Japanese Ingredients

INDIGO  |  Persicaria tinctoria

Indigo has ancient roots in Japan. Samurai wore indigo-dyed garments under their armour because of its antibacterial properties and to heal their wounds quickly. Poultices made of indigo have been used for centuries to treat psoriasis and eczema all over the world.


MADDER  |  Rubia tinctorum

Madder dye is derived from the root of this plant, a climbing perennial endemic to Western Asia. Madder is also known as manjistha in India, where it is used in Ayurvedic cooking and remedies. It has been consumed orally for centuries to treat kidney ailments, fatigue, and fertility issues. The beautiful colour comes from the chemical compound found in the plant called alizarin.


GROMWELL  |  Lithospermum erythrorhizon

Purple, the color of royalty. Even in Heian-period Japan, the use of purple was restricted to the Court and ladies-in-waiting because the purple dye shikon required such a lengthy extraction process. Extracts from the gromwell root are used to expel toxins from the body. Antibacterial and antiviral, gromwell is a beautiful plant that aids in treating skin conditions and leaves the skin feeling soft and toned.


SAFFLOWER | Carthamus tinctorius

Many parts of the safflower plant were utilized in Egypt thousands of years ago as a dye, as decoration, and as medicine. The compound carthamin gives the flowers its subtle red hue. The oils found in Safflower seeds are very rich in linoleic acid, which helps the skin retain its natural moisture.


BAMBOO LEAF | Bambusoideae

Bamboo leaf also offers a lovely green hue and collagen-building properties. Bamboo contains a large amount of the mineral silica, which is known to aid in creating collagen in skin, nails, and hair cells.



Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilised diatoms. It is an ancient, nutrient-dense, super-fine sand. Similar to the bamboo leaf, it contains an enormous amount of silica which promotes cell growth in skin and hair. 


RICE BRAN  |  Oryza sativa

Rice bran is the outer husk of the rice plant, and it is rich in fats that are essential for our skin’s moisture. Both rice bran and rice bran oil are used in the soap recipes. They are said to aid with eczema and other skin conditions.


HEMP CHARCOAL  |  Trema orientalis

Sourced from Tokyo, Wato's hemp charcoal is a detoxifying powerhouse. It is four times more absorbent than its cousin binchoutan charcoal because of its extremely porous makeup. A true natural solution for exfoliation.


MUGWORT  |  Artemisia princeps

Japanese mugwort is a beautiful, fuzzy plant with flowers from the sunflower family. The dense fuzz found on the leaves is used in Chinese medicine as moxa in heat therapy. The warming qualities of mugwort are used throughout the Asian medicine world, especially for pain relief and management.


TURMERIC  |  Curcuma longa

Known as a powerhouse in Ayurvedic medicine, Turmeric contains powerful healing properties for the skin. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties come from the compound curcumin, which heals cuts and wounds, scars, redness, and sun damage.



A naturally mild exfoliator, brown sugar is perfect for cleansing sensitive skin. It sloughs off dead skin cells while helping the skin retain moisture, thanks to its abundance of minerals.



Persimmon tannin (kakishibu) is used in Japan as a protective material for everything from trees to fishing boats and lacquerware. It is used as a remedy to treat cuts and will help protect your skin from the elements. Kakishibu contains ten times the amount of the antioxidant polyphenol found in red wine. Also a great deodorizer.



Sake lees (sake kasu) are a byproduct of the rice fermentation process in sake production. Frequently used both in cooking and in beauty products, it contains the antibacterial and antifungal kojic acid, which has the power to "wake up" sluggish cells and leave the skin glowy and smooth.