Morning Skincare Routine

Morning Skincare Routine: The Japanese Beauty Way To Get Mochi Skin

The concept of ritual skincare is quietly shaking the beauty world. A more mindful and self-care-driven approach to beauty is shaping skincare into a chosen self-care practice. The Japanese skincare routine is one such beauty routine that encapsulates the idea, "Skincare is self-care." It balances wellness and beauty in the pursuit of radiant, healthy skin.

Their morning skincare routine, particularly, is a blend of tradition and modernity designed to rejuvenate your skin. It follows three key principles of Japanese skincare to set the stage for glowing skin from sunrise to sunset:

  • Simplicity
  • Hydration
  • Protection

But you may wonder, "Why is a morning skincare routine so important? Shouldn't an elaborate night skincare routine be enough?" Well, think of it as your skin's daily cup of coffee, but instead of caffeine, it gets a boost of radiance! Your morning skincare routine wakes everything up, shakes off the sleep, and gets your skin ready to face the world.

And if you have made it this far in the blog, it's clear you want to know more about the morning skincare routine, especially the one that hails from the beauty land of Japan. So, without further ado, here is a step-by-step breakdown of the Japanese AM skincare routine for you.

We will see why these steps deserve a spot in the morning skincare routine and introduce you to some incredible products. Trust us; these gems are about to become your morning skincare besties!

Let's start!

Japanese Morning Skincare Routine: Step-By-Step Breakdown

Step 1: Cleansing

Like any other morning skincare routine, cleansing is crucial in the Japanese skincare playbook. It sets the stage for all the other steps to come. But there's a slight difference in how the Japanese approach cleansing in their AM skincare routine. For them, it's not about stripping your skin but skin renewal. And that too gently!

For this reason, they use a gentle, hydrating cleanser. Such cleansers play a dual role:

  1. They wash off any dirt
  2. They hydrate your skin

The goal is to clean your skin without stripping off its natural oil. Alternatively, they may splash their face with cold water to awaken their skin.

Gentle Cleanser

Our Hydrating Asa Bento can be a perfect match for your morning skincare routine. The Gentle Cleanser in this bundle is formulated with refreshing ingredients like Japanese Yuzu Extract and Grape Leaf Extract. Together, it soothes and hydrates your skin, unveiling a glowing complexion.

Step 2: Toning

Think of a toner as a bridge between cleansing and nourishing. It prepares your skin and balances its pH levels to increase the effectiveness of other products. It easily seeps into your skin and gives your skin a quick hydration boost.

Hydrating Toner

Toners in Japan are typically hydrating, pH-balancing, and alcohol-free, just like the Balancing Toner in the bento. Infused with Raspberry Fruit Extract and Japanese Yuzu Extract, it does 4 essential things for your skin:

  • Eases any inflammation
  • Strengthen the skin's outer barrier
  • Balances skin texture
  • Moisturize your skin

One of the best ways to apply a toner is by "patting" it into the skin. Gentle patting does not cause friction or irritation. It also helps with better absorption of your toner. And the best part? It's mindful; it slows down your routine, allowing you to savor the moment!

Step 3: Serum or Essence

A Japanese essence falls somewhere between a toner and a serum. The Japanese use it to restore their skin's optimal hydration level. It has a water-like texture and is formulated with concentrated active ingredients.

So, if you feel like your skin has become extra dry or need extra hydration for your day, Essence is an excellent product to include.

Next up is a serum. Serums are thicker than essences and more concentrated. They are important for targeting specific skin concerns like dark spots or uneven skin tone. The trick for using them in the morning routine is to opt for lightweight, hydrating options with ingredients like hyaluronic acid or vitamin C.

Brightening Serum

For instance, our Hydrating Serum in the bento is formulated with 2 super hydrating ingredients–Hyaluronic Acid and Marula Oil. Hyaluronic acid is popular for making your skin appear plumpier and dewier. And when it comes to hydration, there is absolutely no match! Marula oil's soothing and hydrating properties add to the formula, making it your skin's go-to hydration retreat!

Similarly, Vitamin C-infused Brightening serum helps hydrate and even tone your skin. Vitamin C also corrects pigmentation and smoothens your skin's texture. Furthermore, it boosts your skin's collagen production and reduces the appearance of fine lines. And when complemented with Prickly Pear Extracts and Skin Prebiotics, the formula gives you clear, plump skin that shines all day!

