The Ultimate 4 Step Japanese Skincare Routine For Mochi Skin

We’ve all heard about it — mochi skin is in and if you’re all about that soft blurry finish that’s been the talk of the town recently, then you’ve come to the right place. In Japan, skincare is a well-established philosophy and mochi-hada skin has been gaining popularity over the past few years. But if you’re new to Japanese skincare and what it’s all about, fret not, because we’re giving you the lowdown on what mochi-hada skin is all about. To put it into laymen terms, “mochi-hada” simply refers to “rice-cake skin” that’s as soft and plump as the coveted Japanese dessert.

What’s oh-so-special about this skincare routine? Mainly it’s the translucence that shines through, giving you a supple and bouncy finish; a different take for the skin than the popular K-Beauty dewy glow that we’re all (more or less) are accustomed to.

Right now you might be wondering: What’s the difference between Japanese and Korean skincare?

Well, to say the least, the Japanese skincare routine focuses more on cleansing and usually consists of fewer steps than the latter. In fact, the routine mainly consists of 4 to 5 steps — which includes, cleansing, an essence, a serum, a moisturiser and/or a lotion (and the occasional treatments to treat those pesky little bumps on your face).

However, with the plethora of skincare products out in the market, it’s nearly impossible to go through every single one of them before finding the right one that fits you. But that’s what we’re here for guys and gals — if you’re looking to achieve that pika-pika glow, then this Japanese skincare routine might just be what you are looking for.


Kickstart the Japanese skincare routine with an oil-based cleanser
Kickstart the Japanese skincare routine with an oil-based cleanser (shu uemura Blanc: Chroma Brightening & Polishing Cleansing Oil (450ml), $125. Available at all shu uemura stores.)

Found in the beauty bibles of many, cleansing oils have made its way in many Japanese beauty routines — not only to remove their makeup but to cleanse their skin as well. Ideally used before applying your toner or lotion, the cleansing oil spreads across your face seamlessly and removes dullness and restores clarity for soft, supple skin. To get your routine started, start with an oil-based cleanser like the coveted ones from Shu Uemura. All you need is a pump or two and you’ll be good as new!

Best thing is — this amazing product just launched their new Chroma Brightening & Polishing Cleansing Oil and it’s safe to say that it definitely didn’t disappoint. Check out our verdict on this product in our other post.

Give your skin a good thorough double cleanse with a cleansing oil, like Suqqu’s Silky Smooth Cleansing Oil, to break down your makeup, SPF and sebum by whisking it away with a frothy lather. (Suqqu Silky Smooth Cleansing Oil, $88. Available online at Ubuy)

In Japan, it’s considered a taboo to sleep with your makeup on. This doesn’t only apply only to Japanese skincare BTW, it should always be a habit for you to remove your makeup before you hit the sheets, I repeat, always.

Though it might seem like cleansing your face with a cleanser is enough, Suqqu’s Silky Smooth Cleansing Oil does its job when you’re building on that double cleanse routine. Formulated with a unique blend of botanicals — from Honey, Rose Extract, Hibiscus Extract, Lavender Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Rosehip Oil — this cleansing oil feels light, nourishing and gives a satiny-smooth finish while keeping your skin hydrated after.

Rice-based powder cleansers have been popular in a lot of Japanese skincare routines as the second step in double cleansing.
Rice-based powder cleansers have been popular in a lot of Japanese skincare routines as the second step in double cleansing. (FANCL Facial Washing Powder, $20.80. Available at all FANCL counters and Watsons)

Quick Tip: Japanese women have long been using rice-based powder cleansers and knowing how perfect (and flawless) their skin has been for decades, powder cleansers are one of the power products to add to your J-Beauty routine if you are interested in ‘double cleansing’. It’s simple — you pour a small amount of the powder into your palms, add a bit of water, before working it into your skin. Essentially, this helps to gently lift off the remaining dirt and impurities while unclogging your pores leaving your skin feeling soft and clean.


 The most important step to achieving crystal-clear skin: Essence. For an essence that works wonders for your skin, try SK-II’s coveted Facial Treatment Essence.
The most important step to achieving crystal-clear skin: Essence. For an essence that works wonders for your skin, try SK-II’s coveted Facial Treatment Essence. (SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, 230ml, $289. Available at all SK-II counters and online)

The next important step: Essence. On the daily, you might reach out for your toner to prep your skin for the rest of your beauty regime. But what makes this routine any different is the incorporation of an essence — which works like a hybrid between toner and serum. Bestowing the most highly raved skincare product in the game: SK-II Facial Treatment Essence.

This holy grail product is certainly one that’ll transform your routine in just 14 days — you’ll notice that your spots and wrinkles are less visible and that your skin’s texture is more refined, radiant and firm. With a formula that has remained unchanged over the past 39 years, this almighty essence is sure to quench your skin’s thirst with just a few drops. With SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, you’ll realise that your skin becomes crystal clear, and eventually, you’ll be able to ditch your foundation and go bare-faced without having to worry about concealing any imperfections. Need more convincing? We answer all your doubts in our review of this cult-favourite essence.

