Simple and Minimal J-Beauty Skincare Routine to Achieving “Mochi Skin”
Have you ever heard of the Japanese skincare routine? I think that many people don’t really know about it because the beauty culture in Japan is very underrated. You may know that Japanese people are known to hold their values in respecting things around them, and they do the same for their own skin by taking care of it. The greatest thing about Japanese skincare and its routine is that it’s very suitable for anybody, no matter the skin-type. It’s minimal, simple and very effective for treating the skin but also made to be gentle for the skin.
Believe it or not, there are so many people who use Japanese skincare as part of their beauty routine. You may have seen some celebrities who have used Japanese skincare for their routine: K-pop idol Jeon Somi using Senka Face Wash All Clear Oil to famous dance mom star Maddie Ziegler who uses the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. Japanese skincare is highly rated by many people, but unfortunately the products and the skincare routine doesn’t seem to get much hype. However, in this article, I am going to share with you the basic steps to perfect Japanese skincare routine in achieving “mochi skin.”
What is “Mochi Skin?”
For skincare, J-beauty’s core value is to nourish the skin with gentle and nutritious products, so that one can achieve “mochi skin.” If you are unfamiliar with mochi, mochi is a glutinous rice snack that is very soft and plump. A “mochi skin” is almost like baby skin, as it is very soft, hydrated and does not have any fine lines.
What is the difference between J-beauty and K-beauty skincare?
One of the biggest misunderstandings that I bet many people have is that the J-beauty and the K-beauty skincare routine is the same or fairly similar to each other. However, I can tell you that they are very different. While K-beauty often has ten or more steps to its skincare routine, J-beauty skincare routine only has five, which is fairly minimal. Also, although K-beauty skincare is similar to J-beauty skincare as both value in giving the skin great nutrients as well as keeping the skin soft and hydrated, rather than “mochi skin,” K-beauty skincare helps to achieve “glass skin.” “Glass skin” is a type of skin that is reflective and clear—but we’ll save that for an article next time.
Steps in a Japanese Skincare Routine
All my life, I’ve done my skincare routine the same as my mom who is Japanese. My routine is fairly similar to what many articles say is the “basic steps of the Japanese skincare routine,” but I don’t think I follow the steps exactly the same. However, here are the basic steps to master the Japanese skincare routine according to a Japanese beauty article: Cleansing, Lotion/Essence, Beauty Serum, Emulsion/Cream and Sunscreen.
Cleansing is a very important part of the Japanese beauty routine. To achieve a great clear complexion, Japanese cleanse their face twice so that they can clear any dirt, residue, and makeup that may be on their skin. Double cleansing is done by many Japanese people, especially at night, after a long day of wearing makeup. For double cleansing, there are two different kinds of products that are used—an oil cleanser that is used to remove the majority of makeup and dirt, and a face wash that is used to remove and clear any remaining residue that may be beyond the surface of the skin (aka in the pores).
Oil Cleanser (For Double Cleansing at Night)
Although there are Japanese people who use micellar water to remove their makeup, oil cleansers are much more common to use. The reason for using oil cleansers over micellar water is that oil cleansers are known to cleanse the skin better, especially if you wear makeup on a daily basis. However, oil cleansers are also known to clear
There are many Japanese oil cleansers that work really well for the skin. However, there is one in particular that is favored by many people—also mentioned by @cosme, a highly rated beauty review platform website—is the ultime8∞ sublime beauty cleansing oil. This product may be a little bit on the pricey side, but it lasts for a long time as it contains 450ml of product. This product is not only known for its quantity and long use, but also for its efficiency in cleansing the skin well, and clear of blackheads and other impurities. This product has the ability to cleanse skin effortlessly and gently, which is a key to Japanese skincare.
Although many Japanese people may use oil cleansers as a primary product to remove makeup, there are an increasing number of Japanese people who use cleansing balms, as they work similarly to oil cleansers as both remove makeup efficiently. A cleansing balm that was awarded as a bestseller in Japan is the DUO the cleansing balm BLACK REPAIR. This cleansing balm is very unique to other cleansing balms as it contains charcoal which has the ability to minimize the pore visibility and any impurities that may be visible to the eye.
Most Japanese facial washes are foam-type cleansers because they are known to clean beyond the surface of the skin. Again, like oil cleansers, the key is being gentle to the skin when cleansing. The foam face wash is perfect when it comes to gently removing impurries that are deep in your pores.
One thing to keep in mind when using a face wash is how you use it according to your skin type. If your skin is sensitive and dry, limit yourself from washing your face several times a day—you may only need to wash your face with a cleanser at night or once a day. If you have oily skin, you may need to wash your face twice a day. However, you can still damage your oily skin by washing your skin too much from stripping off your natural oils. So remember to wash your skin acknowledgingly.
Of course, there are many different face washes in Japan that work very well. But this one product is a face wash that is highly rated by many people, as it works well for all skin types. As mentioned on @cosme, the top-rated facial wash is the Kanebo Scrubbing Mud Wash. As it is written in the product name, the facial wash is mud and is formulated with the highest Moroccan lava clay that works efficiently in cleansing your face by absorbing excess sebum and washing away dead skin cells and pore-clogging dirt, as it leaves the skin smooth, moist, and clear.
