Most people think skin is …… skin, right? Actually, thats not true. Asian skin IS quite unique. How so? Well, one factor is that Asian skin ages differently than Caucasian skin. Higher levels of melanin in Asian skin causes sun induced freckles and hyperpigmentation to appear typically by mid to late 30’s. A sure sign of aging on the Asian skin. Caucasian skin has a thinner dermis than Asians so fine lines and wrinkles are first signs of aging for Caucasians. Because of different aging concerns, treating all skin types with a one-size-fits-all skin care routine is not a smart approach to your skin care regimen. Skin care products from Asia focuses on different concerns such as skin whitening products rather than fine lines and wrinkles which are a major focus in skin care products in the United States. Skin care formulations are light, non-greasy and quickly absorbed compared to skin care in United States. Skin care regimens in Asia have additional products and steps compared to their counterparts in America. It is not unusual for Japanese women to have 5 – 10 steps in their daily skin care routine compared to an American woman who typically has only 3 steps to their daily facial routine. The first big difference I noticed right off the bat is that the Japanese cleanse their face twice or double cleanse. Working in the beauty industry, I am often asked what I do to keep my skin looking so nice. The look of confusion I get is priceless when I tell them I wash my face twice or double cleanse. I on the other hand find it surprising that many young girls in America that I’ve talked to not only don’t have a skin care regimen but they don’t even wash their faces in the morning or before bedtime.
PRODUCT LAYERING: Here is a quick look and brief description on the Japanese facial regimen steps.
Step 1: Oil Cleanser
This step is for removing makeup and should be followed by a cleaner. It is recommended that you start from the check area of your face and continue to your t-zone. Rinse with water slightly cooler than your body temperature. The oil gently lifts the makeup.
Step 2: Foam Cleanser
Cleansing should start in the t-zone (the oiliest) area of the face and work your way to the sides of the face. Never rub or scrub your face. The Japanese loves to use foam cleansers. Another difference in product formulation in Asia is that the cleansers are sulphate-free and foam up into thick foam. Use foaming net to save time and product to get your cleansers to foam up like whipped marshmallow. The reason for the super foam is because your hands should not be rubbing the cleanser on your face. You should have enough foam in your hands so that the foam is gently cleansing your face. Never rub your face. Again rinse with water sightly cooler than your body temperature.
Step 3: Softener (westerners use toner)
Another step that differs from America is that Asian uses a softener. This puts moisture back after into the skin after cleansing while boosting moisture penetration for additional products. Westernized toners uses astringent to clean what the cleanser missed. Stripping the skin of additional moisture.
Step 4: Eye Cream (optional)
Step 5: Sheet Mask (Optional night only)
Popular in Asia, sheet mask are usually cotton sheets soaked with a treatment essence, targeted for specific skin concerns. Masks can be worn for 15-20 mins. After removing mask don’t rinse off product just gently pat in the remaining product on skin. You can use a mask daily or a few times a week.
Step 6: Essence Serum
Liquid concentration of a targeted skin concern.
Step 7: Emulsion
A moisturizing treatment usually of similar targeted concerns as the essence just with less concentration. If you have oily skin, skip Step 9.
Step 8: Spot Treatment (optional)
Use for your specific skin concern such as acne treatment, whitening serum, retinoid, etc.
Step 9: Cream (optional)
Usually a thick cream is used for skin that is dry. You may want to add this step only at night.
*If you have oily skin skip this step.
Step 10: Sleeping Pack (optional at night only)
This provides extra moisture with targeted treatment that is left on the face while asleep.
Step 11: Sunscreen (daytime only)
You should not wear anything less than SPF 30
Learn sun protection tips for Asian Women and how to prevent age spots, HP and melasma skin discoloration.