Depending on where you live, oil-blotting sheets may be more commonly used and useful for your skin. Originally from Japan, a country that can get incredibly humid during peak summer months, these sheets, also called aburatorigami, were used to absorb excess oil and sweat from the skin. Traditionally used by geishas and other entertainers throughout performances, these sheets eventually became a beauty essential for everyday use as it effectively removes the oil that cause breakouts and the greasy shine on your skin.
Aburatorigami has a pretty unique history as it wasn't originally used for the skin, but for crafting gold! Made from the abacá leaf, also known as Manila hemp, the ingredient was pulped and made into these specialized, very absorptive, papers. Thousands of years ago in Kyoto, gold leaf experts of Kanazawa, a prefecture known for its gold leaf (legend says flakes of gold were found while digging for potatoes!), used these papers to protect gold as it was hammered into thin sheets. For hundreds of years, aburatorigami was used in this way and also as wrapping placed in between wispy sheets of gold.
Serendipitously by the Edo period (1603-1867), it was actually rumored that these sheets were great in ridding facial oil, leaving people feeling instantly refreshed as their skin was wiped clean. And this rumor became fact, and then an unstoppable beauty trend of its time, as it made its way to Gion, an entertainment district of Kyoto. Here, as we mentioned earlier, is where geiko (the geisha of Kyoto), blotted their make-up heavy faces as they rushed off to entertain into the night. And the rest is history...
Oil-blotting sheets are now a skincare essential for many, for women and men of all ages. Even high schoolers, who use these sheets to prevent pimples, make sure to buy aburatorigami as souvenirs on their school trips to Kyoto. It's perfect for on-the-go touch ups - just wipe and dispose! These sheets are very thin so once you wipe, you can see the paper turn translucent as it absorbs on the oil. It's admittedly very satisfying to see, and your skin will feel even better!
Maybe the saying "treat your skin like gold" doesn't have to be as difficult as it seems. Just as aburatorigami was used to protect and treat gold, tend to your skin in the same way.