Prep your face for the rest of your routine and address common skin issues such as dullness and irritation with a nourishing skin conditioner like this one by ALBION. (ALBION Skin Conditioner Essential, $147. Available at all ALBION counters)  

With a history that dates back to the ‘50s, Japanese luxury beauty brand, ALBION, has made a name for itself with some of their most iconic products — take for instance, their signature product, the ALBION Skin Conditioner. Said to contain Job’s tears (AKA Kita no Hato), the Skin Conditioner promises to deliver six skincare benefits which includes brighter, dewy, smoother, tighter skin, pimple prevention while improving skin problems.

Unlike toners, a skin conditioner is often known as a skin essence, which specifically targets to hydrate and soften skin. For the ultimate skin pampering experience, apply the skin conditioner after cleansing and before your serums and moisturisers, in place of your toner.


The solution to hidden age spots and dull skin? Try SK-II’s GenOptics Aura Essence.
The solution to hidden age spots and dull skin? Try SK-II’s GenOptics Aura Essence. (SK-II GenOptics Aura Essence, 50ml, $299. Available at all SK-II counters and online)

By now, you’d understand the basic skincare commandments of not wearing your makeup to sleep and always having the habit of cleansing your face before hitting the sheets. However, now there’s a new mandate that you might not be as familiar with: using a serum. They’re usually made with a high concentration of active ingredients that’ll increase the efficacy of your skincare routine.

Our J-Beauty pick would be SK-II GenOptics Aura Essence which, unlike traditional serums, is made to brighten up your skin from within, specifically targeting hidden age spots and dull skin tone that blocks the luminosity from showing. Formulated with an infusion of Prunus extract, Pitera™ and active whitening ingredients, this revolutionary product will brighten your complexion and reduce pigmentation that most of us are prone to, especially if you’re exposed to environmental aggressors and harmful UV rays.

Keep your skin in prime condition by incorporating a moisturising serum as your third step in your regime. (Decorte Moisture Liposome, $113. Available at DECORTE counters.) 

Believe it or not — many fail to realise the importance of including a serum into their routine; for obvious reasons, it takes too much time to add another step, and also because many don’t see the difference when they’re using one. Now that’s where DECORTE’s Moisture Liposome Serum comes in. To keep skin in prime condition and resistant to dryness, roughness and even other troubles, this serum’s your fix.

Thanks to its unique Liposome Technology, this lightweight, super-moisturising serum infuses skin with lasting, all-day hydration while improving skin’s texture, firmness and translucence — reaffirming the concept of mochi skin. Besides that, this hero product also doubles up as a booster by softening the skin to allow better absorption of the following products that goes after.


One should never skip on moisturisers — no matter how oily your skin can be
One should never skip on moisturisers — no matter how oily your skin can be. (SK-II R.N.A Milky Airy Lotion, 80g, $228. Available at all SK-II counters and online)

It happens on the regular: people with oily skin tend to assume that using a moisturiser will only add more fuel to the grease-fire. But when doing so, our skin will do the exact opposite as it tries to compensate for the dryness in our skin, by producing more oil. Delivering a lightweight formula that moisturises your skin while reducing the visibility of pores is none other than SK-II’s R.N.A. Power Airy Milk Lotion.

We can’t emphasise how important it is to moisturise — because skipping this step only accelerates signs of ageing and damage to your skin. To soothe and hydrate your skin throughout the day, apply an appropriate amount of this moisturiser as your final step to your Japanese skincare routine.

If you have normal to dry skin, then this moisturiser will do you good!
If you have normal to dry skin, then this moisturiser will do you good! (Shiseido Essential Energy, $80. Available at Sephora)

For an alternative solution to your dry skin woes, consider Shiseido’s Essential Energy Moisturising Cream. This silky soft cream fits perfectly into your regime if you’re one who has normal to dry skin. Formulated with ReNeura Technology, this revolutionary moisturiser not only moisturises but it also boosts your skin’s luminosity while smoothing it out and keeps it hydrated ’round the clock!

Add an appropriate amount of Tatcha’s The Water Cream to end off your routine for a boost of moisture. (Tatcha Water Cream, $101. Available at Sephora.)

As an integral step in any skincare routine, ending your regime with a moisturiser is an absolute must when it comes to achieving “mochi skin”. While there is a flurry of options to choose from in the market, getting your hands on one that gives pure, poreless skin, like Tatcha’s The Water Cream, is one worth considering.

Best suited for those with normal to oily skin, the unique water-burst cream clarifies and refines skin with its unique blend of botanicals that visibly tightens pores and smoothes skin texture while controlling excess oil and clarifying skin by encouraging natural skin turnover. To top it all off, the cream also comes with an anti-ageing Japanese superfood, Hadasei-3, which works to restore your skin’s natural and youthful-radiance.

If plump and firm skin is what you desire after a good night’s rest, look over to KOSE Sekkisei MYV Concentrate Cream for a double dose of hydration. (KOSE Sekkisei MYV Concentrate Cream, $356.90. Available at KOSE Sekkisei counters.)

Achieving a complexion that’s lit from within is still a thing in 2020. After layering on your lotions and toners, reap the benefits of a hydrating cream like this number by KOSE Sekkisei. This luxurious cream helps to plump, firm and strengthens the skin barrier for anti-inflammatory properties that also help to clarify the skin — creating a luminescent translucency.

Thanks to its formula that now includes coix seed water for clarity, and golden silk extract for the stimulation of epidermis cells for resilient and compact skin, the MYV Concentrate Cream creates a veil of moisture for the skin, and keeps it supple and smooth as silk.



This article is brought to you by SK-II Singapore.