Do you think K-beauty is the trendiest in all the Asian beauty world? Let us introduce you to Japanese skincare!
We know what you're thinking: "another blog post about skincare?" But hear us out, because the Japanese beauty routine is not your average skincare regimen. In fact, it's a bit weird– but the results are worth it!
Have you ever walked by Japanese women and just thought to yourself, "Glowy skin, how do they do it?" Look no further, friend! We are going to teach you the J-beauty secrets to their seemingly effortless and always glowing skin. So put down that Insta-filter and grab a notepad, because we are here to spill the beans on their beauty routine.
Spoiler alert: it's not as complicated as you might think!
Keep reading for our ultimate Japanese beauty routine on how to get that coveted mochi glow that everyone is dying to achieve.
WTH is J-beauty?
The term "J-beauty" is used to describe the unique approach that Japanese girls take to beauty and skincare. This includes using natural ingredients, focusing on prevention rather than correction, and taking a holistic, harsh chemicals-free approach to wellness.
A J-beauty routine is 100% composed of Japanese beauty products and brands, including mochi (rice) extract. Mochi is a traditional Japanese food that is known for its sticky texture and sweet flavour. It's also packed with nutrients that are beneficial for the skin, including amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
One of the most iconic aspects of Japanese beauty is the focus on skincare over makeup. While Westerners often view skincare as a necessary evil, something that must be done in order to wear makeup and not clog pores, Japanese see it as an opportunity to nurture and care for their skin.
This focus on skincare has led to some brand incredible innovations, like double cleansing and sheet masks. But it's also resulted in some unusual (to us Westerners) beauty practices, like using rice water or green tea as a toner.
So, why Japanese skin is flawless?
Yes, genetics play a big role in this, but the real answer lies in their intricate and often lengthy skin care routines - they simply take better care of their skin! In fact, many Japanese women start using anti-aging products in their twenties to prevent signs of aging from appearing later on.
The Japanese beauty brands are harsh chemicals-free, which means it is only composed of natural, active ingredients that celebrate the skin and don’t cause any damage.
Japanese skincare dictionary: Mochi skin vs. Glass skin
If you love watching beauty videos on YouTube or Tik Tok, you must have heard about the latest skincare trends: #ricecakeskin *aka mochi skin*, or #glassskin. But what do the influencers mean when they are talking about those weird terms?
Don’t despair! Let us explain:
Mochi skin is a term that was coined by Japanese beauty YouTubers and bloggers. It is used to describe the perfect skin texture that's as silky and soft as mochi (a Japanese rice cake). It's a complexion that looks creamy, healthy, hydrated and plump - like you've been well-fed and well-rested.
This skin goal is often associated with Japanese women who have flawless complexions. That’s why there are so many Japanese cosmetics and makeup brands that claim to give you “mochi skin”
One of the most popular trends in Japan right now is glass skin. This term refers to skin that is so clear, luminous, and smooth, it looks like glass. It's the kind of complexion that makes you look like you've been Photoshopped or have cushion foundation on, but it is actually achieved by following Japanese beauty routines
Japanese beauty routine: The Definitive 9-ish Steps Regime
The Japanese skin care routine is a regimen that includes several steps, usually undertaken in the evening before bedtime. It typically consists of four main steps: cleansing, exfoliating, applying toner, and moisturizing, however, you can add more if you want to treat certain problems like dark spots or acne-prone skin.
This order and the number of steps may vary depending on individual skin type and preferences. This means that you don’t actually have to complete de 9-ish steps to have mochi skin, but you do need to complete the main ones to create the perfect regimen.
All that being said, here are the Japanese beauty secrets to glowy, healthy skin:
1. Double cleansing
If you want to achieve the dewy, mochi skin that is so coveted in Japan, then double cleansing is a must. This process is about washing your face with oil-based cleansers first, followed by water-based cleansers. This two-step process helps to remove all traces of makeup, dirt and sebum from your skin, leaving it feeling clean and refreshed.
But, how should you apply these products? Let us explain:
A cleansing oil is a type of facial cleanser that contains natural oils like jojoba oil, olive oil, or coconut oil.
This kind of lotion is beneficial for all skin types *including oily skin*, but they are especially helpful for those with dry skin. Oil cleansing is amazing in removing makeup and dirt without stripping the skin of its natural oils.
To use a cleansing oil, simply massage the product into your dry face and neck. Rinse the area with warm water and pat your skin dry.
Important: This step should only be performed during your nighttime routine
Water-based cleansers are a type of facial cleanser that is designed to remove water-based impurities, like sweat, from your pores. This lotion or gel is often used by people who have oily or acne-prone skin, as it can help to control excess oil production.
Moreover, cleansers typically contain ingredients like glycerin or rice water, which help to hydrate and soothe the skin.
One of the best things about water-based cleansers is that they are gentle enough for daily use. This means that you can use them in the morning and evening without worrying about drying out your skin.
One important Japanese secret to beautiful skin is exfoliation. This helps to get rid of dead skin cells and reveals new, radiant skin. Exfoliating also allows for better absorption of skincare products.
There are two primary styles of exfoliation: physical and chemical. Physical exfoliants include scrubs and brushes, while chemical exfoliants use acids to break down the bonds between dead skin cells.
Japanese women typically prefer physical exfoliants because they have a soft texture and are effective. One popular type of physical exfoliant is a rice bran scrub. Rice bran contains an enzyme that breaks down dead skin cells, revealing soft, glowing skin underneath.
