How to Not Have Skin Like Kiryu Yakuza

Be like a dragon, not like a Kiryu.

Dunkey just put out a new Yakuza video, one of my favorite genres of his, and it reminded me of a piece I wanted to write way back when I first started at Fanbyte and played Yakuza Zero. I never finished that game or got that far into it, but something struck me about it while I was playing — everyone in that game has gigantic pores. It’s seemingly been alleviated a little in Like a Dragon, but just look at Kiryu Kazuma’s skin in Yakuza Kiwami for a second.

Kiryu Yazkua

It’s ridiculous! Maybe it’s because he’s running around and getting filthy hitting people with street signs all day, but I don’t think that’s any excuse to neglect your skin. It’s the biggest organ in/on your body, Kiryu-chan! You may want to be like Kiryu in a lot of ways, but you probably don’t want to have pores the size of swimming pools. So, what can you do about it?

Skincare, baby. And don’t worry — it doesn’t have to be complicated. Like most things in life, you can go truly wild with skincare and have a twelve-step routine, but that isn’t necessary for most people. With just a few simple steps, you can take much better care of your skin and ensure that it stays healthy for years to come.

The single most important thing you can do for your skin is to wear sunscreen everyday. If you’re new to the concept, this might seem excessive, but the sun ages and damages your skin more than anything else. You want something with SPF 30 or higher, and the simplest way to do this is to just get a moisturizer with SPF in it. This doesn’t have to be something expensive, either. My go-to for years was CeraVe’s AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion, which has SPF 35 and usually costs around $10-15 at Target or the drug store. And yes, you should moisturize even if you have oily skin — in that case, you want to look for something formulated for your specific skin type.

Like a Dragon Yakuza Skin
This man clearly moisturizes.

Simply using sunscreen on a daily basis is going to make a huge difference in your skin long-term, but if you want to build out the basics of a routine, there are a few more things you could add. A chemical exfoliant can help reduce the size of pores (hi, Kiryu) as well as reduce blemishes and bumps. There are two main kinds, AHA and BHA, and which you use depends on your main skin concerns. Paula’s Choice has a pretty good visual rundown of the two, and their exfoliants work great. You shouldn’t use an exfoliant in the daytime without applying sunscreen afterwards, since they can increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun — but then, you’re wearing sunscreen everyday anyway, right?

The one other major thing you could try for the basics of a solid skincare routine is retinol, which is basically vitamin A. There’s decades of research showing that it has anti-aging properties when applied to the skin, and while you can get a high-powered version from a dermatologist, there are plenty of regular retail products that include lower concentrations which also work great. Just make sure to get something that comes in a pump bottle rather than a jar, since exposure to air can reduce the effectiveness of the ingredients over time.

That’s pretty much it! Skincare doesn’t have to be this big complicated enterprise. Honestly, if Kiryu just used some sunscreen and BHA for a few weeks, I bet his face would look a lot more like Ichiban’s. It probably wouldn’t give him the ability to use RPG skills like Ichi, but you never know.