The Japanese skincare routine is big on hydration. Each step involves products with ingredients that aim to nourish and moisturise. If you’re used to other types of regimens, you may find this utmost emphasis on hydration a bit odd. However, it’s less strange when you think about the end goal of a Japanese skincare routine — mochi-hada. Also known as mochi-mochi skin, it refers to a complexion that’s smooth, bouncy and soft to the touch just like its namesake rice cake dessert. Sounds like something you’d want? Keep reading to find out how to do the Japanese skincare routine.
Step 1: Do double cleansing
In a Japanese skincare routine, double cleansing is better than just cleansing one time. You may think that doing this would result in dry skin, but the goal of doing a double cleanse is to get rid of all the makeup and dirt while maintaining hydration. How is this possible? By using an oil cleanser and then a water-based cleanser. The oil cleanser will wash away any makeup and surface dirt while the follow-up water-based cleanser’s job is to remove other impurities that may have been left behind by the oil cleanser. The result is hydrated, clean skin.
This cleansing method has been practised for centuries in Japan. Geishas would remove their thick white makeup by applying camellia oil and then afterwards wash their faces with a separate cleanser. It caught on and remains part of the Japanese skincare routine in the 21st century. Looking for a good cleansing oil to pair with your water-based cleanser? Try the beloved cult-classic DHC Deep Cleansing Oil® which has a 100% organic olive oil-based formulation that will leave your skin plump but not greasy.
Step 2: Pat on some hydrating lotion
Japanese hydrating lotions are often compared to toners. However, they are not the same. While both aim to bring back the skin’s pH balance after cleansing, a lotion isn’t an astringent. What it does is moisturise the skin and prep it for the next steps. Instead of wiping it with a cotton pad (as one would do with a toner), pour the lotion onto your cupped hands and gently pat the product on your skin. Some hydrating lotions also deliver other benefits such as caring for sensitive skin (Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion), brightening the skin (Kose Sekkisei Lotion) and so on. Read our guide to hydrating lotions to know more about this step.