There’s so much information out there about skincare, it’s overwhelming and sometimes misleading. When it comes to beauty in Japan, somethings don't change because they work. It's not about following the latest trend but about listening to your skin. J-beauty is about less steps with an intentional skincare process that focuses on proper hydration and protection. For centuries, this is what they’ve practice for healthy glowing skin. Japanese products are multifunctional (targets more than two concerns), efficient, and easy to use. When it comes to Japanese Beauty, no matter the season, there’s just some things that don’t change for skincare, the process: Clean, smooth, hydrate, protect and diet.
1. Double cleanse your way to glowing skin.
It’s a given, healthy skin begins with removing dirt, makeup, and pollution for the skin. The double cleanse is a method used for centuries in Japan to effectively remove makeup and impurities that would otherwise clog pores and promote acne formation. It’s done by first washing your face with an oil-based cleanser and following it up with a water-based cleanser. The science behind this is that like attracts like and in doing so, all the unhealthy particles collected from the day are removed from the skin (to learn more about the double cleanse, click here).
2. Smooth the skin with a gentle exfoliator.
Your skin is constantly producing new, healthy skin cells to replace old, dead cells. In young skin, this cellular turnover process takes about 40 days – about 28 days for a new skin cell to reach the skin’s surface and about 12 days for the old skin cell to slough off. However, the skin’s natural exfoliation process slows as you age, resulting in a rougher, duller complexion. Sounds bad, but it’s not because we can help our skin continue to turnover at a youthful rate gently.
Japanese beauty has many ways to gently exfoliate. Our favorites are peeling gel, enzyme powder cleansers, and using a sponge.
3. Hydrate with a moisturizing toner.
We love products that do more. Japanese lotions (aka toners in western beauty) are just that. These lotions help balance your skin’s pH, hydrates, and treat acne or pores and so on. The reason why they meet more than one benefit is that lotions are one of the most important part in a routine next to sunscreens.
When choosing a toner, look for ones with a high moisturizer power formula that include ingredients such as Glycerin, Ceramides, and Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid). These ingredients are especially hydrating and nourishing and helps to replenish lost moisture, which will plump up your skin for a more youthful appearance.
4. Protect with SPF.
If you’ve been wondering why Japanese women have such youthful skin? It’s because they always protect their skin. Japanese Beauty is all about prevention versus aggressive correction. When it comes to the skin, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of gold”. So, rain or shine, indoors or outdoors, -10 or 100 degrees, sunscreen is an absolute must and should be your number one priority.
Japanese sunscreens are amazing, not only do they provide a broad-spectrum protection, they also have skin beautifying ingredients like hyaluronic acid. They also have a wide selection when it comes to texture and levels of protection.
In the cooler months, you only need to apply sunscreen to exposed skin, which is generally a smaller area (your face) since you’re more covered up when it’s cold. Also, since we are less likely to be outside for an extended time, you can switch to reapplying sunscreen every four hours or as needed (versus every two in the summer).
5. Nourish consistently, inside and out.
In Japan, health and wellness goes hand in hand with beauty. It starts with a well balance diet and drinking an adequate amount of water daily. Water aids in digestion, circulation, absorption and even rids the body and skin of toxins. Without adequate water intake, the skin appears duller, and wrinkles and pores are more prominent. By drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water a day, it can help the skin stay plump while improving its elasticity so that it’s less likely to crack and become irritated during dryer, colder weather. Overall, our body and skin is made up of water so keep your skin hydrated means you’re keeping it working properly.
A few great products, a balanced diet, and drinking enough water, is all it takes to improve your skin, for a healthy glowing you all year round!