Japanese Skincare Routine: A Detailed Guide

Japanese Skincare Routine: A Detailed Guide

Over the years, we have realized that we must take a holistic approach to everything. This includes our physical, mental, or spiritual health. Then why not our skin?

Holistic skincare involves using natural ingredients and making healthy choices for healthy skin. The focus is less on the products and more on long-term skin health. Just like J-beauty, one of the best skincare routines and philosophies you will encounter.

Japanese Skincare Philosophy & Its Benefits

Japanese skincare routine and philosophy are popular worldwide for their well-rounded approach. It focuses on nourishing and hydrating the skin while neutralizing the damage due to environmental factors. For instance, harsh UV rays, dirt, and pollution.

Specifically, Japanese skincare philosophy believes that every individual has particular skin needs. And thus, everyone must customize their natural skincare routine with suitable skincare products.

Japanese Skin care

The core of J-beauty relies on nurturing your skin for radiance with organic skincare products. It emphasizes the beauty of natural skin than using makeup to cover your imperfections.

Furthermore, it takes a proactive approach to skincare. Japanese skincare philosophy urges you to create a body skincare routine that does 2 things:

  • Care for your present problems
  • Prevent future issues for long-term well-being.

Finally, it acknowledges that a healthy, even complexion results from regular dedicated care.

And if you are wondering what the benefits of Japanese skincare products and routines are, let us tell you! Japanese skincare routine and products:

  • Are simple to use
  • Focus on overall well-being.
  • Contains natural ingredients that are seldom found in Western beauty products
  • Offer the right ingredients in the correct order
  • Focuses on using botanical extracts and traditional remedies. Not to forget the use of the latest technology for deeper absorption and better results
  • Focus on what you want and thus be more attentive to subtleties

Now that you know why Japanese skincare works like magic, let’s dig a little deeper and explore

  • Basics of Japanese skincare
  • Layering techniques
  • Sun protection
  • Special care and extras
  • How to tailor your skincare routine
  • How to build your Japanese skincare routine
  • How to get the best Japanese products in India

The Basics of Japanese Skincare Routine

#1 Cleanse

The Japanese Skincare Routine places great importance on gentle cleansing. They believe in an extensive morning and night skincare routine. Since their nighttime routine involves elaborate cleansing, they wash their face with cold water in the morning. This is to remove any product from the nighttime routine.

Gentle Cleanser

One of the techniques they use for cleansing is a double cleaning method. It is a part of the traditional “oshiroi” or the “white face” routine, which involves:

Step 1: removing your makeup
Step 2: cleansing your skin

Step 1 involves taking a makeup remover (or cleansing oil). Here, you move from the sides of your face (largest area), moving into the T-zone, and finally, your eyes. In contrast, step 2 starts with the oiliest part of the face (T-zone), moving out to the driest parts of the face.

Another thing to note here is the texture of the products. Japanese products for cleansing are usually of the foaming variety to avoid friction. It also ensures minimal skin-to-skin contact for washing the face.

To make this easier for you, we have some recommendations for your natural skincare routine:

#2 Exfoliation

Exfoliation is an essential step of the night skincare routine in Japanese culture. The key here is to use gentle exfoliators instead of harsh scrubs. Wondering why? Because they remove dead skin and improve texture without stripping the natural oils.

Konjac Sponge

Ideally, you must exfoliate:

  • 1-2 times every week for a normal to combination skin type
  • 2-3 times every week in a skincare routine for oily skin
  • Once every 10-14 days for dry to sensitive skin type

There are 2 types of exfoliants used in Japan – physical and chemical. Physical exfoliants include small particles or specific tools to remove dead skin. For example, Konjac sponges, cleansing brushes, and facial scrubs. They show immediate effects and improve blood circulation.

Chemical exfoliants are of 3 types –

  • AHAs
  • BHAs
  • PHAs

Each type includes different ingredients. For example, glycolic acid, lactic acid, or salicylic acid. And the benefits of using them? Even exfoliation, less irritation, and targeted benefits.

