In the West, sake, often referred to as rice wine, is best known as a Japanese alcoholic drink brewed from fermented rice. You might drink it when you go out for sushi, maybe you sake bomb if you're really feeling wild, but you probably don't use it in your beauty routine.
You might want to, though. Turns out, sake as a skin-care ingredient is rising in popularity in Japan, according to a Google Consumer Trends report. Why? Because it's rich in enzymes that gently exfoliate the outer layers of skin by breaking down the ‘glue’ that holds dead skin cells to the surface without stripping your complexion of any moisture. Not only that, the fermentation process produces kojic acid, an antioxidant that can penetrate down past the dermis to limit melanin production. It’s a natural alternative to hydroquinone (a skin-lightener plagued by bad press) that works to erase dark spots and even discolouration if those are your concerns.