In an age when even star athletes bathe in red wine, which is said to curtail aging among other benefits, there is another quiet storm which has been building over many years: Bathing in sake, or Japanese rice wine.

According to the Daisekkei Brewing Co. website, a sake bath will moisturize your skin. The sake brewery, established in 1898, is based at the foot of the North Japan Alps in Nagano Prefecture.

In trendy Tokyo, a number of uber-deluxe – and some not so deluxe – spas have been adding sake baths and skin treatments to their menus of services. Similarly, some onsen also offer sake added to a hot spring soak, though it is much more common to drink sake in a communal hot springs, a la hoshimi-zake (star-viewing sake) or yukimi-zake (snow-viewing sake), depending on the time of year.

And, as the Rocket News site from Tokyo points out, it’s not only sake, but shochu (distilled from either sweet potatoes, buckwheat, rice or barley), that adds something extra to the bathing experience, stating that “while the mixture can produce a tingling sensation on the skin, it still does a fine job of warming the body from the core.”

How about you? Would you bathe in sake or shochu for better skin?

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