The particular Japanese skincare routine starts drawing international attention. Although the whole regimen seems to be way too complicated and time consuming, when you see the glowing and youthful skin of most of Japanese women, such a skincare routine totally makes sense and makes it all worth it.
Layering in skincare: Japanese women’s beauty secret to stay young #4
The Japanese basic skincare ritual consists in applying one after the other, multiple skincare products on the face, hence the name of technique: layering. Cosmetic products are generally layered from the lightest in texture to the heaviest so that the needed nutrients can reach the specific and targeted layers of the skin, with he help of patting or massage.
As seen in my previous post, the whole routine starts with the double cleanse. Once the face is completely cleansed and purified, below are the steps that follow:
- Lotion (must)
- Serum (optional, only 58% of women use the serum*)
- Parts care such as an eye cream or a whitening cream for ageing spots (optional)
- Moisturising milk or cream (must)
- UV protection or makeup base including such a fonction (must)
* Skincare survey conducted in 2014 by Pola research institute of beauty&culture, n=1500 from 15 to 64
Now let me explain to you in detail what each step consists in and why it is important, today I’ll cover the first step:
the lotion is the very first step to any skincare and a very Japan specific product as it differs from the similar product existing in the West, the toner.The Japanese lotion is NOT a product to complete the makeup removal, nor something to rebalance the pH.
What for a lotion?
The lotion aims to primary hydrate and moisturise the skin.
The skin after the cleansing has lost with the dirt all the other natural sebum and moisturising elements. Then comes the lotion to feed the skin again with the needed ingredients.
The lotion helps also preparing the skin texture so that the other products layered afterwards penetrate better and are well optimised in term of efficacy.
What does a lotion look like and what is it made from?
A lotion is the most watery formula in the layering and is made of obviously mainly water but it is mixed with moisturising ingredients from small molecules (i.e. glycerine, betaine, etc) that penetrates well the skin, and from bigger molecules (i.e. collagen, hyaluronic acid, etc) that stay more on the surface of the skin, to create a well balanced formula that hydrates and moisturises globally the skin.
What types of lotion are there?
There are as many types of lotion as there are skin types and concerns: for dry skin, extra dry skin, acne-prone skin, for skin with ageing issues such as ageing spots, wrinkles, loss of firmness…
According to these different skin types, the lotion will be more or less liquid.
How to apply a lotion?
Generally a lotion is poured directly on the palms and then applied to the face by gentle pressings or applied with a cotton pad.
For those who have a dry skin, I recommend using the cotton pad since when poured on the palms, the hands absorb first a big amount of it and there is less for the actual face; Make sure you pour a generous amount of lotion on the cotton so that no friction is created between the cotton and the skin. On serious dry areas like it can happen in a cold winter time around the eyes or mouth, I like to use the lotion and cotton as a home made pack. Again, I soak well some cotton pads with the lotion and then apply and leave them on the dried areas for a few minutes, it really does the difference!
What are the actual popular lotions in Japan
It is impossible to get the exact ranking of products at my level so I will just mention a few products that are among the most popular in different channels.
Now here are best selling Japanese skin care products in the category lotion in 2015, according to @cosme, the biggest portal site about cosmetics and beauty in Japan, where products are ranked by the word of mouth reviews.
SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
It has an exfoliating property and helps the skin cells turnover, besides the multiple anti-ageing effects such as reducing the ageing spots and wrinkles as well as refining the texture and improving firmness.
SK-II Facial Treatment Essence 150ml
Hada Labo Gokujyun Super Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Lotion
It is also sold in refill: a common thing in Japan, due to our interest in ecology, daily consumer goods such as lotion, shampoo or detergents are sold also in a refill packaging.
Hada Labo Gokujyun Super Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Lotion 170ml, Moist
Naturie Skin Conditioner
Another drugstore product: Skin Conditionner from Naturie.
As you can see this product has a total different pricing than the first one! Besides having a reasonable price, it contains some natural Job’s tears, known to have a moisturizing effect and help skin turnover.
The finish is very natural, leaving a healthy glow. However in winter, the moisturizing level is not enough for me. Luckily with such a reasonable price, we are invited to use a lavish amount of it for face pack with cottons every day, and this is what I do!
★Naturie Skin Conditioner★
So different pricing, different ingredients and efficacies but there are products for everyone in Japan! Indeed the lotion is a must in the Japanese skincare routine and changes completely your skin if you have never been familiar to it.
I missed it SO much when I used to live in Europe. Because I have dry skin, I used to try to compensate the lack of the lotion with moisturising cream but then the feel was really too rich and oily and my skin got really coarse.
So I hope you liked the Japanese skincare secrets that I shared with you and I really recommend you to add a layer of lotion in your daily skincare, you will see the difference!