed to a hard environment.

So, what should we do then? Here are some of my tips to keep your skin beautiful in the winter time.

  1. Hydrate Your Room – Air condition will make air dry in the room and make your skin dry too. Hang a wet bath towel in the room, that will make a difference.
  2. Moisturising – Choosing a high quality cream or moisturiser is very important. Please do not forget to apply a moisturiser after a face toner. For your body, apply a body cream or lotion right after a bath or shower.
  3. Your Lips – Your lips tend to become very dry. Apply a good quality lip balm not only during the day but also before going to bed.
  4. Take a bath – Taking a bath is great especially in the winter time. A good temperature would be between 38-40 degrees, and keep your body warm in the bath tub at least for 20 minutes. It is great to put two glasses of Japanese Sake into the bath as well. Sake increases circulation and body temperature, including a purifying sweat to eliminate toxins, while active enzymes soften your skin. Do not take a bath after you had alcohol. (Or drinking and taking a bath is not a good combination either!)
  5. Yummy ! A Hot Pot – Cook a hot pot with chicken and a lot of vegetables, which makes your body warm as well as gives you rich nutrients for your skin.

One more important thing is to get a good nights sleep. If you do not get sufficient sleep, your body and your cells including the cells in your skin will not have a chance to renew as quickly. To be honest, I would not have any problem getting a good night sleep because I am like a cat…!

Have a great day and ciao for now 😉

Yoko xoxo


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okoii Blog ImageIt is interesting to know that Japanese women tend to like using a face toner among their skin care products, and western women mainly use a moisturiser and oil. A face toner is more like a supplement to tone your skin after a face wash.

It is said that a face toner became popular during Japan’s Edo period (1603-1867). At that time, women used a toner to dissolve face powder or to put a toner before putting on a face powder, it was not used as a skin care item. As time went by, women started to use a toner as a part of their skin care routine, to moisturise their skin with water.

I believe that a face toner is one of the Japanese beauty secrets. Over 70% of our body is consists of water, but water evaporates from skin’s surface, which means the surface of skin tends to become dry. The lack of water in skin is one of the reasons for faster skin aging. Very scary!

When our skin contains a lot of moisture, our skin looks fresh and transparent. Our skin pores are minimised when our skin holds adequate water. Here is the secret way to make your skin beautiful by using a face toner.

  1. Put a face toner on your palm. Cover your face with your hands, push it in your cheeks, chin, forehead, and nose lightly.
  2. Put a face toner on your palm again. This time, use your finger tip to push around your eyes and under your nose.
  3. Repeat the above (step 1) again and check if your skin contains enough moisture.
  4. When your skin is dry, repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 several times.
  5. Apply a small amount of moisturiser and massage it into your skin with soft upward strokes, before the skin is allowed to dry after using a toner.

I know it will take a lot of time, but this will change your skin to a better condition. If it is too boring to do this routine, just watch TV or listen to music. Think skin care time as a relaxing time. Do not fight with your boyfriend or husband when you look after your skin, which would make an extra line and wrinkle !

Have a great day and ciao for now 😉

Yoko xoxo

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okoii Blog ImageI have read an interesting post in a forum from a Japanese website. A guy felt extremely shocked and traumatised because his new girlfriend looked totally different after she removed her makeup. Her skin looked rough and dull, and her eyebrows were not visible. Even her nose looked different to him. Well, I must say she must be a good illusionist? Poor him, he just could not get over it and felt empty because he thought he did not know anything about her. Although he knew what is inside is most important, not outside, he ended up breaking up with her! Oh my goodness… 😦

Because of this incident (or not ?), natural makeup is now a trend in Japan. According to the survey conducted by some cosmetic company, more than 90% of men prefer “Natural Makeup”. Some comments from men are: “Women with heavy make up may play around a lot” (A bit prejudice? jealous?), “I like a beautiful woman even without makeup” (Yes, everybody does), “I don’t want to feel as though I am deceived later on” (I don’t want to deceive men either). Some beauty researchers say in 2007 skin care products with natural and safe ingredients became popular in Japan, and more women preferred natural looking skin. The more women look natural, the more men come to like natural looking women.

This is the research in Japan, so the result could be different if such a survey was done in Western countries (I don’t know). However, I am pretty sure that western men like women who look beautiful without makeup. Of course, some women are naturally beautiful, but what I would like to say is that we can change our skin by a proper skincare, although we cannot change our face. Without doubt, men would feel like touching our skin if it looked smooth and silky. Also, beautiful and healthy skin would cover blemishes on our face.

If our skin looked nice without makeup, we would not feel like putting much on. This would make the condition of our skin healthier and our skin would look even better. But if our skin did not look good, we would try to cover it by heavy makeup. More makeup would make the condition of our skin look worse, so we would put more makeup on. This is a vicious cycle 😦

Let’s aim for natural beauty and naturally beautiful skin from today !

Have a great weekend and ciao for now 😉

Yoko xoxo

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okoii Blog ImageWhat do you use to remove your makeup? There are many makeup removals around, but unfortunately, many makeup removals are too strong and can damage your skin. Yes, we have to be smart and choose a good quality makeup removal for our skin !

Many makeup removals in shops often include 20-30% synthetic surfactants, which are used to emulsify oil and water. Due to lower cost, many companies use them 😦

Why should we avoid using synthetic surfactants?

The answer is easy – they are bad stuff ! Here are some disadvantages (actually there are many more!).

  • Absorbs necessary natural oils from your skin and eventually dries your skin
  • Destroys natural skin barrier, so that active ingredients penetrate deeper, but at the same time other unnecessary chemical ingredients are also penetrated deeper into your skin.
  • There is possibility of damage to protein in your skin, like collagen.

And the worse thing of all, is that it is hard to get rid of them. So they would stay on your skin if they are used for cleansing items. Nasty, aren’t they? 😦

If your cleansing oil or makeup removal includes synthetic surfactants such as Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Sodium Laureth Sulphate, please throw it away and buy 100% pure natural cleansing oil, which would be usually sufficient for removing your makeup.

After you successfully choose a right cleansing oil, please follow the below steps to remove your makeup properly.

  1. Cover a hot towel over your face to open your skin pores for a minute.
  2. Saturate a cotton bud with a cleansing oil. Press it down gently on your eyelids and lashes. Use a new cotton bud when it gets dirty.
  3. Remove the makeup from your face thoroughly with a cleansing oil. Swipe the oil across your lips, face and eyebrows. Massage it in with your fingertips then gently remove the makeup with a cotton pad.
  4. Wash your face thoroughly with a gentle face soap. Rinse with warm water and a washcloth (preferably an organic washcloth).
  5. Apply a toner and a moisturiser.

Always remember that it is important to touch and massage your skin gently when you remove makeup.

Have a great weelend and ciao for now 😉

Yoko xoxo

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