In the spirit of getting back to basics, let’s talk about a Japanese staple: Rice. Whether you learned to love it as a child, or can’t meal prep a week’s worth of dinners without it as an adult, a spoonful of these little white grains holds more history than you could possibly imagine.
More than any other food, it can be argued that rice is most heavily tied to Japanese culture. In fact, it’s believed that rice was first cultivated in Japan as early as 400 B.C., on the southern island known as Kyushu. And while a plain bowl of rice itself grew to become a Japanese dietary staple, the crop itself quickly became the country’s most profitable thanks to all of the other ways it could be used and sold worldwide. When saké, fermented rice wine, took over as a massively popular alcoholic beverage, the demand for rice grew, and as Japanese farmers devoted their days to harvesting rice, the grain became essential to Japan’s historical (and literal!) landscape. Granted, the above is most likely not on your mind while you’re chowing down on a tasty helping of rice, but it’s incredible to think of how majorly rice affects both Japan’s economic and agricultural histories, as well as the daily lives of Japanese citizens today. Rice is a staple for every meal, so much so that the word for meal, gohan, literally means "cooked rice."
Rice wasn’t only used for food and trade, though. In fact, the Japanese have been utilizing the grain as a beloved beauty secret for decades. After applying rice powder and water on their faces to create a white base for their makeup, geishas turned to rice bran baths to exfoliate skin and soften hair at the end of the day. In fact, rice water and sakéhave been the cleansers and toners of choice for Japanese women throughout much of history, as the grain’s toning and brightening capabilities can leave complexions soft and radiant. To prove the point, it's a well-known fact that saké-makers have especially supple, beautiful hands. Who knew the ultimate beauty product could be purchased at any modern-day grocery store? Granted, the grains will do your face even more favors when they’re paired with other powerhouse ingredients, which is where our new skincare line comes in — more on that later, though.
The saying goes, “You are what you eat,” but in the world of J-beauty, it’s recently been revised. Now, the goal is to looklike what you eat, especially if you’re a fan of mochi, the sweet rice cakes dessert-lovers everywhere can’t get enough of. In addition to being tasty, mochi isknown for its soft, plump shape, and it’s exactly this look that Japanese women are looking to create. Forget the K-beauty glass-skin trend of last summer —mochi-hada, or rice-cake skin, is all the rage for 2019, and skincare fanatics are on a mission to hydrate their way to soft, supple skin that resembles a perfectly plump mochi cake. Who could blame them?
Of course, we’ve developed the perfect products to achieve this rice cake-inspired finish, and to do so, we threw a little rice into the formula for good measure. Our new Urumai line was named with two Japanese words in mind: urumi, moisture, and mai, rice. The three step regimen guarantees hydrated, supple skin, thanks to our exclusive rice peptide complex that leaves skin mochi-level plump and replenished. Cleanse with our Urumai Soap and delight in conditioning ginger and soothing aloe; treat yourself to a few splashes of Urumai Lotion with brightening sake and silky Damascus rose; and finally, blanket skin with a mochi-soft layer of Urumai Cream and its moisturizing blend of olive oil and rice peptides. This trio might not taste as delicious as your rice-based fave snacks and sides (and desserts!), but the benefits to your complexion will make them as much of a staple in your skincare routine as rice is to your dinner plate.
-By Bella Gerard