Though it is out of favour due to the alternative whitening creams available and the contents of the cosmetic they are still made for those looking for a traditional approach to skin tone management. This product does not meet many countries’ quarantine requirements due to being an animal byproduct.
Komenuka bijin or rice bran wash is a traditional facial cleanser, rice bran contains large amounts of essential fatty acids and is heavy in Vitamin E. Additionally the grain husk works as a natural exfoliant to remove dead skin cells and even out the skin tone. In many cases the bran will be loaded into a small cotton bag that is wet and rubbed in a circular motion on the face to remove impurities.
Taihaku wax is a thick wax, warmed and manipulated in the hands and then spread over facial hair such as eyebrows. This allows the performer to cover the brow region with matte white makeup and redraw the eyebrows in a more pleasing place or shape to the natural brow growth.
Abura a facial primer oil is used to ensure that the white makeup is evenly applied and stays true throughout an evening’s entertainment. Abura is a modern precurser to makeup primer and would be applied immediately after cleansing and moisturising as with any modern primer product.
Ohaguro is the process of dying one’s teeth using an iron filing treatment that bonds to the dental enamel sealing the teeth and making them black. This had a number of effects, partially it is beneficial and prevents tooth decay but like many dramatic fashions it also had the distinction of marking class. It is still used by some Asian women but has fallen out of favour since the Meiji Restoration. The primary ingredients are acetic acid with iron filings dissolved into it.
Modern maiko use a temporary black wax to colour their teeth during Erikae – this can be bought in specialty shops in Kyoto