The secret to Japanese women's beauty lies in their passion for bath time

Research on Beauty in JapanEntry #3: Bath Time

Japanese women possess a refined taste for enjoying the four seasons and have a highly developed sense of beauty. People around the world are intrigued by the kinds of things Japanese women do to stay beautiful,

and the Japanese Beauty Institute conducted a study with 2,049 Japanese women about beauty. Have fun learning the secrets to Japanese beauty as we discuss them in this 6-part series.

The theme of the third entry is “bath time.” In today's stressful world, bath time is becoming increasingly important as it is a time to unwind from work and household chores, and to reset the body and mind. This time, we conducted a survey on how Japanese women view bathing.

*This study was conducted before the spread of COVID-19.

Approximately 60% of the people take a bath every day, not just a shower

Many people may think that bathing means taking a shower. However, most Japanese households have a bathtub, and the word "bathing" usually means "soaking in hot water." Therefore, we first investigated about the frequency of taking a bath.

Q. How often do you take a bath?

Frequency of taking a bath during the winter (December to February)


"I soak up to my shoulders to warm my body from the core" (Woman in her 30s)
"I soak in hot water at 40°C for at least 10 minutes" (Woman in her 20s)
"I soak in the bathtub even during the summer" (Woman in her 40s)

The most common answer was "every day," at about 60%. With 95% of respondents taking a bath four days a week or more, we can see how customary it is for Japanese women to soak in the bathtub. Many women also said that they "take a hot bath to warm up" or "take a bath even if there is not much time." Thus, for many people, taking a bath is not only about removing sweat and dirt, but also about appreciating the time they spend in the bathtub, which they consider to be an essential part of their beauty and health.

What kind of bath products are used to enhance one's beauty?

How do Japanese women usually take a bath? In Japan, bath salts are widely used for their aroma-based relaxation effects and moisturizing effects. We conducted a survey to find out how much bath salts are actually used.

Q. Do you use bath salts?

Of those who take baths, a total of 77% said they use bath salts regardless of the frequency, which means that three out of four people use bath salts on a daily basis. More than 20% said they use them every day, suggesting that bath salts are a common item used by Japanese women.

Q. What results are expectant for when using bath salts?

"Relieving my stress" (Woman in her 40s)
“Helping me to sweat” (Woman in her 30s)
“Moisturizing my entire body” (Woman in her 20s)

Why are bath salts used so much by Japanese women? When asked about the anticipated effects, many people said that they could relax, warm their bodies, and get rid of their tiredness. Among those who were more beauty conscious*, many had high expectations about sebum and toxin removal through detoxing, as seen through responses that bathing "cleans the skin (removes dead skin and dirt)" and "promotes sweating." Hence, bath salts appear to be regarded as an item to enhance beauty.

* Those who answered yes to more than one of the questions related to beauty awareness, such as "I know more about cosmetics than other people my age" or "I regularly go to facial beauty salons" (N=493).

Japanese people's "love of bathing" doesn’t end with taking baths at home!

Japan is known for its many bathing facilities, such as public baths and hot springs. We found that Japanese women are highly conscious about taking baths, but how much do they use these facilities?

Q. Do you take baths anywhere besides at your home?


"I visit a hot spring at least once a month to unwind." (Woman in her 40s)
"I like going to super sento bathhouses." (Woman in her 40s)
"I like to sweat in the bedrock bath and sauna. I go once a week during the summer. " (Woman in her 20s)

When we looked at the responses of people who said they take baths at places besides their homes, we found that about one out of two people do so at least once every six months. Many people commented that they “go to a hot spring every month” in their free time or expect to enjoy the beauty and health benefits of bathing, like "feeling relaxed" or "making skin feel smoother." We see that people find pleasure in bathing as an extraordinary experience that cannot be found at home.

In general, bathing is considered to be a part of the daily routine to cleanse the body and maintain hygiene. However, in Japan, the unique custom of taking a bath has become a part of the culture of "enjoying a bath" to relax and improve one's beauty. The unique practice of bathing nurtured in Japan seems to have many more interesting aspects hidden within it. In the next entry, we will delve even deeper into this bathing related theme.

Research by Shiseido Japanese Beauty Institute
Research Period: November 2019

Related links
The Japanese Art of Bathing
Rediscovering Sento- Japan’s public bathhouses