Exfoliation 101 - Japanese Skincare

Exfoliation is the key to glowing smooth skin in Japan and everywhere. Dead skin cells accumulate on the skin’s surface which leave your complexion looking dull. Therefore, in Japan, exfoliating is done 2-3 times a week to remove dead skin leaving your complexion with youthful glowing skin. But, with so many exfoliators on the market it may be hard to know which product and type is correct for you. Here’s the 101 on exfoliation.

Why should I exfoliate?

As I said in the beginning exfoliating can improve your complexion, but can also allow deeper cleansing of the pores, increase moisture retention, and circulation.  

How often should I exfoliate?

Depending on the method you choose to exfoliate your skin, estheticians recommended 1-3 times a week max. If skin appears to be red, flaking and or peeling try lessening your days. 

What methods of exfoliation are there?

There are 2 methods of exfoliation: chemical and physical. Chemical exfoliants use enzymes or AHAs/BHAs (alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids) to remove dead skin cells. Physical exfoliants use a granular product that removes dead skin cells by manipulation on the skin. Facial brushes and sponges are also a form of physical exfoliation that if gentle enough may be used on a daily basis.

Which exfoliator should I use?

Depending on your skin type and concerns chemical exfoliators are great at not causing much irritation if your skin tends to be on the more sensitive side. Exfoliators that contain AHAs are better suited for dry skin and anti-aging properties, while exfoliators containing BHAs are best targeted for acneic skin and large pores. Physical exfoliator can be too harsh for some skin types if not done correctly or too often.

Phew! Hopefully this answers all your questions and concerns about exfoliators, and gets you inspired to add a new much needed step in your skincare routine. Here are The Yoku Glow’s best recommended exfoliators if you’re having trouble on which products to choose from!

Toyo Life Cure Natural Aqua Gel | $38

cure aqua gel

Japan's #1 exfoliator! It's made with activated hydrogen water and botanical extracts such as rosemary, ginko and aloe vera to effectively remove dead skin cells for a brighter and softer complexion. It also helps improve the skin's metabolism functions and you don't have to worry about dryness because there's no alcohol in this exfoliator. It's suitable for all skin types recommended for dry and sensitive skin. 

Kanebo Suisai Beauty Clear Powder Facial Wash | $27

Powder cleansers Japan

Japan’s most popular drugstore enzyme powder! It is formulated with two enzymes to cleanse, remove dead skin, and dirt from pores. It also removes excess sebum from skin to prevent acne while making skin bright and smooth. It is fragrance free and contains no artificial colorants. Suitable for all skin types, recommended for oily and combination skin. Packaged in individually sealed capsules making it perfect for travel. 

DHC Foaming Face Wash | $13

Powder Cleanser DHC

A powder face wash that cleanses and exfoliates. Formulated with finely milled silica and protease enzymes that gently exfoliates for a smooth complexion, lavender and licorice root extract to calm the skin, and honey and sodium hyaluronate to leave skin soft and hydrated. Can be used daily, and is suitable for all skin types recommended for oily and combination skin.

Rosette Hello Kitty Apple Gommage | $13

A gentle peeling exfoliator that sheds off the outer layer of dead skin to reveal your fresh and dewy skin underneath!  With a sweet apple scent, this facial peel is formulated with apple extract and AHAs to effectively diminish blemishes, uneven pigmentation, and rough patches.  Use 2-3x a week recommended for all skin types.


Japanese exfoliators comes in all textures from gel to powder and are super gentle on the skin, yet still very effective.  Pick up a Japanese exfoliator today and see the difference for yourself! 

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