Most people know saké as the drink that accompanies sushi or other Japanese dishes. Aside from being a rice wine beverage, it actually has many benefits for the skin and body.
Saké contains 18 different amino acids – the building blocks of protein – which are produced during the brewing process. Amino acids are critical to life, yet the body can only produce 10 of the 20 acids. The rest must be derived from outside sources such as essential oils, antioxidant-rich foods, and saké.
Saké is known as rice wine, even though it is actually made through a brewing process. While its origins remain unclear, its recorded history dates back to third century Japan. The rice used for brewing saké is called shuzo kotekimai (saké rice). It is a larger, stronger grain and is only used for making saké because it is unpalatable. Today, there are at least 80 types of saké rice in Japan.
A naturally derived antioxidant, saké yields low-molecular proteins (peptides) that help protect the hair and skin. It also has other beneficial organic compounds, including phosphoserine, ferulic acid, and cysteine, which are vital proteins.
It was discovered some time ago that people who made saké on a regular basis typically had smoother, more youthful skin. Researchers began looking into this phenomenon and discovered certain enzymes in saké had a hydrating effect. In addition, the rice extract in sake promotes the production of ceramides, a family of lipid molecules found in cell membranes that help smooth lines and increase hydration.
Saké works especially well with men’s skin, which is more sensitive than female skin. However, it is a powerful rejuvenator for all skin types, particularly when paired with trichloroacetic acid. The rice ferment can be found in skin care products like serums, toners, and skin peel formulas and is used to regenerate skin cells, detoxify the skin, soothe irritations, and deliver a supply of antioxidants.