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Asian beauty trends have been steadily gaining traction worldwide, and Japanese beauty — or J-beauty — is no exception.
While it hasn’t experienced the same boom in popularity that Korean beauty has in the past decade, J-beauty has still managed to enjoy a loyal and fast-growing following in recent years.
In fact, more and more people are discovering the magic that J-beauty can bring to their skin.
But what is J-beauty exactly? Which Japanese skincare steps can you add to your routine?
If you’re asking these questions, good news: we’re here to get you started and discuss everything you need to know about this incredible beauty regimen.
Ready to discover the wonders of J-beauty? Let’s go!
What Is J-Beauty?
Japanese beauty, or J-beauty, is one of many beauty practices or philosophies that come from Asia. It focuses on helping people achieve bright, soft, healthy, youthful-looking skin with a simple, holistic, and non-aggressive approach.
Here are some things J-beauty practices find most important:
A Minimalist Routine
The guiding principle of J-beauty? Less is more.
J-beauty routines often focus on simplicity. Yes, a Japanese beauty routine can still have multiple steps, but it’s far fewer than many of the popular skincare routines many people follow.
Those who practice minimalist skincare see several benefits from this.
First, it can help you save money since you’re using fewer products.
Second, there’s less room for error.
Third, the steps are easier to understand if you’re a skincare newbie who’s just starting with J-beauty.
And last, it makes you less prone to irritation.
Because Japanese skincare products use only minimal ingredients, your skin is less likely to experience accidental reactions caused by a formula packed with plenty of different skincare ingredients.
The routines are streamlined but just as effective. For J-beauty skin care, it’s quality over quantity.
Traditional, High-Quality Ingredients
Since J-beauty skincare routines have fewer steps, each product in the routine needs to perform well. To ensure this, many J-beauty brands pride themselves on using only the highest-quality products.
As such, most of the ingredients used in Japanese beauty products are natural and traditional.
You may find many skincare items containing well-loved Japanese botanicals like green tea, sake, camellia oil, sakura, and even seaweed!
These time-honored ingredients are widely available in Japan, and many have been used in skincare routines throughout history.
If you’re curious, here’s what these ingredients bring to the table:
- Green tea — Combats skin inflammation
- Sakura — Has anti-inflammatory and skin-brightening properties
- Pitera — Offers potent anti-aging benefits as it promotes cell turnover, helping the skin shed dead cells and replace them with new ones
- Camellia oil — Has antioxidant properties that help the skin fight free radical damage
- Seaweed — Hydrates the skin, provides antioxidants, and helps boost the skin’s collagen production
Emphasis on Sun Protection
If you think you could skip skin sun protection in J-beauty, you’re wrong.
Sun protection is a key aspect of any effective skincare routine — J-beauty included.
Because J-beauty aims to prevent skin issues before they start, it places particular emphasis on sun protection as UV damage is one of the main culprits behind common skin problems like dryness and hyperpigmentation.
As such, Japanese skincare companies strive to help their target market achieve this.
Because of this, manufacturers make it a point to create some of the best-quality sunscreens available.
Japanese sunscreens perform well in many different ways.
First, they always protect the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. You will commonly find them with both high SPF (protection against UVB) and PA (protection against UVA) ratings.
Second, they make it a point to ensure J-beauty fanatics can incorporate sunscreen into their routine easily. Most facial sunscreens from Japan don’t leave a nasty white cast or a sticky residue.
Long-Term Skin Health
In J-beauty, bringing you long-term benefits is crucial. Many Japanese skincare products like to deal with both short-term and long-term effects.
However, Japanese beauty finds it more important to keep your skin healthy for as long as possible.
As such, its ingredients and formulas are created to not only address skin issues like acne and contact dermatitis but also to prevent them from surfacing in the long run.
But how do J-beauty products do this? You may notice that most products contain ingredients that focus on long-term skin health instead of immediate appearance.
Their popular ingredients often help prevent or mitigate skin damage and reinforce the skin’s protective barrier.
As such, you may find J-beauty skincare ingredients containing anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and hydrating ingredients.
When talking about J-beauty, people mainly want to focus on skincare. Like many skincare practices worldwide, J-beauty is also changing and evolving.
Of course, those changes are trends that come and go. Here are some of the latest Japanese beauty trends you can try.
