Bath time: the body scrubs that you need
Posted on June 08 2018
Bath Time: The body scrubs that you need
You surely are a bath person if fate led you this way. Or you know a bath person who also happens to be into J-beauty and you thought: oh! This friend’s birthday is coming up sooner than I thought, I need to get them the perfect gift.
An enthusiast of skincare, blazer jackets, cute animals and food,
she’s passionate about the questions related to beauty with
its dynamics and perceptions especially in Asia. Former fashion and beauty editor in Seoul, she is now based in Paris.
It's more than just a bath
You entered the right place, my friend: did you know that bath products had become a regular in the gifting game amongst millennial women in Japan?
It came as a surprise for me too, because I always had this idea of the Japanese bathing culture revolving around traditions, simplicity and, well, a unique moment of reconnecting with oneself in a calm, warm and almost senseless atmosphere. At least, this is how I lived through every single of my bathing moments when I lived in Japan. But hey, I don’t know about you but I am pretty sure that I can also reconnect in bubbly, colorful, sweet-or-spicy-scented water - and I always wanted to fill my bag with that big salt from the onsen to bring it back home and continue the experience.
Facing this discovery, I realized that there was a whole aspect of self-pampering in J-beauty that I had barely explored. Let’s embark on this ship together.
I know summer usually calls for cold showers, so you must think ‘why an article about bath rituals and products in June?’ I am the kind of person who enjoys warm water 365 days a year - and I know I can’t be the only one! (also is there ever a bad time to fill the bathroom’s cabinet with new babies?) But in an effort of sticking to the season: let's focus on the best scrubs that can deliver smooth skin for this summer.
But first, an introduction to the Japanese bathing culture
Onsen (hot springs) left aside, most Japanese do enjoy a nice bath on a daily basis. A lot of houses and apartments have very specific bathrooms divided in two compartments: one where you undress/dress, brush your teeth, do your hair and makeup, do your laundry ; and the other one is a shower + bathtub where you actually do your cleaning and relaxing business (with most of the time a small seat just because) ; you can sing in both compartments.
Just like the layering skincare routine that we love, body cleansing follows strict steps too. A bath is never to be taken solo - a preliminary shower is mandatory to take off all the dirt and sweat, especially if you’re living with someone else as you rarely change the water from a person to another (unless you’re guesting an Airbnb of course.) This is a big YAY to the Japanese for ecology. And NO, it’s not dirty if you clean up yourself thoroughly before diving into the bath. This routine is also the norm at hot springs, where you basically bath naked with other same-sex compatriots.
When sharing water, the use of bath bombs, scrubs and other oils might be condemned. However if you’re alone - or if you, like me, live in the West and keep your water for yourself because your bathtub doesn’t not belong to a full cleaning complex (read: the shower’s in it), nothing nor nobody can control you and it’s time to add some fun!
The 3 body scrubs that you've been dreaming of
Reminder: The purpose of a scrub (or exfoliator) is to destroy all the little dead cells that settled on your skin, thus giving space to your younger skin cells that are healthier and brighter. The catch with a scrub is that it can quickly irritate the first layer of your skin, causing redness or even breakouts in some cases. This is why it's important to always go for a product that is gentle, whose beads either melt or at least transform when rubbed.
Ofclay Mineral Body Gelato
If you've ever been to Japan, you know they make their ice-cream good. Better news: it's not only the ice cream that you eat but also that you apply on your beautiful body to make it feel even smoother. This scrub has the exact same texture and feel as a high-quality gelato, the kind that appeals all your senses (you know what I'm talking about baby). It's sweet, it's soft, and its beet-flavored sea salt turns into a gentle scrub at application as it comes into contact with the skin's temperature. Red clay is responsible of cleansing the pores while peach leaf extracts help smoothen the skin. Last but not least, it contains a fermented lotion made of the nation-wide famous Yunohana cristal, which grows from the purest hot spring in Japan and has various medicinal virtues. A must-have for pleasure and health.
House of Rose's Oh! Baby
source: house of rose
Ladies (and gentlemen), the winner of the @cosme awards in 2015! They call it "body smoother" for a reason. This massage paste helps you get rid of dead skin cells and little impurities that stick to your body. This magic product also releases its powers as a reaction to the body's temperature. It was marketed as an 'onsen-kind-of-experience' (now you know why I picked it) and according to those who've experienced both: it's quite accurate. (whisper: they even have a lemon edition for this summer!)
Clé de peau beauté's Body Exfoliator
source: Clé de peau
A little luxury never hurt nobody, and especially when it comes to pampering yourself! Because you deserve the best - and if most of my favorite J-beauty products come from drugstores or road shops, Clé de peau has always been a dream go-to! They always propose the most exquisite textures and ingredients: this scrub here contains Japanese pearl extracts for radiance and softness, and golden silk essence to add suppleness and brighten the overall skin tone! What a beautiful self-treatment.
The sugary, the experimental, and the luxurious: above are the three alternatives that can make my baths even more enjoyable.
Join me. Put on some of your favorite music, take your favorite book, light up some candles, or prepare a big mug of your favorite tea: indulge in a pleasant night and get ready to shine, cause girl, these scrubs here are going to make your skin want to catch the light.