An Unexpected Beauty Tip: How a sake bath can make you glow

So for most of you, this tip is going to come as a surprise. I know it did for me and I am the most informed person I know about skin care. Mind you, I have no plastic surgeons or aestithicians in my circle, so I am just comparing myself to the normal woman who isn’t in the biz of beauty or skin care.  But I have recently discovered that there is a product that can provide anti-aging benefits , helps with acne, but also moisturizes your skin. Meaning that  it doesn’t just  treat acne by drying out the top layer of your face in reptilian fashion so you shed the top layer of skin and its problems.  It smoothes wrinkles and fine lines and smoothes rough skin. It has also been shown to help in weight loss and actually helps prevent being overweight. And…… are you ready for this? This is especially exciting for those of us who grew up in the sun and still love being outdoors. This product also lightens…. As in, lightens freckles, sun spots and uneven skin tone as a result of some poor decisions made in the haze of immortality in our youth when we could NEVER see ourselves getting old. Until we woke up one day and saw the proof that we aren’t exempt from the forces of time. As Truvy said in Steel Magnolias, “Time marches on and eventually you realize it’s marching across your face.” ( All hail DP.)  Did y’all hear me??? It LIGHTENS.   Very exciting. 

Stop Teasing Us and Spill The Beans....

 So what is this mystery product?  You are probably thinking this is some fancy new product that costs a ba-jillion dollars for a half an ounce. Or a procedure that requires 36 treatments, at $500 a treatment, to see results. I am pleased to say that neither of these scenarios is true. You can find this product close to home and for three treatments ( in the comfort of your very own home) it will cost you anywhere from $15 to however much you want to spend on a bottle.

I know y’all are screaming at me by now, so I’ll go ahead and tell you what this phenomenal product is. It’s sake. Sake who? Sake what?  The rice alcohol they serve at the Japanese steakhouse???  You got it gorgeous. That stuff. 

Sake? For My Face?

  This article “How to use Sake on Your Face,” explains how it works. “Due to the kojic acid in sake and the acid's melanin-inhibiting properties, (emphasis mine) the Japanese drink can be used to lighten skin. People with freckles, age spots (also called liver spots), pregnancy-related and/or menopause spots, and dark areas from any other cause have had success lightening their skin with kojic acid. It works by decreasing the skin's ability to form the melanin in dark spots. This applies to people of all skin colors.”  Can we just take a minute and revel in this news???  I have had freckles my whole life and have never been “sun-kissed.” I look more “sun-slapped” when I come in from a day outdoors. And I find it a great injustice that I have sun spots and freckles yet have never been able to easily achieve a tan. If I could get a gorgeous tan, I think I would be able to accept sun spots, etc as part of the consequences. But seeing as how I am pasty white, I feel like I should be exempt from these things. Mother Nature does not agree with me. Which is why I wanted to raise a glass when I read that sake can help lighten freckles, sun spots, age spots, etc.

Other Benefits of Sake 

And those are just a few benefits of sake. Can you believe that sake has also been shown to  reduce cancer risk , prevent osteoporosis, prevent cardiac and cerebrovascular disease, prevent diabetes , high blood pressure and Alzheimer’s disease. It also prevents allergies and reduces the mortality rates  of those who partake.

So what is it about rice wine that can provide all these benefits? My answer goes a little something like this… Something about science, chemistry, blah blah blah and voila, Kojic acid! Which is the magic ingredient.  If you really want to know how this happens, check out this article on the topic.

But now that we have established that this ancient drink has very modern applications, I’ll move on to the methods used to get the most benefits.  But first, I think it is relevant to point out that the sake makers have always been renowned for having the most beautiful and softest skin in town.  That’s something to chew on. 

How to Get the Best Results Using Sake

Anyway, since sake has a higher alcohol concentration than wine or beer, just a little bit a day will provide the other benefits discussed earlier. For the beauty benefits of sake, it is best applied directly to the skin.

Or my favorite way to use sake in your beauty routine…. use it in your bath.  The recommendations range from using 1-2 cups to two 750ml bottles of sake in your tub, the latter being the amount used in professional spa services that offer sake beauty baths.  You should draw a big bath with the water warmer than your usual preference and soak for 20-30 min. I did this last night and used 1 cup of sake in my tub. Now the water was HOT. I had to cool it down before I could get in. But once I had cooled it to the point that I could tolerate it, I hopped in, had a glass of sake to sip on while I soaked and put on my tunes. I soaked for twenty minutes and finished my glass of sake in that time.  The results? I noticed my face was REALLY red when I got out but didn’t know if that was just because the water was warmer than what I usually bathed in. So I decided to keep an eye on it to see if it persisted after I had cooled down. And it did. The red face lasted for a little over an hour after I got out of the tub. So with this discovery in mind, a sake beauty treatment is not something you want to do immediately before going out.  But the real difference was this morning when I woke up… I looked like I had been on vacation in French Polynesia for two weeks (minus the tan per the previous disclosure about my inability to tan). I looked so refreshed and relaxed I thought it took five years off of my appearance. I didn’t notice any immediate results in the skin lightening area, but didn’t expect to. I will try to keep this practice up 2-3 times a  week and see if I notice any difference in my skin and keep y’all posted. And if anyone out there tries this, I would LOVE to hear how it goes for you. Between all of us, we can figure this out and get the most benefits. 

Skincare Products with Sake 

If you are looking for beauty products with sake in them, here is a website that I found that offers skincare with sake.

(I have absolutely no affiliation with this brand or website, don’t know these people nor am I getting any kind of compensation for this suggestion, just trying to be helpful for anyone interested :).

Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric from Pexels


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