During our stay in the lakeside town of Suwa in Nagano Prefecture, our concept of sake changed dramatically. The day we spent visiting breweries and tasting a wide range of delicious sake (tough work, we know) was finally over. We decided that it would be pleasant to relax at a local "onsen", a hot spring in Japanese, and take a break from it all. There, we discovered something we wished we had known much earlier, sake baths!
There is nothing rare at all about adding sake to your bath in Japan in hopes of soaking up all the goodness it has to offer. As it turns out, sake and sake lees are gaining popularity in the beauty and spa industry due to their soothing and healing properties.
To ensure you don't waste the last bottle of sake in the bathtub, we decided to dig deeper and find some scientific truth for you.
Finding #01: According to the studies published in the Journal Of The Brewing Society Of Japan, sake is loaded with moisturising elements such as glycerol, glycerine, and amino acids. Those elements are often used in cosmetics and are why sake baths have much better moisturising and heat-retention effects than baths without sake.
Finding #02: Sake has been used as a skin toner for centuries in Japan. This is due to its rich content in saccharides and amino acids which are now used as cosmetic materials. Research has found that the element α-EthylGlucoside (α-EG), responsible for the bitter flavour component of sake, is also employed to treat rough skin in the pharmaceutical industry.
Finding #03: Sake can protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. Sake, sake lees, and koji are substances that inhibit excessive melanin production, the main culprit of sunspots, age spots, and freckles.
Finding #04: Like wine, sake contains ferulic acid antioxidants, possibly having an anti-ageing effect. These acids are a robust UV light absorber, further preventing skin ageing.
No wonder Chief Sake Brewers always seem to have such impeccable skin.
Finding #05: If your face turns red, your eyes start to water, and you struggle to breathe as soon as allergy season starts in spring, we've got good news for you. The "Skin in Europe and Japan” study led by A. Fujioka has shown that sake can help prevent allergies by either applying it to the skin or directly drinking it.
According to researchers, sake can help relieve the symptoms of atopic eczema by moisturising the affected area. In addition, sake and koji contain numerous substances that inhibit the Cathepsin B enzyme, which causes allergies. Thus, moderate consumption of sake can reduce the adverse effects of allergies caused by pollen, food, and house dust mites.
Bringing you all the benefits of sake, we crafted an exclusive line of bath bombs made by the Hachinohe brewery in Aomori, Northern Japan.