2. Lotion (Essence)
Although it may be a little bit confusing to many people, toner is called lotion in Japan. Although they may serve similar purposes, such as regulating the secretion of the sebum, Japanese lotions and essences tend to be much more moisturizing and gentle to the skin and is lower in acidity.
In Japanese skincare, lotion/essence is very important when it comes to moisturizing the skin, which is different from Western “toners.” Without using the lotion, the skin would lack moisture as it would cause the skin barrier, which protects the skin from moisture retention and external irritation to be dysfunctional.
A recommended product is the very affordable Naturie Hatomugi Skin Conditioner. This lotion has been a bestseller for years because of its quality, affordability and quantity. This product contains coix seed extract as it has been an essential natural ingredient used to treat health and beauty from ancient times. Coix seed extract has nutrients such as 12 types of amino acids that would help your skin retain the moisture and maintain the "barrier function" that protects the skin from dryness and external skin troubles, such as rough skin and excessive sebum secretion (e.g., acne, pimple). Read more about this product here!
3. Beauty Serum
Many people may skip this step of applying beauty serum to their faces. However, it’s important to use beauty serums because the skincare routine would be more personalized to every person’s skin. The products used in this step can vary from person to person, depending on the type of skin concerns they might have. Some people may lack moisture in certain areas, while others may be concerned about their spots and scars that resulted from the acne.
If you lack moisture and plumpness in your skin, Astalift White Essence Infilt is perfect for improving your skin texture. This product contains collagen, which is important when it comes to improving the texture of the skin. The greatest thing about this product is that it improves your skin not only from the outside, but on the inside as well as it contains high-performance unique nanotechnology and brightening ingredients.
On the other hand, if you are struggling with acne, blemishes and scarring, one of the best selling products called Melano CC Essence is perfect for you. This beauty serum contains Vitamin C and E, which are very important ingredients when it comes to treating your blemishes. You can read all about this product in our previous article here!
4. Emulsion and Cream
Using emulsion (milky lotion) and cream is key to achieving the “mochi-like” skin. Without a moisturizer, you wouldn’t be able to replenish the oil necessary for your skin and prevent the evaporation of the moisture of the lotion. A simple analogy for the purpose of these two products is that it acts like “a lid.”
Big thing to note: don’t skip this step just because your skin feels sticky and looks shiny. Due to the dryness of the skin, extra oil is secreted as a protective effect from the skin, which is a possibility that it has become shiny skin.
Emulsion or Cream?
Something to keep in mind is choosing between an emulsion or a cream. If there are few emollient ingredients (oil content), it will cause dryness. On the contrary, if there are too many emollient ingredients, it will cause shine.
Simply said, if you have oilier skin, it’s important to use emulsion (milky lotion) and if you have drier skin you should use a cream moisturizer. There are so many different emulsions and creams to choose from, and it’s important and best to choose milky lotion or cream according to your skin type in terms of oil content.
According to mybest, a Japanese informational website, A product that is currently popular in Japan is the Attenir Dress lift Day Emulsion. This product is highly rated by many Japanese people because it locks in the moisture in the skin for a long period of time, as moisturization only decreases 1% after three hours of applying the product.
On the other hand, if you have drier skin and use a cream, according to @cosme, a famous beauty product review website/platform, the Curel Intensive Moisture Facial Cream is recommended as it is designed specifically for dry, sensitive skin. We have a beauty review all about this product—check it out here.
5. Sunscreen (For mornings)
Sunscreen is an essential product when it comes to Japanese skincare, no matter what weather it may be or if you are in the house or not. Japanese people are very particular about the sunlight wherever they are, and without sunscreen, it would be very difficult to achieve healthy skin and skin with a clear complexion.
There are several Japanese skincare tips when it comes to putting on sunscreen. The first tip is to make sure that you applied enough moisturizer so that the sunscreen stays on better. The next tip is to apply sunscreen by tapping the product onto your skin rather than using a gliding motion to spread out the sunscreen. The third tip is to apply the product in five different areas when spreading the sunscreen: two sides of the cheek, chin, forehead, and nose. The last tip is to apply sunscreen on your neck in an upward motion and use a plentiful amount.
According to ChoiFull, a famous Japanese beauty review website, one of the top-rated sunscreens in Japan is the Pola White Shot Skin Protector DX. There are four different reasons for its popularity. It’s SPF50+/PA++++, can help brighten and take good care of the skin, protect from infrared rays and bluelight, and lastly easily remove the product using facial cleanser. This product isn’t just an ordinary sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun, but it contains beauty ingredients called “nano-capsules” to keep your skin healthy and contains highly developed UV film, “shape memory polymer,” that flexibly stretches and contracts according to your facial expression.
The Japanese skincare routine is all about taking care of your skin gently, without overwhelming your skin. The skincare routine is very minimal with very few steps to it, but it covers all the things your skin needs to achieve the “mochi skin” look. Not only does this routine help with achieving beauty from the outside, but it makes sure that it keeps the skin nourished and healthy from within.
Although this skincare routine would definitely work for everyone, I would highly recommend for those who have sensitive skin and skin concerns (such as acne) to try this routine out. The reason for this is that if you have sensitive skin, though it may be important to keep an eye on what kinds of products you are using, it’s important to keep your skincare to a minimum so that you do not overwhelm your skin.