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These Methods Will Make You Rethink The Way You Cleanse Your Face

Are you more of the Japanese two-step or the Korean four-step? Whichever it is, you won't ever look at cleansing the same way again with this lowdown.

We can’t place enough emphasis on the importance of cleansing. Getting rid of all that nasty grime off your face is step uno towards achieving that blemish-free skin. Trying to comprehend the use of each beauty product in my early twenties was tough. Like, what the heck is essence? Do you apply it after serum or lotion? Am I supposed to just leave this mask on my face without rinsing?! Ah, I was young.

Things started to change when I entered the YouTube vortex and started binge-watching a particular channel by the name of Soko Glam. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it or not – I’m betting that you have – but that channel basically schooled me on the necessary basics and introduced me to the big, wide and ever-expanding world of K-beauty. It is also because of this that I really got HOOKED into what the South Koreans call the 10-step cleansing routine and started accumulating products that spawned from the hype.

But, 10 steps. It really is some kind of commitment. Many products and many months later, my K-beauty products have descended into a  state of limbo, used here and there but not enough, left to collect dust on the shelf. I then started gravitating towards the Japanese – or J-beauty – method of “Less Is More”. As someone who hardly wears any makeup on a given day, it made sense. It is also a method that pinpoints what works or doesn’t work for your skin, because you’re only looking at a handful of products. Perfect excuse if you’re lazy when it comes to skincare, too.

Look, both routines are great – I mean, have you seen the porcelain skin on these Japanese and Korean girls? – but should be aware of your skin’s level of sensitivity or adaptivity. Using too many products might cause a break out, but sometimes the minimal route may not be enough. Whether you’re looking for an even better way to greater skin or just curious about what the two methods entail, here’s a lowdown for you to see which one is best for you.


The Japanese are all about “Less Is More” and incorporating nature into their ingredients, whether it’s esential oils or organic extracts, and taking this philosophy and incorporating minimalism into skincare routines. There are essentially two steps to a typical Japanese cleansing routine: a cleansing oil or milk, followed by a regular cleanser. With minimalism, the Japanese focus on simple but effective steps, focusing on Japanese superfoods like green tea, yuzu extract, organic essential oils and rice essence.

#1 Cleansing Oil or Milk

#2 Facial Cleanser


With the rapidly rising popularity of K-beauty, the extensive, meticulous Korean 10-step regimen has been making its rounds everywhere. Just cleansing itself takes up four steps. The process is undoubtedly thorough, guaranteeing squeaky clean skin by the end of it all. Start by removing your makeup with a wipe, followed by a cleansing oil to break down SPF, makeup and sebum. Next, pick up a foaming cleanser, which will break down any water-based impurities such as sweat and dirt. Finally, exfoliate your skin – twice a week, don’t over do it – to rid yourself of those pesky flakes and dead skin. Toner, essence, serums, sheet masks, eye cream, moisturiser and – if you’re heading out – sunscreen, makes 10.

#1 Makeup Remover Wipes

#2 Oil-based Cleanser

#3 Water-based Cleanser

#4 Exfoliate

What To Read Next: Conversations: Nicolas Travis of The Phenomenal Allies of Skin, Yoyo vs. Candice: Who’s Got The Better K-Beauty Haul? and Beauty Wars: I Tested 7 Cushion Foundations To Find The Best One | Main Image: Desiree Liew

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