Spring, Setsubun, and the Super Soybean

Posted on February 02 2021

It is February and love is in the air! And also...soy beans?

In Japan, the beginning of spring is celebrated in the beginning of February with Haru Matsuri, or Spring Festival. Similar to the New Year in the West, Setsubun is celebrated one day prior to the start of spring as a time for new beginnings. It was thought that during this time, the spirit world came close to the physical world, so to prepare for the new life that starts in spring, people wanted to chase off the bad luck and evil spirits. And what is the best defense against these evil spirits, you may ask?

That’s right: soybeans!

Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit

The main tradition of Setsubun is throwing roasted soybeans, known as fukumame, or fortune beans, out the front door. Sometimes these beans are even thrown at someone dressed up as an evil spirit! Afterwards, it is common to eat the soybeans to bring in good fortune after chasing away the misfortune. The number of beans eaten is usually the same as the person’s age, as well as an extra for good luck. Beans are generally seen as symbols of good luck in Japanese folklore, so it’s not surprising to see them used to bring in good luck during spring. But soybeans are used in particular due to the process in which they are prepared.

Raw and unprocessed, soybeans are very tough and difficult to eat, much like how evil is difficult to get rid of. Roasted soybeans, on the other hand, are much more edible. By conquering the inedible beans and instilling special powers within them from the fire, these magic beans are eaten to symbolize that the person has conquered those evil spirits.

The Magic of Soy in Skincare

While the effects of soybeans on evil spirits are not scientifically tested, there many clear benefits in using soy-based derivatives to improve the skin. As powerful antioxidants, soy isoflavones prevent hyperpigmentation caused by UV rays, brightening the skin by preventing melanin adhering to skin cells and reducing redness. These antioxidants can also help vanquish dullness and wrinkles for younger-looking skin. In addition, soy isoflavones work as phytoestrogens to boost collagen production and improve skin tone.  We’ve talked a lot more about the benefits of soy in this article. I guess soybeans are magical, after all!

The best part is, soy is a soothing and non-irritating ingredient, making it great for those with sensitive skin!

Super Soy Products at Cosme Hunt

SANA SOY ISOFLAVONE NAMERAKA Wrinkle Facial Mask available at Cosme Hunt

This mask has those superpower ingredients to fight off wrinkles not only with its fermented soy milk, but with the addition of pure retinol! It also works as a lotion, serum, emulsion, cream, and a face mask, all in one. Behold the power of the soybean!

SANA SOY ISOFLAVONE NAMERAKA Gel Serum Facial Mask available at Cosme Hunt

This gel serum mask is really gentle on the skin, being made from 100% eco-friendly cotton. The blend of three soybean derivatives (soy isoflavones, soy protein, and fermented soy) in the jelly-like essence greatly replenishes moisture, allowing you to fight off bad luck (and dryness!) with one comfortable sheet mask.

SANA SOY ISOFLAVONE NAMERAKA Lotion (Extra Moisture) available at Cosme Hunt

Being a star in hydration, there are also many moisturizing lotions made with soy. This product has a rich, yet lightweight texture that plumps the skin without leaving a sticky film. It feels nice and refreshing, preparing a great start to any day where you may or may not be chasing off evil spirits with soybeans.

SANA SOY ISOFLAVONE NAMERAKA Cleansing Foam available at Cosme Hunt

As a member of the dry, sensitive skin population, I’m really particular about the cleanser I use. Certain cleansers in general can be drying as they strip the moisture from the skin, but for those with sensitive skin, products other people swear by can be too harsh and irritating. This cleansing foam clears away dirt and worries of dryness and irritation with its gentle formula and of course, fermented soybean milk!

Starting New with Setsubun

Who knew that just a tiny little bean could be so powerful? Not only is it able to drive away evil spirits, it is able to drive away so many skin concerns! All in all, Setsubun and the beginning of Spring is a great time to remind ourselves that it’s never too late to start anew. No matter what has happened in the past, you can always turn to a new chapter in your life where good fortune is surely to follow. So here’s to new beginnings and banishing evil with newly soy-improved skin!

To find out more, visit our website!


 Megan Carulla

A university student by day, a skincare enthusiast by night! After falling down the skincare rabbit hole, Megan has been an avid follower of Japanese beauty ever since her high school days. Having dry, sensitive skin, she spends just as much time looking up trends as she does looking up ingredient information. When she’s not sheet masking, Megan likes to take long walks and dance with her mini goldendoodle, Momo.

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