Japan's skincare guru says wrinkles are beautiful too

Thu Apr 16, 2009 4:57am EDT
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By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - Wear a shower cap over your face. Think about sexy men. And don't stress about those inevitable wrinkles.

All are part of Japanese beauty expert Chizu Saeki's "Skincare Revolution," her compilation of sometimes unorthodox facial care that has made her a household name in Japan. Her tips were even taken up in a video game several years ago.

Yet she also says flawless skin isn't everything.

"As you age, it's okay to have wrinkles, it's okay to have age spots, it's okay to sag," the 66-year-old Saeki told Reuters after the publication of "The Japanese Skincare Revolution," her first book to come out in English.

"Growing older -- that's just the way it is, it means you've lived. Anything else is a lie. You should live naturally."

This reassuring message has no doubt contributed to her success in Japan, one of the world's fastest aging nations, with visitors to her salon in the fashionable Ginza district of Tokyo ranging up into their 80s.

And the core of her methods -- getting women to use things they already have -- resonates even more as Japan's economy is hit by recession and consumers tighten purse strings still more.

"Becoming beautiful isn't cosmetics, it's your way of thinking, your hands," she said.   Continued...

<p>Japanese beauty expert Chizu Saeki cups her cheeks, which is part of her facial care, at her salon in Tokyo March 2, 2009. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao</p>