Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Asian Skincare Routine

I got confused awhile back about my skincare product sequence after purchasing an emulsion from Laneige. Emulsion? It was my first product with that term and it threw me off a little. It looks like a moisturiser, feels like a moisturiser, description seems to be that of a moisturiser...but is it a moisturiser?

My search to define this product's place in my routine led to checking out the whole skincare routine according to Asia. And by Asia I'm leaning towards Japan 'cos let's face it, Japanese women seem to age ridiculously well...I have colleagues in their 40s who could pass for early 30s!



- my conclusion reached after tramping through site after site off google -

There are 5 basic steps in the Asian Skincare Routine:

1) Cleansing/Double Cleansing -- I usually only double cleanse if I've been out and had makeup on. I use a cleansing cream (Kanebo) to 'lift' the makeup and dirt out of the pores then rinse off with warm water followed by cleanser.

2) Mask + Massage -- I have a good supply of cleansing and hydrating/moisturising masks, both the pack and sheet kind, and do a lymphatic facial massage about thrice weekly. (Further elaboration on the Tanaka Facial Massage here). I used to do masks every 2 days but am now down to just once or twice a week. Sleeping Mask types would of course come at the end of the routine.

3) Toner (aka 'water' or 'lotion' in Japanese/Korean products; always check) -- Get that balance back and remove remaining residue from your skin. I sometimes substitute my toner with the distilled, purified water from home, feels good to go au naturale~ =p

4) Emulsion -- Aha! Turns out emulsion is basically a very light moisturiser you can use on it's own or before your heavier cream moisurisers. I use this mainly for the balancing factor so will usually follow up with a water gel moisturiser. Younger skin or oily skin types may get away with using just this as I read that persons above 30 can/should opt for the cream version.

5) Essence / Serum -- A liquid concentrate you use for specific concerns. Some websites say essence before emulsion, some go with emulsion first. I use essence (irregularly though) inbetween emulsion and moisturiser as I feel moisturiser acts as a sealant. So it goes: Emulsion (wait for product to be absorbed) - Essence (wait again to be absorbed) - Moisturiser & eye cream.

And that's the basic Asian Skincare Routine for you. Although it seems like a lot of steps, I believe it boils down to using a narrowed down range of products of proven quality and efficacy. Less is more and all that~ ^_^