We dive into Japanese skincare secrets by uncovering the ultimate step by step routine that helps them to achieve their oh-so-covetable ‘mochi’ skin.
The Japanese are known for their beauty products (and a whole lot else, tbh), with amazingly clear and radiant skin to show for it. So how do they achieve supple mochi-like skin that glows from within? We take a deep dive into the Japanese skincare secrets by uncovering the routines that help them achieve this oh-so-covetable skin (*heart eyes*).
The first step in this routine is double cleansing which has really only gone mainstream in recent years, but we hear that the Japanese beauty insiders have been doing it for light years. And that’s the first key to unlocking clear skin like theirs.
First, use a cleansing oil to remove your makeup (sleeping with a full face on is a definite no-no!), sunscreen (more on this in a bit), and any other products and impurities from your skin. Oils are excellent for melting everything away, and have the added benefit of being gentle on the skin as they cleanse without drying your skin out. This is perhaps our fave part of using a cleansing oil, because no one wants their skin to feel like parchment paper after a single cleanse, right?
Next, massage a cleanser over your skin and do a final cleanse. And hello, squeaky-clean pores! Take it from us – this additional skincare step can seriously make all the difference.
If double cleansing isn’t enough to remove all the buildup from caking on a week’s worth of makeup and what-have-you, a gentle exfoliation session is in order. You’ll get smoother and cleaner skin within minutes, we promise.
Start with the toner
An important part of this Japanese skincare routine would be to prep your skin for the rest of the products you’re about to apply, and to restore the pH balance, don’t skip the toner. Be sure to pick one with ingredients that’ll treat your skin issues: for instance, hyaluronic acid for dry skin and tea tree oil for those who are acne-prone. If you’re unsure what to look out for, rosewater is one of our failsafes, an ingredient that works for almost any type of skin (and smells good too).
Hydrate with essence
Hydration is an absolutely essential skincare step, and our go-to is SK-II Facial Treatment Essence for a dose of the good stuff. And by that we mean Pitera, the iconic ingredient that promises to improve skin texture, increase radiance and firmness, and reduce spots and wrinkles within two weeks. Whether your skin is ravaged by the weather or damaged from your stress-eating habits, this essence will help restore its clear, supple radiance.
Serum for skin trouble
The big sister of essences: serums are more concentrated with active ingredients to tackle your skin concerns more intensively. For most of us (especially here in sunny Singapore), our skin is constantly faced with harsh UV rays that can really affect its radiance. You might not see the effects now, but in the long-term, UV rays can result in dull skin and age spots.
Thankfully, we have the GenOptics Aura Essence to reverse (or prevent) the damage. The name might be confusing, but we’ve consulted the experts and we’ll have you know that yes, this product – despite the name – is meant to be used as a serum, due to the amount of active ingredients it has in it.
Created after an extensive research done over no less than a decade, the breakthrough GenOptics Aura Essence features Prunus extract and Inositol in addition to the signature Pitera. These come together to actively brighten the skin and prevent melanin formation, which gives you that radiant glow.
Now for the eyes
Time to show some love for the most sensitive area of your face: the area around your eyes is thinner and more delicate, so be extra gentle here. We recommend applying your eye cream in dabbing motions with your ring finger to avoid tugging at the skin.
And if you have yet to get started on an eye cream, it’s high time to invest in one before the dark circles and fine lines set in! Prevention is better than cure, as they say.
We love ourselves a good sheet mask. They’re a quick and easy way to give your skin an intense moisture boost, without the fuss of leave-on or clay masks.
And while slapping on a mask seems like a no-brainer, are you really using your sheet masks correctly? As it turns out, a lot more could go wrong than just accidentally ripping your mask apart.
If you’re someone who leaves your masks on until they dry, you’re actually doing yourself a disservice and risk drying out your skin instead of hydrating it. It’s a common mistake to think that your skin will absorb more moisture when the mask stays on for way longer than it should… In fact, the opposite is true: the dried-out mask will draw moisture away from your skin through reverse osmosis – compulsory knowledge, people.
Good ol’ moisturiser
After masking, seal the essence all in with a moisturiser. We’ve got our eye on the SK-II RNA Power Airy Milky Lotion. For those who want something nourishing without weighing the skin down, this lightweight formula will be just what you need.
Even though it’s so light, this lotion packs a hydrating punch. The cream is rich, yet maintaining a smooth and non-sticky texture that feels comfortable on the skin (which also means that it’ll make a great base for your makeup!).
SPF is a must
There’s nothing worse than spending all this time and money on a good quality skincare routine, and then accidentally undoing all the benefits when you step outside. UV rays are the silent killer of skin radiance and you don’t wanna wait till you see the damage to take action. So arm yourself with a good sunscreen and make that a non-negotiable part of your morning. Once we learnt about how UV exposure could cause premature ageing (doesn’t that sound terrifying to you?), we’ve been religiously putting on sunscreen daily and haven’t looked back since.
PSA: You’ll need sun protection even on a cloudy day or in a winter climate – just because it isn’t a sunny day, it doesn’t mean the UV rays aren’t beating down on your skin! Your skin will thank you decades down the road.
And don’t forget…
To reap the full benefits of the Japanese skincare routine, you have to take care of yourself too – by that we mean proper hydration (no, coffee doesn’t count); healthy eating habits (you don’t have to survive on salads, but do consume greens with your meals); enough sleep (when was the last time you clocked a good seven hours?); and sufficient movement to get your circulation going (a gym habit is great if you can manage one, but an easy hack is to start by at least walking more).
This sounds cliché , but we assure you that if you establish healthy lifestyle – and skincare – habits, you’ll glow from inside out. And really, isn’t that what true radiance is all about?
This post is in partnership with SK-II.