#3 Toning and Lotion

The next step in the routine is the application of toners and lotions. The key to J-beauty is using alcohol-free toners to soothe your skin and restore the pH balance.

Clarifying Toner

Moreover, toners (or lotions as they’re called in Japanese skincare) increase the absorption of other products. Say serums and moisturizers. Finally, they improve skin hydration and tighten the pores for youthful, younger-looking skin.

The best toners that you can add to a skincare routine from ILEM Japan are:

Their Balancing Toner helps you hydrate your skin deeply and boosts barrier repair. It promotes collagen production and offers quick relief from inflammation.

As for the Clarifying toner, it helps to unclog clogged pores. Furthermore, it reduces dark spots, giving you an even-toned skin.

The Soothing Toner helps remove impurities and absorb moisture. It helps to revive tired skin by boosting collagen production.

Layering Techniques

#1 Serum

Serum forms an integral part of the Japanese skincare routine. Wondering why? Because they contain the highest amount of actives. Moreover, they quickly get absorbed into the deepest layers of the skin. All thanks to their texture and consistency. And that’s not even the best part about it!

Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Every serum is designed for targeted treatment, which increases its efficiency. They address specific concerns like hyperpigmentation, hydration, or fine lines. For this reason, it is important to look for some key ingredients in your serum. These include:

  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Vitamin C
  • Salicylic acid
  • Glycolic acid
  • Niacinamide
  • Green Tea

ILEM Japan offers 2 serums that can truly level up your skincare game. These are:

The power of the Brightening Serum lies in its hero ingredient, Vitamin C. It focuses on correcting dark spots and uneven skin tone. Moreover, it refines your skin’s texture, making it smooth and even. Not to forget the Prickly pear extract. Its anti-inflammatory action soothes skin and hydrates it. Result? Soft and glowing skin!

As the name suggests, the Hydrating serum delivers deep hydration. The Hyaluronic acid in the serum improves skin elasticity, making it soft and supple. At the same time, Marula Oil and Tangerine peel extract purify and nourish the skin for a natural glow.

#2 Moisturization

Moisturizers are essential for locking all the goodness within. They form a barrier on the skin and lock moisture. Furthermore, they ensure that all the applied products stay intact.

Moisturizer with Shea Butter

The Japanese skincare routine suggests wearing a lightweight moisturizer during the day. And the Light Moisturizer fits the role! It can defy your age, soothe your skin, and lock hydration. What's more? It also tightens your pores and renews your complexion. All thanks to Sea Holly Plant Stem Cells and Niacinamide.

But if you work in a cold office or have parched skin, then a thick moisturizer may help. So why not try the Deep Moisturizer? Packed with the goodness of Shea Butter, it moisturizes and repairs your skin. Not to forget the Sea Fennel Plant Stem Cells and Japanese Rice Germ Oil that give you baby-soft skin!

Sun Protection

Sun protection is non-negotiable, given the Japanese's awareness of sun-induced skin damage. This emphasis stems from a cultural desire for fair and youthful skin. Thus prompting a wide acceptance of preventive measures against harmful UV rays.

Various sunscreens are preferred to cater to different preferences and skin needs. These include lotion-based sunscreens, UV-blocking mists, gels, milk, and more.

Additionally, makeup products with built-in sun protection are widely embraced for daily use. Typically, lightweight, non-greasy formulations are popular in Japan. They align with the country's focus on comfortable, functional skincare.

Special Care and Extras

#1 Masks

Sheet masks are a popular and cherished step in a skincare routine. They provide targeted hydration, nourishment, and other benefits to the skin. Japanese skincare enthusiasts often use sheet masks 1-3 times a week for 10-20 mins.

And the best part about them? Each sheet mask contains a special hero ingredient that caters to a specific skin need. For instance, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, green tea, collagen, or vitamin C.

#2 Eye Cream

The skin around the eyes is delicate and prone to showing signs of aging and fatigue. Japanese skincare emphasizes prevention and hydration to maintain youthful, radiant under-eye skin. Thus, under-eye creams like ILEM Japan’s Nourishing Eye Cream  and Smoothing Eye Cream are used to protect and nourish the eye area.

