Four-Step Japanese Skincare Routine
Japanese beauty has a gentle approach to skincare––and is coveted for its hydrating, soothing and calming benefits.
The Japanese skincare ritual isn’t about overnight transformations or aggressive treatments. It’s about consistency and mindful, joyful and indulgent moments of caring for your skin every day. The beauty of a Japanese skincare routine lies in its simplicity. Instead of a ten-step approach, J-Beauty favors fewer products with key ingredients—just a few high-performance quality products in four streamlined steps, morning and evening.
The four-step J-Beauty skincare routine caters to every skin type. It's timeless, efficient, simple and straightforward. And therefore easy to remain consistent with on daily basis.
The classic Japanese skincare routine comes down to removing makeup and cleansing, hydrating with a lotion, treating with a serum, and sealing everything in with a moisturizer + using a sheet mask weekly. These simple steps will help you find your beauty balance.
STEP 1 — PURIFY WITH CLEANSING OIL
Cleansing is emphasized as key to healthy, clear and radiant skin in Japan. It is customary to cleanse the face with a gentle cleansing oil. Washing your face with oil might feel counterintuitive, but a cleansing oil thoroughly cleanses your skin — without stripping it of its natural moisture. A cleansing oil is key to keeping moisture in while getting rid of the dirt.
To use our cleansing oil, always begin with dry hands and a dry face. Fill your palm with a few powerful drops, and using your fingertips; gently massage it onto your face for 15 to 20 seconds. Wet face with warm water to emulsify the oil and effortlessly melt away makeup and impurities. Rinse off with a few handfuls of warm water. Then, with a soft towel gently pat your skin dry (don’t rub).
STEP #2 PLUMP WITH LOTION
A true protagonist in a Japanese skincare ritual: lotion. This step is never missed. Lotion is a lightweight liquid that is quickly and easily absorbed into skin, directly delivering concentrated active ingredients.
Lotion rebalances the pH level of your skin after cleansing, floods your skin with a layer of hydration, and boosts the performance of products that follow (serum, moisturiser). The most important function of the lotion is to make the skin ready for the next treatment. Serums and moisturisers must penetrate to the deeper layers of your skin for optimum efficacy. A lotion enables skin to better absorb these products. Think of a sponge — if the sponge is moist it better absorbs water vs. when dry. The same goes for your skin.
The lotion or essence is patted onto the skin twice daily directly after cleansing, and before any other skincare steps.
STEP 3 — HEAL WITH SERUM
Biyoueki, which roughly translates to 'beauty liquid', target specific conditions like wrinkles, dryness or dullness. Serums and beauty oils contain a high level of active ingredients to target specific skin concerns, and are typically a thicker consistency and more concentrated than lotions — and in the Japanese mindset, multiple gentle layers are preferred.
A few drops are plenty when using serums since they’re so concentrated. Warm a few drops in the palms of your hands and apply by gently patting over the face, neck and décolletage, while giving yourself a facial massage. Allow to absorb well, and wait a few minutes before applying your moisturizer.
STEP 4 — NOURISH WITH MOISTURISER
Nourishment is always beneficial, for dry as well as oily skin types. After plumping the skin with lotion, and healing it with beauty oil, apply a moisturizer to form a protective barrier, and lock in active ingredients and hydrating layers.
After prepping your cleansed skin with a lotion and beauty oil, take a coin-sized amount of cream and gently pat it evenly over your face. Using your fingertips, massage gently in upward and outward strokes.
EXTRA CARE / ENHANCEMENTS
You can tailor the classic routine with enhancements to care for your specific skin care needs — and to formulate your personal beauty ritual. The enhancements are based on your needs according to your skin condition. Your skin condition can change from time to time because of environmental changes, hormonal changes, stress, and diet.
SHEET MASK – EXTRA HYDRATION
A sheet mask is a face-shaped sheet of material with cutouts for your eyes, lips, and nostrils. This thin layer of material is soaked in skin-boosting nutrients. Compared to peel-off or rinse-off masks, they make treating the skin super-easy.
A sheet mask offers the perfect opportunity to replenish the water reservoir of your skin. The science is actually quite simple: the sheet material creates an occlusive layer like a second skin that prevents serum from evaporating, allowing it to fully penetrate your skin.
The skin that surrounds your eyes is thinner and more delicate than that on the rest of your face. The skin around the eyes contains no oil glands, so it’s prone to dryness. For most people this area deserves special treatment to combat typical problems of dark circles, wrinkles, dryness, and swelling.
Many exfoliants contain harsh abrasives and can only be used weekly. Instead, opt-in for a natural exfoliator for a delicate polish of your skin. Exfoliating your skin 2-3 times a week enhances skin radiance by stimulating blood circulations and removing small imperfections and dead skin cells.