Mochi Skin, the Japanese Beauty Gold Standard of Healthy Skin is about knowing your skin.
Mochi skin is the Japanese version of Korea's glass skin, but instead of focusing on dewy and flawless skin, it focuses on plump, smooth and hydrated skin. It's also not an end result game, but about maintaining healthy, youthful skin throughout your life time with less, but better made products.
When it comes to Japanese beauty (Japanese skincare), the goal of mochi skin (also known as "rice cake skin" or "mochi hada") is about three things: moisture, smoothness, and bounciness. When your skin has moisture, it’s smooth and bouncy and vice vera, and these combined are the ultimate state of healthy, youthful, glowing skin.
In our previous blog on Mochi Skin, you can see that J-Beauty is simple and adaptable to you and your lifestyle, and it's about proper cleansing, hydration and protection. Achieving Mochi Skin is about adding only what's needed to strength the epidermal and dermal layers of the skin. Moisture and bounciness are achieved by caring for the dermal layer and smoothness comes from taking care of the epidermal layer of the skin.
It's time to get skin-timate. Are you ready to dive in?
Moisture is so important for the health of skin and overall look. Moisture for skin is similar to moisture for soil and plant life. When the soil is dry or over watered, it has water penetration problems, which means water has a harder time getting down to the root system to sustain the plant. In return, it creates nutrient absorption problems. Skin that lacks moisture and skin that is over moisturized has the same issues. On the other hand, skin that has enough moisture is soft and plump and becomes more receptive to skincare products.
So, how can you tell if your skin has enough moisture? The most visible check for moisture is after applying makeup, does your makeup look smooth or flakey? A well hydrated skin allows for smooth application of and long wear of makeup. The last test is to touch and ask yourself if your skin spring to the touch.
The moisture test: Wash your face, dry it and don't apply anything. Wait 30-60 minutes (this allows your skin to go back to its natural state) and with clean, dry hands firmly press your hands to your cheeks (thumbs against the earlobes) and slowly let go.
- If you feel the cheek skin sticking to the palm of your hands as you pull away, it’s a sign that your skin has a good amount of moisture and there's really no need to add more.
Smooth skin is, in other words, fine-textured skin, and is maintained through a healthy metabolism and regular replacement of skin cells as well as healthy oil product. Smoothness is visible on the epidermis, the layer you see with your eyes.
The first step to having smooth skin is making sure dirt doesn’t linger in the pores and this is why double cleansing is so important and should be a part of your PM routine, if your wear makeup. The next step is to exfoliate once or twice a week. Exfoliation is a process of removing the top layer of dead cells. These older cells often contain pollutants, dirt and microorganisms and need to be removed in order for healthy skin to take its place. Your skin does this naturally in a process called desquamation, however, as you age this process becomes less efficient and therefore, regular exfoliation is needed.
The last step to achieving smooth skin is to replenish moisture loss which in returns, regulates oil production. So, how do you check to see if your skin is smooth with it comes to oil production? The most noticeable check is to take a look at the appearance of your skin. Before you apply makeup, look in the mirror, do you see spots, bumps, uneven texture, sagging, dryness, lines and wrinkles? After you apply makeup, does your makeup stay on or does it start to become flaky and spotty?
Next thing to check for is oil. Under each of your pores is a sebaceous gland that produces natural oils called sebum. This helps keep your skin hydrated, smooth, and healthy.
The smoothness test: Wash your face, dry it and don't apply anything. Wait 30-60 minutes (this allows your skin to go back to it's natural state) and with clean dry hands, touch your nose and forehead with the tip of your finger or with a blotting paper.
- Does your nose and forehead have a modest amount of oil? Does your fingers have a slight shine after touching your nose and/or forehead?
- You have smooth skin if there’s a modest amount of oil on your figure tip after touching your nose and forehead.
- If there's too little oil, your skin is probably dry and needs more moisture (try a hydrating Japanese toner).
- If there's a lot of oil, it can also be a sign of improper hydration or too much hydration (cut back and test so you know which product is working in your favor).
In Japan, bouncy skin is often reference to baby skin because when we are born, our skin is at its most supple, firmest, and softest. This is contributed to the high levels of collagen and lack of exposure to skin damaging agents, like UV rays, pollution, chemicals, etc. Bouncy, in J-Beauty is often interchanged with firmness or elasticity of the skin. The skin’s elasticity is determined by the dermal layer of the skin and two key structural proteins: collagen and elastin. As we age, collagen production decreases, but this doesn’t mean we’re doomed because there’s many ways to slow down this process with a proper skincare routine, diet, and sleep. So how do you check for bounciness of the skin?
First, take a look at your skin, do you see fine lines starting to appear, especially in the corners of the eye and mouth area? Do you notice any sagging around the three corners of the face: eyebrow, eye, and mouth? Next, try the bouncy test.
The bouncy test: Wash your face, dry it and don't apply anything. Wait 30-60 minutes (this allows your skin to go back to it's natural state) and with dry clean hands, pinching the side of your checks with the thumb and forefinger and hold for a 3 seconds.
- Can you pinch plenty of check flesh?
- Does the pinch hurt?
- If your skin is lacking elasticity or has a worn-out, thin dermis, you will not be able to pinch a thick bit of flesh and the pinching will not hurt.
- Skin that is healthy and bouncy will bounce back into place immediately when you release your fingers and has minimal sagging around the corners of the eye and mouth.
What we've learned from J-beauty is that healthy skin is about understanding your skin to better address its needs and then, only applying what is necessary. The way you get to know your skin is by daily observation, asking questions, doing skin tests, and keeping a journal of what you're applying on to your skin. Healthy skin is not about perfect picture skin. Every person's skin is different and the more you understand yours, you will be able to achieve your healthiest skin or in J-beauty, achieving mochi-skin.