A Short Guide to the Japanese Skincare Routine

Have you always wanted a healthy, glowing complexion just like the Japanese? Here’s a quick guide on how they do it — and now you can, too.

Japanese Skincare Routine

Oil Cleanser

The Japanese favor an oil-based cleanser to clean off dirt, makeup, and sunscreen. They focus on removing buildup from their pores, as it helps the skin better absorb the next products that you are going to apply.

Foaming Cleanser

For some people, a simple oil cleansing is not enough. They either feel that their skin can be cleaned more thoroughly, or they simply do not like the sensation left by the cleansing oil.  Naturally, the next step is to remove any grime that the oil cleanser missed. Cleanse your skin with a foaming cleanser for a fresher, lighter feeling.

Softeners over Serums

While the Korean skincare routine considers serums and essences indispensable, the Japanese routine prefers the use of skin softeners. While lighter than serums, skin softeners are also packed with anti-aging ingredients and other nutrients. Use this product by squeezing it out on a cotton pad and applying it to your face using a gentle tapping motion.

Face Masks

Sheet masks are designed to let your skin soak in added nutrients that will keep your skin soft and supple. Compared to rinse-off or peel-off masks, sheet masks are low-maintenance and easier to use. It can also be used daily, depending on what your skin needs.


Using a toner right in the middle of a skincare routine might seem strange, but this is only because in the west, toners are seen as a form of skin cleanser. Japanese toners are extremely gentle and they do an excellent job of cleaning the skin as well as tightening your pores. Choose to use an alcohol-free one to keep your skin from drying out.

The Perfect Massage

A facial massage is an integral part of the Japanese skincare routine. This activity allows you to easily detect any signs of skin stress. Japanese women use either their fingers or wooden rollers to achieve this.


Address your skin’s problem areas by getting the right type of serums. There are those formulated to lighten the skin and keep it hydrated. These are applied one at a time to give your skin the chance to fully absorb them.

Eye Cream

The routine also pays special attention the skin around the eyes. Eye creams are designed to reduce puffiness and dark circles that typically appear after a long night out or days of overtime work.

Lighten Spots

Lightening products lift spots caused by sun exposure and age. These products can be used for targeting spots or for your entire face.


Use a general moisturizer that changes with the seasons: use a lighter one for summer and a creamier one for cooler months.


Finish off your skincare routine by liberally applying sunscreen — the higher the SPF, the better. Make sure you re-apply sunscreen whenever you are looking forward to spending time under the sun.

Muhammad Aamir