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Posted by Momoe Azama on

2022 has arrived, the Year of the Tiger on the Japanese zodiac calendar, which tells us to expect extremes that can result in expansion. Not to fear though, these intense events that may occur personally and socially will be mirrored by grandness in love while fierce protection will find you. This is also the year to take the lead by developing better habits to find clear direction and help others in finding their clear path.


Optimizing our self-care is one powerful step in achieving success in the new year. Through the use of mindful skincare products, wellness tools, and intentional thinking, we can lead ourselves down the road for our fullest selves to glow! Japanese beauty rituals focus on gentle, hydrating treatments using clean and cruelty-free ingredients, like gold facials and gold skincare, that are easy to incorporate into your skincare routine. By pairing these with a series of massage and mood-setting practices, you may discover glow-enhancing results that will carry you through 2022.

Here, we have garnered 7 self-care J-Beauty rituals we are embracing now.

Heart-Centered Ritual

True beauty begins from within, and it’s important to remember that every beauty and skincare routine should recognize our body and mind connection. One ritual that helps forge the spirit and the physical form is when you spend a few extra moments to apply your favorite moisturizer or body oil.

First, take the oil into your palms and hold it together in front of your chest to warm it up. This enhances the product’s scent and increases the body’s ability to absorb the formula. In this moment, recognize the heart and how our actions are more beneficial when made from a place of love. Next, apply your beauty oil or lotion liberally to the whole body.

Did you know that the skin’s temperature rises when gold leaf is massaged into it? Try incorporating our 24K Golden Couple for a gold facial designed to hydrate and brighten through 24K gold leaf sheets.

DIY Lymphatic Massage

Our body’s lymphatic system plays the important role of removing excess fluid and waste through lymph nodes located throughout the body. Large groups of lymph nodes reside in the neck, making an upper body lymphatic massage an excellent way to move stuck fluids and reduce swelling. By massaging these regions, you allow Chi energy to flow more freely—be sure to take a moment to notice the lightness and reduced tension after your DIY massage.

Begin by setting yourself in a warm and comfortable environment, then place your fingertips on the back of your neck and massage downwards towards the shoulders (repeat 10-15 times). To drain fluid down towards your heart, place fingertips on either side of the front of the neck above the collarbone, and then massage downwards (repeat 10-15 times)

Lighting Candles & Burning Sage

Setting the mood of your space can change the way you open and close each new day. By choosing candles of your desired scent and setting them in your favorite area, you can quickly shift moods of stress and anxiety. The warmth and natural light of the flames blended with the practice of sageing allows for new and clear energy to flow.

The sage plant has commonly been used by Indigenous Peoples around the world during ceremonies for cleansing. You can have your own ritual by burning a dried bundle of sage around your home and your physical form to remove impurities in the air and old energies that no longer serve you. Tip: Always leave a window or door open as the smoke can be quite heavy.

Scalp & Ear Massage

Taking time to receive mindful touch is crucial to any wellness routine. The benefits of an ear and scalp massage are many and can be done by yourself or by someone you trust (partner, massage therapist, etc.). Not only do scalp massages feel incredible, but they also relieve stress and improve circulation, which can increase hair growth over time. Our ears—specifically the ear lobes—have many nerve endings and when stimulated can be felt throughout the whole body. Benefits include the transmission of positive endorphins, improved skin quality, and a deeply relaxing experience—who doesn’t want that?

Begin by lightly pressing fingertips onto your scalp and moving fingers in a curricular motion, gently moving across the entire scalp. Massage the back of your ears and the earlobes by gently pulling the skin downwards repeatedly as you relax the jaw and eye muscles. When joining these two massages together, even for 5-10 minutes a day, you will begin to feel more focused and relaxed from head to toe!

Facial Cleansing

Makanai’s gold beauty approach means deeply cleansing the skin before applying any gold treatments or products. The foundation of any skincare routine is incorporating a high-quality cleanser like Makanai’s milky Clean Cleanser to deliver refreshed skin. Simply apply 1 or 2 pumps of cleanser into the palm of your hand, then gently massage your face, working into heavier makeup areas with your fingertips. Rinse off with lukewarm water, and voila! Good as new.

Always look for products that are gentle on the skin and enriched with natural ingredients, like our cleanser enriched with botanicals and spring water from Japan’s Tateyama Mountain Range.

Gua Sha Massage

You’ve probably heard of this tool originally used in China as a full body treatment to massage the skin (benefits abound). The ancient Gua Sha tool has become wildly popular for its more contemporary use within facials—both at home and professional—and has become a common tool. They are often made using gemstones like green jade or rose quartz, and come in a range of designs. Benefits of using one of these gems (pun intended)? Invigorating blood flow, releasing heat-toxins, breaking down fascia adhesions, and stimulating lymphatic drainage to help reduce inflammation.

There are many resources online to help guide you through proper techniques for using Gua Sha. We recommend following along with a tutorial to begin and then incorporating this very yummy and deeply beneficial practice into your routine.

Daily Affirmations

Think it, believe it, be it! By practicing positive mantras as an everyday ritual, you can actually begin to see your ideas be set into motion. So, not only do we encourage uplifting thoughts over negative ones, but also speaking them out loud so they carry a physical vibration and can more likely come into fruition.

Choose from these affirmations and commit to one a week to say to yourself each morning and each evening.


  • I am the light I am seeking
  • I am grateful for this present moment
  • I am protected, supported, and encouraged to be myself
  • I already have everything I imagine
  • There is light and brilliance coming my way


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