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Everything You Need to Know About J-Beauty

by Milana

Why you should know more about Japanese beauty? In short, because it is efficient, simple and sophisticated. Japanese beauty is a zen pearl of the beauty world. They approach their beauty routines grown-up, methodical, and effortless. That applies for their skincare and makeup routine as well for the beauty products that originate from Japan. It is worth opening your wallet and investing in a few J-beauty products that will spark your joy and make your skin looking flawless.

Read on to find more about what J-beauty exactly is and what are some of the best products you can find in your part of the world. Plus one surprise we have for you. 🙂

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What Is J-Beauty?

J-beauty or Japanese beauty is a beauty routine maintained by women in Japan. But it is also carefully created beauty product lines that are part of that routine. But what makes it that good?

In Japan, it’s all about science and innovation, and the same applies to their view of skincare. The idea is to find ingredients that grant you a more healthy skin so that ultimately you’ll need fewer products and steps in your routine.  And those ingredients are often very much Japan-ish. Ingredients such as green matcha, rice extract, cherry blossom extract are often seen in J-beauty products.

What is the difference between J-Beauty and K-Beauty?

This is an often asked question, so we thought we should address this as well. Both Japanese and Korean beauty are very different from Western Beauty. They rather focus on prevention than on finding solutions to the damage. In many ways, they are also similar to each other and both cultures have a long and rich history in skincare. They both give the rest of the world a serious homework regarding beauty regimes.

However, Korean products are constantly changing with trends, and their products are known to be fun, unique and innovative. They also spend a lot of time and money on their skincare routines. You’ve surely seen their viral 32-step routines, snail-powered moisturizers or cat-shaped sheet masks.

On the other hand, the Japanese are known for taking a more simple approach. Unlike Korean Beauty, which is fast-changing, trend-oriented, involves numerous steps in an everyday beauty routine and is effort-full, J-Beauty favors effortless approach instead. And rather than following the latest trends, it focuses on a few, high-quality ingredients and it is centered around purity and simplicity. Think what Marie Condo is doing for wardrobe closets around the world. And you will have the picture of what J-Beauty can do for your bathroom cabinet.

Japanese beauty is a zen pearl of the beauty world.

What are the steps to J-Beauty skincare routine?

It’s all about the art of layering in Japanese beauty regime. Layering the skincare products in a smart way for morning and night can have great benefits to your complexion. Their products are designed to be light for easy layering as well as to complement each other to amplify the benefit of the other product. If you want to start working on having a beautiful and bright complexion like Japanese women, follow these steps.

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Step #1 Double-cleansing

This one is a two-step process that may be one of the best parts of their skincare. Summers in Japan are hot and humid, so they place a lot of importance in cleansing care. The first step is to gently remove makeup and excess sebum. For that, they use cleansing oils that bring impurities to the surface allowing your next cleanser to do its job more effectively. Many times, cleansing part of skincare routine will not be as efficient because it will either irritate the skin with aggressive makeup removers or leave makeup in your pores because the cleanser worked only the surface.

However, cleansing oils will gently melt the makeup away and also take care of dead skin cells, without stressing the skin. Massage every part of your face for a minute or two, including lips and eyes. By the way, this is also a great way to remove mascara without damaging your eyelashes.

Next, double cleanse with a cleansing foam. Japanese love foam cleansers, as they remove all the excess oil and impurities, and rarely dry out your skin. Mix the foam with a little water and thoroughly wash and then rinse. This step you can also do with a cleansing massage brush such as Shiseido cleansing brush or whichever one you prefer. Combined with the previous step, it will leave your face sparkly clean and ready for applying the next product.

Step #2 Tone the skin

Before using the moisturizer, toner is a must. This is used to balance the pH of your skin after cleansing and prepare your skin for a moisturizer. It will also help your makeup to stay matte throughout the day. Just gently pat it all over your face. You can also carry one around in a spray bottle and use it throughout the day when you need it.

In Asia, it is common to use facial lotions, which not may be the usual practice elsewhere. Lotions are not to be mixed with moisturizers, although they are mostly hydrating. They are also called first essence, softeners, or toners. These are meant to soften the skin and provide the first layer of hydration. As well as to address specific skin problems such as acne, wrinkles, etc.

Step #4 Always apply serum

A small amount of serum will strengthen the skin and help defend against damage. Apply it in upward lifting motions on your whole face. A serum will insure boosted performance of all the products you put after. Also, it will give you an instantly firm and visibly sculpted appearance, and who doesn’t like instant effect. They are also called essence in Japan, and you can figure out by the name of it that is essential to apply it.

Step #3 Moisturizer and Lotions

As summers in Japan tend to be very humid, the Japanese use lightweight formulas rather than thicker creams. This will love everyone with oily to normal skin. But even if you have dry skin, and you followed the previous steps, you will see that with gentle cleansing, toner, and a serum your skin is less likely going to get dry and maybe even a moisturizer light as this will just be enough. In the end, always choose something that feels good when you apply it.