Under Eye Cream

When applying the eye cream, it is advisable to:

  • Use the ring finger to avoid too much pressure
  • Use light dabbing motions for application
  • Start applying the eye cream from the outer corner of the eye and move inwards towards the bridge of the nose. This helps to follow the natural flow of lymphatic drainage. Furthermore, it reduces the chances of stretching the skin

#3 Japanese Beauty Secrets

The beauty of Japanese products is using effective traditional ingredients and practices. Natural ingredients are often included for their nourishing, soothing, and rejuvenating properties. Think of rice bran, green tea, and seaweed.

Additionally, traditional practices show a holistic approach for maintaining skin health and radiance. These include practices like:

  • Double cleansing
  • Layering lightweight products
  • Using sheet masks

But that’s not all.

Beyond the application of products, the Japanese routine focuses on mindfulness and self-care. They view skincare routines as rituals rather than chores. Thus encouraging individuals to take moments to care for themselves.

By including skincare as a form of self-love, Japanese beauty products bring tranquility and confidence. These beauty secrets result in glowing skin. Also, they reflect a cultural ethos that values 3 important things:

  • Simplicity
  • Nature
  • Harmonious relationship with one's body and surroundings.

Tailoring the Routine

#1 IdentifyingYour Skin Type

Understanding your skin type is the foundation of an effective skincare routine. Identify whether your skin is oily, dry, combination, or sensitive. This information helps you choose products that suit your skin's needs.

Also, it helps avoid ingredients that do more harm than good. Japanese skincare emphasizes this step to ensure that each product suits your skin.

#2 Adapting the Routine for Different Seasons

Japanese skincare recognizes the impact of changing seasons on the skin. Adjust your routine based on weather conditions. For instance, prefer lighter and more hydrating products during the summer months.

In colder seasons, focus on richer moisturizers to combat dryness. This adaptability ensures your skin receives the appropriate care year-round.

#3 Addressing Specific Skin Concerns

Choose target-specific products if you're dealing with acne, fine lines, or sensitivity. For example, salicylic acid or tea tree oil products can benefit acne-prone skin.

If hyperpigmentation is a concern, look for niacinamide and vitamin C products. This tailored approach ensures you're effectively addressing your unique needs.

Building Your Japanese Skincare Routine

Every individual has unique skin needs. Thus, building a personalized skincare routine is essential. Why? Because skincare routine steps for oily skin differ from those for sensitive skin. The same applies to the ingredients as well. Moreover, a skincare routine for men may vary from a skincare routine for women. This can be due to differences in skin texture, skin type, and biology.

Furthermore, you can combine Japanese products with non-Japanese products if you wish. However, when doing so, focus on the following:

  • Focus on products based on their benefits rather than their origin
  • Focus on compatibility. Ensure ingredients complement each other and don't cause adverse reactions.
  • Layer products from thinnest to thickest consistency for optimal absorption.
  • Be open to integrating products from different brands. And while you are at it, stay true to Japanese principles that resonate with you.


The Japanese skincare routine goes beyond external beauty, fostering holistic well-being. It blends skincare with mindfulness, creating harmony between body, mind, and environment.

By adopting traditional practices and natural ingredients, this approach cultivates radiant skin. It also encourages a deeper appreciation for self-care and the beauty of simplicity. You'll witness your skin's evolution and your own blossoming journey. But that's only if you stay calm and consistent.

All you need to do is approach the routine with a positive mindset. Furthermore, tailor it to your unique skin needs. And don't forget to adjust it as seasons, lifestyles, and circumstances shift.

Finally, believe that even a simplified Japanese skincare routine can give impressive results with consistency.

ILEM JAPAN makes choosing the best Japanese skin care products for skin easier for you! We are a cruelty-free, vegan skincare brand curated with intention. Our formulation of holistic wellness products blends seamlessly with your routine. It uplifts your mind, body, and lifestyle, one small ritual at a time.

Trust us to bring the best Japanese skincare products in India only for you!

Quick view