To use Japanese beauty products with rice bran, simply wet your face and rub the scrub into your skin in a circular motion. Rinse with warm water and pat dry. You should exfoliate two to three times per week for best results.
Don’t forget to perform a patch test before including any type of exfoliator into your routine. That way you can discard any allergies or risks of redness and inflammation.
Toning is an important step in any beauty routine, but it's especially crucial in a Japanese beauty routine. This is because toning helps to restore the skin's pH balance and prep it for the rest of your skincare products.
It also helps to remove any leftover dirt and oil from cleansing, which means your other products will be able to work more effectively.
There are a few different ways you can tone your skin, but our favourite is using a cotton pad soaked in rice water toner. Rice water is rich in antioxidants and minerals, making it great for brightening and clarifying the skin. Plus, it's super affordable and easy to find - you can even make it yourself!
Another great toner is green tea. It's a great way to detox and get rid of any impurities in your skin. Moreover, green tea is also a natural anti-inflammatory, so it can help to reduce any redness or irritation in your skin.
In the Japanese world, essences are a must!
An essence is a watery serum-like product that helps to hydrate and prep your skin for the next steps in your routine. These popular lotions are an important step in a Japanese skin care routine because it helps to plump up the skin, making it more receptive to absorbing the nutrients from the following products.
These effective formulas are also thought to help "brighten" the face and even our skin tone. Because an essence is usually packed with antioxidants, it can also help to protect the skin from environmental aggressors like pollution and UV rays.
So, if you're looking for a glowy, healthy face, incorporating an essence into your beauty routine is a good place to start!
Related article: Essence Vs Toners Vs Serums: Difference, When And How Do You Use Them?
Serums are packed with powerful ingredients that can help to improve the appearance of your skin. They are super-concentrated in active ingredients and can help to brighten your face, smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, and even out dark spots.
There are a number of different serums on the market, so it is important to choose one that is right for your skin types. If you have oily skin, look for a serum that contains oil-absorbing ingredients such as clay or charcoal.
If you have dry skin or sensitive skin, look for a hydrating serum that contains hyaluronic acid *which also helps with skin aging* or glycerin. Moreover, if you have pigmented skin, vitamin c serums are for you.
You can do a facial massage in this step to increase blood circulation and help your pores to absorb the products. This can be performed with a facial roller or with your own fingers by moving them in circular motions.
6. Sheet mask *only at night*
A cult favorite in the Japanese beauty products!
If you want to know how to get clear skin, you need to start using sheet masks. Sheet masks are a key component in any Japanese beauty routine—and for good reason.
Sheet masks are soaked in a gel-like lotion and provide intense moisture to the skin, which is essential for achieving and maintaining clear pores. When the skin is properly hydrated, it is better able to protect itself against environmental stressors that can cause breakouts.
In addition to providing moisture, sheet masks also help to brighten the face and give the skin a healthy glow. This is because they are often infused with ingredients like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, Japanese angelica root, and Job’s tears, which is known for its ability to even out the skin and improve radiance.
7. Spot treatments
This is not mandatory, but, if you want to add an eye cream for dark circles and any fine line, or an acne treatment to get rid of pimples, it is time to layer them!
Spot treatments can be gel, lotion, or cream-like!
If you don’t want to apply these treatments, you can skip to the moisturizer.
The skin on your face is constantly exposed to environmental attackers like corrosion and UV rays. This can lead to dehydration, dullness, and premature aging. A good skincare routine should always include a step for moisture – and that’s where Japanese moisturizing products come in!
Japanese beauty cosmetics are known for their focus on moisturizing and nourishment. They often contain hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that helps your skin retain moisture. This means that your skin will be better able to protect itself against damage and stay plump and luminous.
You can choose an oil-free gel moisturizer if you have acne-prone or oily skin, or a heavier cream or lotion if you have dry skin!
Related article: Moisturizer For Oily Skin: Do or Don’t?
9. Sun protection *only in the mornings*
Sunscreen is a must in any routine, and the Japanese are no exception to that rule!
The sun is the number one cause of skin damage and premature aging. Japanese women are very diligent when it comes to applying sunscreen, even on cloudy days. This is because they understand that the sun’s harmful UV rays can penetrate through clouds.
Wearing sunscreen is important not only for preventing wrinkles and sunspots, but also for preventing skin cancer. In Japan, there is a saying that “sunscreen is your best friend”. And I couldn’t agree more!
Not all sunscreens are created equal though. In Japan, most sunscreens have a high SPF (30 or higher) and are PA++++ rated (the highest rating for UVA protection). Moreover, Japanese sunscreens are also typically a cream with lighter in texture and more cosmetically elegant, unlike their Western counterparts.
And don’t forget about your lips! If you want your lips as soft as honey, choose a hydrating lipbalm with sunscreen.
This is the final line in your morning routine before applying makeup!
Japanese secret to beautiful skin: Where to find the best products
That’s it, you’re a wizard on the Japanese beauty routine!
Well, sort of. The truth is, there are endless variations of this ritual and everyone has their own unique take. But armed with the knowledge of what goes into a typical routine and the best products to try, you’re ready to create your perfect match for flawlessly beautiful skin.
Are you feeling inspired to give some of these products a try? If so, be sure to visit Asian Beauty Essentials for the best selection of authentic and affordable Japanese beauty products. And who knows? Maybe after reading this post, you’ll even become a bit of an expert on all things “j-beauty” yourself!
We can promise that you won’t be disappointed with the results. Thanks for following along on this journey into the world of Japanese beauty.