Ever wonder how Japanese people appear so youthful? The short answer is good skincare! Many don't realize how important a good skincare routine is in maintaining the appearance of your skin, and by your 20's it's a must to protect your skin against the elements and early aging! It doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman, your skin is an important organ and you need to take care of it! Japan may be renown for weird beauty gadgets, but it's also world renown for it's amazing skincare. Before we listed some of the most popular skincare products here, but today we're going to give you a step by step guide on how and when to use them.
Step 1: Cleanse
The first step of any routine is to cleanse! After a long day you need to remove the grime and makeup off your face right? But forget about makeup wipes!!! Those things just rub the grime around your face and into pores, blocking them. We recommend cleansing oil! Put cleansing oil on a cotton pad and gently remove dirt and makeup in an upwards motion. If you're not a fan of oil based products or have eyelash extensions and need to avoid removing them then we recommend micellar water instead!
Products we reccomend: Biore Cleansing Oil; Biore is a super popular brand in Japan known especially for their cleansing products. They're affordable (less than $10) and do a great job!
Step 2: Cleanse again
If you think you're done after the first step WRONG! You should use a facial wash to remove the leftover dirt and product that was leftover after the first step. If you insist on using those dreaded cleansing wipes then this step is especially important not to miss. Facial washes that foam up do an especially good job of removing the rest of the grime and leaving your face feeling soft.
Products we recommend: Senka Perfect Whip; Less than $5 and Japan's most popular face wash, you really can't go wrong with this one!
Step 2a: Exfoliate (optional)
Exfoliation is important to get rid of the build up of dead skin and help unclog those pores! In winter dry skin tends to build up especially. BUT, you don't need to exfoliate every single day! 1-2 times a week is enough and anything more than that is overkill and probably irritating your skin. You also want to avoid exfoliating products that have those little plastic microbeads (they're polluting the planet and not great for your skin either) instead opt for something natural like sugar or rice exfoliating products.
Products we recommend: Skinfood Black Sugar Essential Scrub; Skinfood is technically a Korean brand but has been popular and established in Japan for years. At $10 it's also very affordable.
Step 3: Toner
Using a toner is another very important step. After cleansing and exfoliating, you remove all the natural oils from your face along with the dirt and this can upset the pH balance of your skin. This can lead to problems like irritated skin and acne, but using a toner helps restore this pH balance for happy skin! Without it the skin can become dehydrated too, and it also helps the skin to absorb the next products you're about to apply.
Products we recommend: Hadalabo Hyaluronic Acid Toner; Hadalabo is a super famous skincare brand in japan known for their high quality and affordable products. Hyaluronic acid is also amazing for keeping your skin moisturized. You can get this toner on JapanHaul for less than $15 here!
Step 4: Essence
Essence is essentially a hybrid between a toner and serum. It helps the skin to be hydrated and helps cell regeneration for a more youthful appearance. You can choose different types of essence to tackle any particular skin worries you have like dryness, redness or fine lines!
Products we recommend: DHC 98 Super Collagen Essence; DHC is another famous Japanese skincare brand and we highly recommend this essence, the collagen helps the skin to regain its elasticity and combat fine lines and wrinkles. You can get it on JapanHaul here for less than $25!
Step 5: Serum
Serum contains a LOT of active ingredients and is again perfect to tackle any particular skin concerns you have! It's also great to mix and match this with the essence you use to tackle different areas! For example if you're worried about fine lines and hydration you can use an essence that tackles the fine lines and a serum that tackles hydration.
Products we recommend: Mizon Hyaluronic Acid 100; Another Korean skincare brand making it onto this list! This product hydrates your skin like crazy! It's a little on the pricey side at $30 odd, but it's worth it!
Step 6: Eye Cream
Fun fact; there's no sebaceous glands around your eyes to produce natural oils, so it's essential to use an eye cream in this area to keep the skin hydrated and protected. If your skin is dehydrated fine lines and wrinkles will also become more apparent, so moisturizing this area well will reduce the appearance of these lines.
Products we recommend: Etude House Moistfull Collagen Eye Cream; The final Korean brand we're recommending today! Etude House has taken Japan by storm the past few years and with excellent products at a low price it's no wonder why. Collagen is essential for combating aging so its perfect for the eye area. $20 dollars for a good eye cream which lasts months is reasonable too!
Step 6a: Face Mask (optional)
Face masks are great when your skin is feeling especially run down and in need of an extra boost, but it's not an everyday essential. Although some Asian celebrities known for their beauty like Chinese actress Fan Bing Bing swear by the use of face masks everyday! There are so many different face masks to choose from, like those with aloe vera to calm irritated skin or those with added vitamins and minerals for an extra boost. It's the best way to target any issues when you don't want to change the other products in your routine to do so.
Products we recommend: Lululun Face Mask (Pink); Lululun is the best known brand in Japan for face masks. They have a ton of different kinds and are decently priced too! This pink mask comes in a pack of 36 for $25 (that's less than a dollar a mask!) and aims to help moisture balance in the skin.
Step 7: Moisturize/Lotion
The final step to any skincare routine is to moisturize! If you don't do anything else skincare-wise then you should be using lotion at the very least, so if you skip this step don't be surprised if you notice early aging and damage! As you get older your skin doesn't produce natural oils as effectively so needs the extra help. Moisturizing will help sooth the skin and keep it hydrated throughout the day.
Products we recommend: DHC Rice Lotion; Another great product from DHC! The rice extracts and natural ingredients will condition your skin so that it stays moisturized, clear and healthy! You can get it on JapanHaul here!
There's also some extra tips and tricks you can keep in mind for healthy skin too! First of all if you're going through the whole cleansing routine at night properly, then in the morning you shouldn't wash your face with anything but water. Your skin isn't going to get that dirty whilst you sleep so you don't want to strip off your natural oils unnecessarily by using soap. Second of all; sun block!! Summer or winter, you need to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Yes these rays aren't as strong in the winter but they're still there. Protecting your skin from UV rays will help stop you developing dark spots, wrinkles and fine lines.
If you would like to learn more about Japanese cosmetics, why not read our review on the top 3 Japanese eyeliners?
What do you think of these Japanese skincare steps? Do you have any skincare tips or tricks to share? What skincare routine do you follow? Let us know in the comments!
Want to get a FREE Japanese beauty subscription box? Check out how to get one here!