Japan

Beauty brands are giving back to Japan in a big way to provide relief in wake of the natural disasters that have shook the island. Photo: JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images

Japan has long influenced the world of beauty.

From cleansing rituals that are deeply embedded in the sophisticated skincare culture of Japanese women to fields of antioxidant rich ingredients like green tea that the industry has come to rely on for anti-aging prowess, some of beauty's greatest secrets can be traced to the Land of the Rising Sun.

And so some of beauty's biggest names have stepped forward in the aftermath of the earthquake devastation, looking to help the battered country rebuild with the aid of remarkably generous donations -- some of which reach into the millions.

While you can make a personal donation to organizations like the American Red Cross, which will play a key role in disaster relief in months and years to come, you can also support socially responsible beauty brands that have chosen to give back in a big way.

"I feel very strongly that we have to do whatever we can do to help. It's easy to say we're saddened or to show sympathy, but that is not enough. If everyone makes a donation, no matter how minimal, those efforts accumulate and amount into a large help," says Japan-born Mirai Clinical founder Koko Hayashi.

See below for our list of beauty's most generous donors.

Amway: Donating $1.2 million in aid, the direct-sales brand has a portfolio that includes the official beauty line of Miss America, Artistry. Amway is also matching global employee and distributor donations up to $250,000 until March 21. Amway Japan is one of the company's top markets, employing hundreds in the country as support staff, as well as providing popular skin-care and lightening products to Japanese customers.
UPDATE: Amway, its employees, distributors and customers have collectively pooled $4.4 million in donations for disaster relief. Amway will continue to accept donations via the company's website.

L'Oréal: The beauty giant -- which owns brands as diverse as The Body Shop, Lancôme, Kiehl's and its namesake drugstore label -- will donate $1.3 million to the Japanese Red Cross, in addition to encouraging L'Oréal U.S. employees to personally contribute to American Red Cross relief efforts via an automatic payroll deduction.

Shiseido: With roots planted in Japan, the brand will donate $1.2 million to its home country, plus provide much-needed cleansing products to earthquake and tsunami survivors. Shiseido will supply 10,000 bottles each of dry shampoo, medicated hand soap and Speedes disinfectant lotion in both large and small sizes.

21 Drops: Through May 1, 50 percent of proceeds from online purchase of the brand's Carry On aromatherapy blend will benefit the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami funds.

Avon: Through Avon's Associate Matching Gift Program, the company's U.S. beauty advisers can double their emergency relief donations. The Avon Foundation for Women matches these donations up to $15,000 per associate, per year.

Balance by James Joseph: The Boston-based salon will donate 20 percent of all online product sales to the Red Cross through the end of April.

Boscia: With corporate headquarters in Japan, Boscia is donating 10 percent of proceeds from Internet home-page sales of its best-selling, all-natural Blotting Linens, including the new Japanese-inspired green tea scent.

Chella: Known best for brow-perfecting products, Chella will donate 10 percent of all online sales to relief efforts, through Mother's Day.

Creed: A luxury fragrance dynasty that has continuously passed from father to son since 1760, Creed will donate a portion of all online sales to the American Red Cross. While the percentage is yet to be determined, a brand spokesperson expects it to match or be near Creed's 10 percent donation to Haiti earthquake relief.

Hanae Mori parfum, Shiseido Shimmering Rouge and 21 Drops Carry On Aromatherapy Oil

Hanae Mori parfum, Shiseido Shimmering Rouge and 21 Drops Carry On Aromatherapy Oil. Courtesy Photos


Hanae Mori Parfums
: Founder Madame Hanae Mori counts Japan as her homeland, and the
brand will donate a yet-to-be-determined percentage of online sales proceeds to the country's aide.

John Masters Organics: Through the end of March, 100 percent of the proceeds from all online orders of the natural and earth-friendly beauty and haircare products will be donated to Civic Force, a Japanese non-profit that responds to disaster situations in the country.

Lush: Known for its handmade and fresh formulas, the brand is planning a large relief initiative. While details have yet to be finalized, one of the ideas currently being considered is a donation of 40,000 pieces of soap to the affected areas.

Mirai Clinical: A new Japanese anti-aging body care line that just launched online this past February, Mirai Clinical will donate 10 percent of all Web site sales through Dec. 31 to the American Red Cross's rebuilding efforts in Japan.

Shu Uemura: One of L'Oréal's luxury Japanese brands, Shu Uemura Art of Hair will partner with salons across the United States to assist with fundraisers for Japan. The first event will take place at New York's Wonderland Beauty Parlor, where proceeds of a $100 package of a Beauty Ceremony treatment, signature Around The World blowout, Priti NYC manicure, makeup touch-up and goody bag will support the Japanese Red Cross.

Temptu: The airbrush-makeup leader will donate $100 from every online sale of Airbrush Makeup System and Pro Compressors and Kits to the American Red Cross through March 31. "This is a global crisis that needs help from all sectors," said CEO and President Michael Benjamin.

Tocca: Through April 1st, 50 percent of all the fine home and body goods you purchase on Tocca's website will be donated to The Red Cross. And with the brand running a HELPJAPAN checkout code that will grant you 15 percent off your total purchase, we can't think of a better time to stock up on Cleopatra.