Yojiya: traditional beauty from Kyoto, Japan

A trip to Japan isn’t complete without exploring the old capital, Kyoto. There lie the roots of Yojiya, a traditional beauty brand famous for its blotting sheets or “aburatorigami“.

Originally a by-product of the gold leaf making process, aburatorigami paper was used to support the gold while hammering it. The gold artisans would give them to the Japanese geisha so they could quickly blot out any oiliness in between performances. The original sheets were quite big, but Yoyiya made them palm-sized and bundled them in booklets to make them more appealing to mainstream users.

Depending on the season, you can buy them in yuzu, sakura or green tea versions. I got mine in pink and I must say, they do a terrific job of removing any excess sebum buildup during the day. The sheets are one of the biggest I’ve ever come across, making them quite fast and easy to work with. Plus, they are made without any scent or powder, so they can be used on sensitive skin and won’t clog your pores.

Packing your bags as a skincare lover can be quite a pain if you have to consider your liquids. Yojiya offers packs of facial wash paper soap for on-the-go. Yes, you read that right; soap sheets. Simply take a sheet from the pack (of 20 pieces), put it under running water and rub your hands to emulsify. Absolutely brilliant!

One last thing I bought the Yojiya Nukabikuro rice bran bag. This is a traditional face & body cleanser that comes in a soft cotton bag filled with rice extract (hydration) and starch (cleansing agent). You simply put it in water and then massage it onto your face and body. You can re-use the bag until it’s completely empty.

The cotton bag helps to gently exfoliate the skin, leaving it soft and nourished after every use. Over time, it helps to brighten the complexion.

Overall, I’m satisfied with all of my Yojiya purchases. They’re hard to get outside of Japan, but they make make great souvenirs for those looking for a traditional beauty experience.

Yojiya has several stores (and some cafés) spread throughout Kyoto and also at Narita & Haneda airport. More info: www.yojiya.co.jp


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