Everyone would have their own skincare regime that they follow religiously, but we thought that it’ll be good to introduce the Japanese way so that you will be able to put the Japanese skincare products into good use.
Perhaps we are more familiar with the Western 3-step skincare (cleanse, tone & moisturise), in any case here is Japan’s (and some other part of Asia’s) 10 step routine. Although 10 steps may make the regime sound too tedious to follow through in the morning, these 10 steps are just a guideline with optional steps that can be cut down and adapted to suit our individual lifestyles.
In essence, this routine requires us to discern the weight that each product places on our skin and then provides a structure of sorts that helps us layer the application of these products. A general rule of thumb would be to go from the lightest to the heaviest so that each product would be able to work its effect on our skin to its maximum potential.
Covering all 10 steps in a post will be too long, so the first 5 steps will be covered in this post and stay tuned for the next 5 on Thursday!
Step 1: Removing make-up
The Japanese refer to this as ‘cleansing’ and is the first part of the “double cleanse”. The point of this step is basically to ensure that all traces of make up and dirt will be removed. The products to use for this step are usually oil or cream based, thus falling into the category of cleansing oil but in recent years will also be labelled as a make up remover. Rather than squeezing a little of the product onto cotton pads to wipe the make up off, these cleansing oils will require you to wash your face as you would with a usual cleanser.
Step 2: Face wash
Known as ‘washing’ to the Japanese, the second part of the “double cleanse” refers to using gentle, foaming or gel cleansers that remove sebum, dirt and other impurities from your face. While having to wash your face twice may seem overly troublesome, do take note that in this case, 2 different products are used and as such remove different substances from your face.
Step 3: Softening lotion
At the time of this post, there isn’t any Western equivalent to the softening lotions he Japanese use to replace the moisture their skin has lost during the “double cleanse”. Unlike the Western toners, this softening lotion does not do any additional cleansing. The softening lotions also help to prepare the skin for the other products to be layered on. Rather than using a cotton pad to dab across the face, these softening lotions are meant to be pat on until they are absorbed. If you aren’t comfortable using your fingers, you can still use a cotton pad but rather than dabbing, press it down and hold it against your skin for a while.
Step 4: Eye cream (optional)
Yes, we all don’t wish to have dark eye bags that make us look like Pandas. Although, Pandas do rock their dark eye circles really well, the same unfortunately cannot be said for us. This step is where we start looking for products like eye creams/essences/serums with anti-aging, lightening and firming properties to keep the skin around our eyes clear and wrinkle free.
Step 5: Sheet masks (optional & only to be done at night)
Best done at night, different products are soaked with various treatment essences meant for a particular skin concern. Do check for the ingredients in the treatment essences to see which concern it addresses. Whether or not you’re looking to moisturise, combat aging, lighten your skin or sooth troubled skin, there will be a sheet mask immersed in the specific treatment essence you need. Try to keep to the time recommended for the particular sheet mask you’re using; the time is recommended for a reason.
Not all sheet masks are suitable for everyday use like Japan Gals’ sheet masks, so this is one last thing to check for in choosing a sheet mask. If they aren’t, space out the days in the week and put on a mask once every 2-3 days. Seriously though, being able to put on a sheet mask at the end of a long work day is a little relaxing moment of pure bliss.
As promised, here’s the first 5 steps. See you on Thursday for the next 5!