Double cleansing may have been popularized by K-beauty in recent years, but it’s actually been a key component of Japanese skincare for centuries.
Historically, Japanese geishas have always practiced this as part of their skincare routine. The practice is still widespread today, and it doesn’t seem to be going away soon.
Double cleansing involves using two different cleansers: one oil-based balm or cleanser and one that’s water-based.
This step helps eliminate as much dirt, excess oils, and other impurities from your skin as possible. It also ensures a lower risk of irritation.
Many brands and manufacturers are racing to create the best Japanese beauty products using creative and innovative formulas and treatments that will help users achieve gorgeous skin.
Most of them opt for ingredients that can benefit the skin in multiple ways instead of just one.
Coming up with a formula that contains only a few ingredients but remains safe and effective can be difficult.
As such, Japanese skincare companies continue to look for more ways that can deliver high-quality ingredients to your skin in a straightforward way, and they turn to scientific innovations to do this.
Some of the newest Japanese skincare innovations include electrolyzed-reduced water that can deliver antioxidants to the skin and improve signs of aging.
Another brand introduced pH-sensitive serums that adapt to the skin’s pH level to ensure optimal nutrient delivery and a lower risk of irritation.
Because more and more people want to simplify their skincare routines, multi-use J-beauty products are gaining popularity.
Compared to Western or K-beauty skincare, these skincare items are more accessible in Japan, and many believe that people worldwide will start using multi-use products in the future.
Some of Japan’s most common multi-use skincare items are sunscreens that can be used as makeup primers.
They also have gels you can treat as a toner, serum, and cream.
They even have 3-in-1 sheet masks that cleanse, hydrate, and nourish — practically an entire skincare routine in one product.
The Basic Japanese Skincare Routine
Most of us know about the 10-step Korean beauty routine. But what does a typical J-beauty routine look like? For a basic Japanese skincare routine, here’s all that you need to do:
Cleanse and Cleanse Again
The first step in any J-beauty routine is double cleansing. To do this, choose an oil-based cleanser first to remove the dirt and makeup you still have on your face.
After wiping this away, follow it with a water-based foaming cleanser to remove any impurities and excess oils left over on your skin.
Exfoliation is usually incorporated into the cleansing part of the routine. Some facial cleansers often have chemical exfoliators as part of the formula.
Powdered enzyme facial cleansers are also popular cleansing-and-exfoliating products used in Japan.
Keep Your Skin Hydrated With Hydrating Products
You may find many J-beauty products called “lotions” or “essences.” These types of products are watery, lightweight skincare products that fall under the toner category in J-beauty.
These are used to keep your skin hydrated. Apply a hydrating lotion or essence after you cleanse your skin.
Nourish Your Skin With Serums
Yes, serums are a part of J-beauty routines too. Depending on your skincare goals, choose nourishing serums with ingredients that can help you achieve your desired results.
Seal In All the Goodness
Another crucial part of J-beauty skincare is keeping all the nourishment and hydration sealed in. You may do this by using an emulsion or cream of your choice.
Use SPF During the Day
If you’re doing a daytime routine, make sure to apply sunscreen to avoid any UV damage to your skin.
Must-Try Japanese Skincare Products
So what are the most popular J-beauty skincare products that you can try? Here are some of them!
Many swear by this cleansing oil because of its effective cleansing power.
Key Benefits: Cleanses skin impurities effectively; provides nourishment and moisture
- Made with a water-soluble formula for thorough cleansing
- Includes additional nourishing ingredients like olive fruit and rosemary leaf oils
- Non-comedogenic formula that leaves no residue
Looking for an excellent oil cleanser for your double-cleansing routine? Try DHC’s Deep Cleansing Oil!
Many love DHC’s Deep Cleansing oil as it is considered one of the best Japanese skincare products available.
This oil-based facial cleanser thoroughly cleanses your skin without irritating it or any sticky residue.
Formulated with olive oil and antioxidants, it not only cleanses your skin but also helps keep free radicals at bay.
A lot of people consider this water-based cleanser a mainstay in their lineup because of its consistency and effectiveness in getting rid of impurities.
Key Benefits: Effectively cleanses impurities from the skin; keeps skin hydrated and smooth
- Easily and effectively lifts sebum, dirt, and other impurities from the skin
- It has a gentle formula that’s perfect for most skin types
- Contains silk essence and hyaluronic acid that helps hydrate and soften skin
Find out why this product has been popular throughout the years by adding the Shiseido Senka Perfect Whip cleanser to your lineup!
