Beauty standards and trends tend to vary in different parts of the world: for example, the Koreans seek dewy glass skin, while the Americans are famous for heavier Instagram makeup.
Japan, for the most part, has been less of a cultural beauty brand in recent years. However, the country is famous for also being obsessed with beauty, and they have been working towards a skincare trend that you may not have heard of before: mochi skin.
So, what exactly is mochi skin?
Mochi hada, or “rice cake-skin” is essentially supple and smooth skin, a reference to the ultra soft and plump Japanese desserts.
While their Korean counterparts’ focus is on skin that glows, the Japanese instead seek skin that boasts bounciness and softness.
This concept of softness in general is a reoccurring theme in Japanese skincare, and you will find it in many Japanese beauty products.
How do I achieve mochi skin?
You may be familiar with the Western approach of attacking your own skin with aggressive exfoliation and harsh formulas, or already attempted the Koreans’ infamous 10-step routines. These two approaches definitely sport their own merits, but are very different from how the Japanese take care of their skin.
The Japanese have a nourishing philosophy, where the key to achieving mochi skin simply boils down to making sure your skin is well-nourished and healthy. The minimalist, fuss-free skincare regime is easy for anyone to pick up. Don’t believe us? Check out these 4 simple, but highly effective tips to getting that mochi skin:
1. Double cleanse – just like the geishas
The geishas of Gion swear by this step in order to thoroughly cleanse their face of thick makeup, and judging by how good Japanese ladies’ skin is today, we are quite convinced that .
While most of us may be familiar with the advice that we should double cleanse when we wear makeup, it is a lesser known fact that we should be double cleansing everyday even without makeup on. Why? Because double cleansing is an extremely effective way to completely rid your face of all impurities.
For the uninitiated, double cleansing doesn’t actually mean that you use cleansing foam to wash your face twice in a row! What you can do is to use a cleansing oil or balm first, and then follow it up with a gentle foaming cleanser.
Some people stay away from oil cleansing, due to the misconception that oil cleansers will add more oil to the skin. However, this method is actually the most effective and gentle way to remove surface impurities, which is little wonder that it continues to be around in Japan for more than 50 years since Shu Uemera introduced it in 1967.
2. Condition your skin with facial lotions
Japanese women swear by ‘kesho-sui’ (化粧水) or Japanese facial lotions to achieve the elusive mochi skin.
The consistency of these lotions is usually just like water, and usually takes the place of toner in a Western skincare routine. Instead of using facial cotton, you can directly apply Japanese facial lotion with your hands, and you are supposed to gently pat it onto your skin until it’s fully absorbed.
However, unlike most common toners, they are not astringents and do not sting nor dry out the skin in order to contract your pores. The facial lotions lock in moisture to enhance the hydration effects of the moisturizer you apply afterwards. All that hydration you get from just two simple steps in turn creates smooth and supple skin!
3. Exfoliate less
Have you ever wondered why Japanese skincare products do not include exfoliators? The answer is that the Japanese simply render that step useless.
We have often been told to exfoliate our skin at least once or twice a week to get rid of dead skin and dirt, but it turns out that the Japanese believe there is no need for exfoliation if you are already doing your cleansing properly.
Skin is actually not even, with certain areas having more or less dead skin than others. However, when you exfoliate, you are removing layers off your skin without really being sure whether those are dead skin, and in turn possibly damaging your healthy skin. The Japanese believe that exfoliation can thin out your skin barrier, and if you are one of those who are always outdoors but skip out on the sunscreen, you will experience more pigmentation, sun spots and freckles. Eeks!
4. Make sure your other organs are healthy as well
Skin may be the largest organ in the body, but that doesn’t mean that you should ignore the other organs when you are working on achieving your mochi skin!
A healthy diet and regular exercise are often recommended for keeping you in the best of health, and if you need any extra motivation to get to it, it is worth knowing that good health will take you very far when it comes to keeping your skin beautiful.
However, this doesn’t mean that you have to make drastic changes to your health, such as heading to the gym everyday when you used to go only once per month.
For example, research has found that green tea is a potent anti-ageing ingredient that combats signs of ageing when ingested or applied topically – now you know why even elderly Japanese ladies sport such young and supple skin!