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Beautiful skin
Bihada refers both to skin that is beautiful as well as the process of making skin beautiful. Over the past few years, bihada has surpassed dieting and makeup to become the number one topic of interest in women's magazines.

To be beautiful, skin must be smooth, moist, resilient, and lustrous. Dark spots, freckles, acne, rough patches, sunburn, and excessive dryness are all threats to skin's optimum condition.

A large number of skin care products, soaps, and health foods that claim to benefit the skin have been marketed, but sound overall health remains the single most important component. Most magazine articles on this topic stress that the best way to make skin beautiful is to eat a balanced diet, get plenty of sleep, treat the skin gently when washing, and not to rely excessively on skin-care products and makeup. In this respect, the boom is closely connected to the current upsurge of interest in staying healthy.

Numerous books on the subject have been published by actresses and TV stars whose reputation has been built on their great complexion. Among them are Yamazaki Senri, who wrote Bihada (Beautiful Skin), and Kimijima Towako, who penned Towako juku (Towako's School). Saeki Chizu, a charismatic aesthetician born in 1943, has also been in the spotlight for her "magical" techniques for keeping skin looking good. Interest in beautiful skin is spreading from younger women to those in their forties and older, and a new market for goods targeted at women in older age groups is now taking shape. (July 10, 2006)