Homemade Adzuki Bean Facial and Body Scrubs

Use This Nutritious Legume to Rejuvenate Your Skin

Adzuki Bean
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Adzuki bean powder has been used in Japanese skin care regimens for centuries to cleanse and exfoliate the skin and to rejuvenate and brighten the complexion. 

A Sweet Treat

The adzuki bean plant (vigna angularis) is an annual vine grown in East Asia and Himalayas.  Also known as azuki and aduki, this small red bean with white ridges was introduced to Japan from China 1000 years ago and is used in Japanese and Chinese cuisine.  Adzuki is a very nutritious bean that is a rich source of fiber, with more protein but fewer calories than other legumes.  It is eaten sweetened with sugar, often mashed into a sweet red bean paste  and used in desserts.  Festival rice, rice cooked with adzuki beans, is also a Japanese dish used for special occasions.  

Adzuki Bean Medicinal Benefits

The adzuki bean is called Chi Xiao Dou in traditional Chinese medicine and used for supporting healthy kidney, bladder and reproductive organ function.

A Royal Beauty Treatment

Since the 18th century, Japanese noblewomen used stone ground adzuki beans for beauty.  Adzuki powder was placed inside a small silk bag and moistened with water to create a creamy cleanser to gently scrub the face and body.  Today cotton bags are used or the powder is applied directly to the face.

Bean powder sloughs and deeply cleanses the skin.  Adzuki beans contain saponin, which gives it a natural foaming action to help remove dead skin cells and cleanse pores by drawing out pore clogging sebum, dirt and bacteria that can cause blemishes.  It also tightens and softens the skin, and promotes circulation, giving it a healthy, natural glow.

Quick Tips for a Clear & Glowing Complexion

Do It Yourself Adzuki Face & Body Cleanser   

Adzuki powder can be purchased in Asian markets.  (Other markets, like natural food stores sell adzuki beans, but the beans will probably cost more.)


  1. Roast the adzuki beans to remove moisture.  Use a heavy skillet and roast over medium high heat for 5 – 10 minutes, stirring constantly.  The beans should not lose the red color.  If they do, they’ve been roasted too long.
  2. Grind the beans into a fine powder using a coffee grinder or blender.  It should be very fine and soft.
  3. After blending let the powder settle before opening the lid.
  4. Store in a sealed container to keep the powder free of moisture.

To use:

  1. Mix the powder with a little warm water in the palm of your hand.
  2. Apply to wet face and gently massage in small, circular motions to help promote circulation. Rinse with warm water.
  3. When using on the face, avoid the under eye area. 
  4. Use 2 - 3 times a week. (Less if you have very sensitive skin.)

Adzuki Facial Mask

  1. Prepare the powder with water as above, but make into a slightly thicker paste.  
  2. Apply the mixture to the face.  Leave the mask on the face for about 15-18 minutes or until the mask begins to tighten.  Rinse with warm water. Pat dry.

You can also add moisture-rich oils such as sesame, jojoba, camellia or rosehips oil to the paste.  Massage into the skin and rinse.

Adzuki Bean & Rice Bran Scrub

While Japanese royalty used adzuki bean powder in their skin care regimes, commoners used rice bran, since it was cheaper.  Together the ingredients make an excellent scrub and facial cleanser.

To use:

Mix equal amounts of rice bran and adzuki bean powder in a bowl and massage onto the face in gentle circular motions.

The powder mixture can also be placed inside a facial washing bag.  These can be found by searching facial washing puff or facial washing massage puff.  If you sew, these can easily be made using natural unbleached cotton or white silk fabric and tied with a little string. 

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