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If you’ve ever stared at a geisha with wonder and admiration in your eyes, you’re not alone. I’ve been enamored with the delicate look of geishas for years, and I’m even more impressed with their diligent and strict beauty regimens. Though geishas use heavy stage makeup to create their familiar look, keeping their skin in perfect shape all day long is vital, and that means using classic Japanese beauty secrets that don’t disappoint. We had the opportunity to chat with a geisha and find out some of these beauty secrets for ourselves!

Use Gentle Oils To Remove Makeup

Removing makeup is often a harsh process, and most girls use alcohol wipes or toners or gritty exfoliating scrubs to do this. Geishas know that using anything harsh on your skin is a disaster waiting to happen, which is why they only use gentle cleansing oils (typically featuring camellia oil) to remove makeup and purify their skin. In fact, geishas refer to their complexion as mochi hada skin, meaning skin that is soft and pure like a baby.

Ditch The Harsh Exfoliators

While you want to use oils to help remove all of the makeup on your skin, the next step is exfoliating your face to ensure clean pores and a smooth complexion. Instead of using harsh scrubs or bubbling, soapy cleansers, geishas use komenuka (Japanese rice bran) to polish and clean their skin. The rice bran allows for an exfoliating quality that is gentle and forgiving, meaning it won’t strip away too much of your skin’s natural oils and will help keep your face baby soft.

Be Diligent Of Age Spots And Pigmentation

If you’ve been around lots of geishas, you’ll notice that it doesn’t matter how old they are, they all have the same gorgeous, flawless skin. This is because they are incredibly diligent in preventing and treating age spots and hyperpigmentation on the skin as soon as possible. Licorice root is one of the traditional methods of doing this and geishas will incorporate this root into their skin routine through either creams or cleansers.

Use Lightweight Creams For Clean & Moisturized Pores

In many parts of the world, heavy creams that soak into your skin are the beauty standard for keeping a plump, moisturized face. However, geishas understand that loading your pores with lots of product is the exact opposite of what you want to do to maintain lifelong beauty. This is why they use lightweight creams (typically featuring silk extract) that barely sit on and under the surface of the skin without clogging pores while retaining lots of moisture.

Take Your Blotting Seriously

If you’re into wearing heavy makeup on a daily basis, take a note from the geishas and make sure you blot your face regularly. Keeping excess oil off of the face not only helps geishas maintain a matte, baby-soft finish to their skin, but also helps them keep unnecessary dirt and oils out of their pores. Geishas use gold-leaf beauty papers throughout the day to keep excess oil at bay.

Incorporate Green Tea Inside And Outside

The benefits of green tea for total health are far from new, but geishas understand and fully appreciate the incredible uses of this tea for beauty. Drinking green tea on a daily basis can help you maintain total health and also helps load your body with antioxidants that keep damaging free-radicals out of your body. Topical application of green tea (through creams, cleansers, toners, etc.) has a similar effect with maintaining free-radicals caused by sun damage to a minimum in your skin. Plus, green tea also helps retain moisture in your skin, and it’s delicious!

Use Seaweed For Maximum Moisture

If you’re a sushi fan who already loves seaweed, we’ve got good news for you: it’s incredible for your skin! Seaweed is made up of polysaccharides that help seal moisture into your skin while keeping it pure and free from unnecessary bacterias. You can use seaweed in gentle cleansers, creams, or even DIY face masks to get the most benefits from this wonderful plant.

Create A Barrier Between Your Makeup And Your Skin

We all know how vital it is to prep and prime your skin before any makeup application, but geishas take it a step further by creating a full-fledged barrier between their skin and their stage makeup. They typically use bintsuke wax, which is the same wax sumo wrestlers use in their hair, to create a layer on top of their skin that the makeup can grab. This intense layer allows the makeup to stay on and look flawless while also keeping it out of your pores. If you end up using this awesome beauty secret, remember to use a rice cleanser to remove it from your skin!

Bonus Tip: Use Buckwheat Pillows For Your Hair

We’ve all heard of using silk pillows over cotton to keep your hair free from breakage and flyaways, but geishas use buckwheat pillows (yes, really!) to maintain their intricate hairdos from moving around while they sleep.


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