Step #5 Use SPF every day

SPFs are meant to be used every day, not just on vacations. Make sure to wear sunscreen with at least an SPF value of 15. And in Japan that is not all – you can often see on the sidewalks of Tokyo a sea of umbrellas that are shielding their complexions on sunny days. By taking precaution measures against sun-damage, you will preserve bright and healthy complexion as we see on Japanese women. Anessa sunscreen by Shiseido ranked no.1 sunscreen in Japan, will probably become your new favorite.

Following this simple, yet effective skincare routine and doing it with care, detail, and respect your skin deserves will make your skin look astonishing, and not to mention the joy you will feel trying out many of the Japanese beauty products. And on top of that, quality skincare is good for the soul. It is your me-time routine that will set you up in a good mood for the rest of the day, and you should be careful how you go about it.

Bonus: Face-Massaging Tools – Secret to glowy skin.

This one is not a must, but is definitely fun and will tone your facial muscles better than face yoga. From standard jade-rollers to high-tech gadgets with multiple features. They take groggy and dull skin and make it radiant with a healthy blush you get after exercising. They will also reduce puffiness, prevent wrinkles and you probably won’t need a BB cream afterward.

Japanese Makeup & our favorite makeup products from Japan

If we skip Harajuku or Tokyo’s more fashion-forward neighborhoods, Japanese makeup is very much like their skincare – mostly minimalist, natural and flawless. They mastered no-makeup makeup look long before it was a thing anywhere else in the world. Of course with perfected skincare routine and years of protecting and nourishing your skin, that is so much easier to achieve and makeup is just light finishing layer.

Here are a few makeup products from Japan that we are obsessed with!

Eyelash curler

We mentioned on our blog this curler soo many times, but it is the absolute best curler you will ever own. As big eyes are one of the standards of Japanese beauty, it’s no wonder that the best curlers and mascaras are from Japan.

Mascara

Japanese mascaras are all about lengthening, and if you are looking for long eyelashes, look no further than this travel-haul favorite.

Eyeliner

In Japan, non-smudge, liquid eyeliners win every time over coal smudging liners. Eyeliner is applied to the base of the lash line and to the waterline, without drawing a wing.

Cheeks

What really stands out in their makeup routine is applying blush. They like very pigmented blushes applied to a wide area under under eye. It’s never aggressively defined to highlight the cheekbones, but more to give innocent girly blush. This blush gives a polished look and it is a cult favorite among Japanese teenagers. Bonus, it can go on your lips as well.

Concealer

This French-sounding Japanese concealer is actually one of the favorites among US makeup artists. Fine and smooth finish that won’t look cakey even under the eyes is ideal light concealer for a minimal makeup look.

Foundation

To withstand Japanese humidity, they use a matte, long-lasting makeup foundation, followed by applying powder to secure that matte finish.

Japan – the Land of Rising Beauty

Japanese Beauty Brands such as SHISEIDO, SK-Ⅱ, KOSE and many others can luckily be found in stores worldwide, and there are also sites like Takaski.com where you can order Japanese products. But, experiencing J-Beauty in Japan is another dimension!

Walking the streets of Tokyo, Kyoto or any other city in Japan will show you a national appreciation for beauty. You can find numerous stores of cosmetics within only a few blocks, and shopping for beauty in Japan is a real treat for the beauty enthusiast. And it is not only that cosmetics have such a high place among Japanese, but being in Japan just for a little while and you will notice that wellness is practically a religion there.

From Onsen, hot springs resorts to their diet which is full of skin-supporting nutrients such as algae, fish, green tea, etc, all the elements of beauty, wellness and dedication for aesthetic are visible with the naked eye in Japan. If you go to Japan, you will come back not only with a bag full of beauty goodies but with a completely different view on skincare.

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Experience Beauty World in Japan

How about finding out more about the depths of the Japanese obsession with beauty by actually going to Japan? Are you a beauty enthusiast and you love to travel? Why not gather a group of like-minded friends and go see it with your own eyes? Beauty events in Japan are crazy, inspiring places that inspire many to go about creating their own J-beauty inspired line. The exclusivity of shopping in Ginza and the chic neighborhoods of Tokyo will change your life. Hot springs of Japan will rejuvenate you and the food will feed your eyes, soul, and skin.

Because Japanese beauty is hard to experience from outside, we’ve partnered with Asahi Travel Group which has decades of experience in managing all kinds of specialty tours to Japan, to bring you a one-of-a-kind beauty tour to Japan that will make you reassess everything you know about J-beauty. And yes, make your Instagram explode. Reserve your spot now.

For the group of 12, we give all accommodation free to the leader of the group! Click below for more info!

We only recommend products that we genuinely loved. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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