A skincare routine might seem like an unimportant part of your day, but it can make all the difference in your skin’s health and appearance. The Japanese skincare routine is the ultimate in skincare and works especially well because of its focus on soothing and hydrating the skin with gentle ingredients that go on as easily as they work. Give the Japanese skincare routine a try for one month and you’ll be transformed!

Cleanse your skin

Double cleansing is the norm in this process! You can read all about it here.  But in short, you start with an oil-based cleanser to remove any makeup or dirt, then wash your face with a water-based cleanser to get rid of any leftover residue. Wash your face: If you’re not washing your face every day (don’t worry, we’re not judging), now’s the time to make sure you do.

Our go to cleansers:

Zelens Shiso Balm Radiance Cleanser 125ml

Zelens Shiso Balm Radiance Cleanser 30ml

Lancôme Eau Micellaire Douceur Express Cleansing Water (Various Sizes)

Shiseido Deep Cleansing Foam 125ml

Essence or Lotion

In Japan, skincare is less about cleansing and more about nourishing the skin. That’s why an important step in any Japanese skincare routine is to apply an essence or lotion. This step helps to hydrate and prep the skin for the rest of your routine. It also locks in moisture that you’ve already provided to your skin. The result? A healthier complexion with an increased level of firmness.

Our pick of essences and lotions

Holika Holika Aloe Soothing Essence 80% Moist Cream

Dermalogica Active Moist 100ml

Dr.Jart+ Vital Hydra Solution Essence 50ml

Alpha-H Generation Glow Daily Resurfacing Essence with 5% AHA Complex 100ml

Tone your skin

A step that is often skipped but is a stable in any good skincare routine is to tone your skin. This helps remove any dirt or impurities that may be lurking on your skin’s surface. Toning also helps prep your skin for the next steps in your routine, like applying serum or moisturiser.

Herbivore Jasmine Green Tea Balancing Toner 120ml

REN Travel Size Clean Skincare Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic 100ml

Elemis Balancing Lavender Toner


Applying a serum is an important step in any skincare routine, but it’s especially important in a Japanese skincare routine. Serums are designed to penetrate deep into the skin to deliver powerful ingredients that can brighten, hydrate, and smooth the skin. A good serum will leave your skin feeling softer and looking more radiant.

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Oil-Infused Serum 100ml

ESPA (Retail) Optimal Skin Pro-Serum 30ml

La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C10 Serum for Sensitive Skin 30ml

philosophy Nature in a Jar Bakuchiol Serum 30ml

Moisturise your skin

In Japan, moisturising your skin is another important step. Check out our posts here on the best moisturisers for your skin type.

Some of our personal favourites

philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar SPF25 Moisturiser 60ml

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream (Various Sizes)

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream

Hydrate yourself every day with water, tea, or an essence drink

Hydration is always important for the health of your skin and overall wellbeing, and that’s also true a holistic Japanese skincare routine. Every day, you should be drinking plenty of water, tea, or an herbal drink to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out. This will help your skin look its best and feel its best.

Sleep on a silk pillowcase

Silk pillowcases are often touted as a beauty secret, and for good reason. Not only do they help keep your hair smooth and frizz-free, but they also can help prevent wrinkles. Sleeping on a silk pillowcase for just one month can make a noticeable difference in your skin’s appearance. Silk is softer than cotton which means that it doesn’t irritate your skin like some fabrics can – especially when you’re sensitive to certain materials.

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