Bathing in Fermented Sawdust – The Latest Bizarre Beauty Treatment from Japan

Forget about greasy creams, mud wraps and even Botox shots. All you need to keep your skin looking healthy and beautiful is a good old fashioned fermented sawdust bath. It’s all the rage right now in Japan, and everyone seem to love it.

Women will do all sorts of weird things to their bodies in order to keep themselves looking younger for just a little longer. That includes extreme plastic surgery, having their breasts slapped,  and even their teeth chiseled, but the Japanese seem to have discovered a much less intrusive magic way of rolling back the clock and keeping old-age disorders at bay – bathing in fermented sawdust. It’s really not as disgusting as it sounds, and many beauty experts from the Land of the Rising Sun swear by it. Apparently, just 15 to 20 minutes of being covered in sawdust from cedar and cypress trees improves circulation, cleans skin and helps with muscle pain, among other health claims. Enzymes from vegetation and fruit ferment within the sawdust to warm the body, bringing the temperature up to 40 degrees Celsius and making you sweat like you’ve just finished a 2-hour marathon. The process is said to activate your internal organs, thus optimizing metabolism, raising immunity and improving circulation. It also stimulates sweating without clogging the pores and washes away sebum and dirt from your skin.


Photo: Ion House

The popularity of fermented sawdust baths at beauty salons around Japans has soared in recent years, but the treatment itself was invented over 70 years ago, in Hokkaido. Today, it’s considered a miracle cure for a variety of conditions, including acne, anemia, hypertension, arthritis and even obesity, which makes women gladly fork out as much as ¥6,300 ($70) to get buried up to their necks in sawdust, for 15 minutes. The dry sawdust from Yoshino Cypress trees grown in the Nara Prefecture is finely ground and undergoes a unique fermentation process. Enzymes from fruit and flowers are added to the wooden byproduct, making it each temperatures of 70-80 degrees Celsius, without any artificial heating.


Photo: Japan Trends

So there you have it ladies, the magical beauty treatment you’ve been waiting for. Unfortunately, you probably won’t find it available in many places outside of Japan just yet. So the next time you plan a trip to Nippon, make sure to visit one of the many fermented sawdust beauty salons, and see what all the fuss is about.


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