You may have recognized this cleanser’s distinct blue packaging since it’s one of Japan’s best-selling facial cleansers.
If you’re starting with J-beauty, this is an excellent cleanser to try out. It helps deliver a deep cleanse that removes any impurities from your skin while providing moisture, thanks to its hyaluronic acid content.
Because it effectively cleanses skin without stripping it of its natural oils, this cleanser is suitable for most skin types. So why not give it a shot?
This facial essence has gained a massive following for its incredible hydration and anti-aging benefits.
Key Benefits: Hydrates the skin; helps slow signs of aging
- Contains Pitera, a fermented skincare ingredient
- Lightweight formula that is suitable for most skin types
- Has a hydrating formula that maintains the skin’s moisture barrier
Switch up and try out a new toner product today by adding the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence to your routine!
Looking for a J-beauty essence to add to your routine? Try the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. This lightweight essence helps give your skin hydration.
It also provides anti-aging benefits since it is enriched with Pitera, a fermented liquid used to make sake, which helps with healthy skin turnover.
Skincare enthusiasts worldwide recommend Tatcha’s water cream for its moisturizing and nourishing benefits.
Key Benefits: Moisturizes and nourishes skin, provides antioxidant properties
- Has a water-based formula, so it feels lighter on the skin
- Formulated with Japanese botanicals (wild rose and leopard lily)
- Contains the Hasedei-3 complex, which is an ingredient rich in antioxidants.
Lock in all the nutrients of your skincare with the perfect lightweight cream. Use Tatcha’s Water Cream and witness the difference for yourself.
Did you know that Tatcha is a J-beauty brand? This brand has risen in popularity in Western countries in recent years — for good reason. Their products are focused on giving your skin the nourishment it deserves.
And one of their best ones is the Tatcha Water Cream, with a lightweight formula designed to seal in all the nutrients and moisturizing ingredients your other skincare products provide.
It also brings hydration to the skin because it’s enriched with Japanese botanicals, green tea, rice, and algae. The cherry on top: It’s lightweight and doesn’t leave any sticky or greasy residue.
Use Tatcha’s Water Cream and witness the difference for yourself!
This UV product went viral for its amazing texture and incredible sun protection.
Key Benefits: Provides potent sun protection; serves as a good makeup base
- Provides SPF 50+ and PA++++ in terms of UV protection
- Comes in a white or clear gel texture
- May double as a make-up base
Find out why CANMAKE’s UV Mermaid Gel went viral by including it in your daytime skincare routine!
Some of the best J-beauty products are UV products. UV protection has come a long way, and CANMAKE’s UV Mermaid Gel is an example.
This facial SPF comes in a gel form and provides SPF 50+/PA++++ for maximum UV protection. You can get it in white or as a clear gel.
Nonetheless, both versions provide incredible protection while keeping your skin moisturized. It even doubles as a make-up base!
Frequently Asked Questions
Does J-Beauty Makeup Have a Recognizable Look?
Yes. J-beauty makeup trends focus on natural-looking everyday makeup. They aim to enhance a person’s natural features and make one look youthful and fresh.
Many J-beauty lovers use BB creams, pink blush, nude eyeshadow, and brow powder in a natural shade to achieve this look.
What’s the Difference Between J-Beauty and K-Beauty?
J-beauty focuses on simplicity, minimalism, and innovation. The routines are more straightforward in J-beauty, with fewer steps to follow.
Additionally, J-beauty skincare likes to incorporate traditional ingredients that are proven effective. It also focuses on the long-term health of the skin.
K-beauty, on the other hand, is more experimental and playful. Its routines prefer adding layers of hydration and nourishment instead of just one product.
While it’s also science-backed, it focuses on discovering new ingredients to add to a product instead of innovating on traditional, already well-established ingredients.
Simple Is Beautiful
It’s interesting to see how J-beauty reflects the country’s minimalist yet efficient culture.
While it’s not as widespread as Western or Korean skincare, J-beauty’s straightforward practices and minimalist philosophy resonate with many.
Sure, there are more things that you can look into when it comes to J-beauty, hopefully, this article has helped you learn more about the simple beauty of Japanese skincare.
Experience the beauty of simplicity. Incorporate J-beauty practices into your skincare routine today!
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