Step 4: Moisturizing

By now, you must have realized one thing: The Japanese emphasize hydration. Here's another thing you need to know. The Japanese view moisturizing as a protective step. A good moisturizer seals in all the goodness of the products you have applied so far. Additionally, it graces the skin with some of its own benefits. For instance, anti-aging or promoting skin cell regeneration.

natural face moisturizer

Now, hydration is the key, but that doesn't mean heavy creams. In the morning, opt for a lightweight, hydrating moisturizer. It will nourish your skin deeply without making it greasy. Unlike thick moisturizers, they don't feel heavy on the skin. Plus, applying a thick moisturizer during the day may lead to excessive oiliness and clogged pores. And we do not want that!

Step 5: Sunscreen

What's a morning face routine without sunscreen? We'd say, "Efforts wasted." You could spend all the time and money on your routine. But if it does not end with sunscreen, there's no point.

Sunscreens shield against the skin-damaging UV rays of the sun. It helps prevent tanning, hyperpigmentation, faster aging, and cell damage. So apply sunscreen and reapply it every 2-3 hours.

You should opt for a lightweight sunscreen with the highest SPF and PA rating to avoid clogged pores, heaviness, and greasiness.

Extra Care: Eye Cream

Your moisturizer will take care of your skin. But what about the skin around your eyes? The skin around your eyes is extremely delicate and requires special care. It requires a special product with a well-balanced formulation to nourish and pamper it. This is where an eye cream steps into your morning face routine.

Under Eye Cream

An eye cream moisturizes the sensitive area around your eyes and prevents early signs of aging. Think of wrinkles and crow's feet. You can use an eye cream in the morning if:

  • Your eyes feel puffy and baggy
  • Your dark circles are pronounced
  • Your skin feels extremely dry

Another reason to apply it in the morning is to protect your skin against environmental damage that may expedite the aging process.

It's important to choose the cream after considering what your under-eye needs are. For instance, a moisturizing eye cream hydrates and plumps the skin around your eyes. Similarly, a firming eye cream smoothes fine lines and wrinkles. And finally, the brightening eye cream brightens the under eye to reduce the appearance of dark circles and eye bags.

It is recommended to use a gentle, hydrating eye cream in the morning. ILEM JAPAN's Nourishing Eye Cream is formulated with Japanese Rice Lees Extract, Swiss Apple Stem Cells, and Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid. The potent cream fights signs of aging and hydrates your delicate skin for youthful eyes.

In order to make the most of your eye cream, you must apply it correctly. Take a pea-sized amount on your ring finger, gently dab, and pat the cream onto your skin. Apply it before you apply your moisturizer.

Tips for Enhancing Your Morning Skincare Routine

The Japanese skincare routine focuses on overall well-being. Thus, only using products is not enough. They advise you to:

  • Get a relaxing, good night's sleep.
  • Staying well hydrated throughout the day.
  • Maintaining a healthy diet. You may include ingredients like Tofu, Salmon, Green Tea, Spinach, Walnuts, Seaweed, etc.
  • Include Matcha in their lifestyle. Matcha tea has anti-inflammatory properties with antioxidants and chlorophyll. As a result, it may help curb the redness due to acne and protect against UV-rays-induced skin damage.


The Japanese skincare routine is deeply rooted in simplicity and natural botanical ingredients for long-term skin health. The morning skincare routine steps, particularly, are focused on giving your skin the boost it needs to look youthful all day. They are easy to incorporate into your busy routines and just as effective as other elaborate routines.

When followed consistently, the 3 principles of the Japanese skincare routine help you achieve "mochi" skin–baby-soft, supple in nature, and a true embodiment of natural beauty! What makes this routine even better is the freedom to customize it as per your skin's needs. You can always add extra steps or combine a few to achieve the skin of your dreams!

Morning Skincare Routine For Oily Skin

And now that you know the routine, it's time we tell you where to find the products for the same. ILEM JAPAN is your one-stop shop for all your Japanese skincare needs. From cleansers and toners to scrubs and haircare, we house everything.

Our products are crafted from handpicked botanical and natural ingredients to bless you with Mother Nature's nurturance and goodness. They are cruelty-free, plant-based, safe, and healthy for you and our Earth.

You can shop for all the above products and more exclusively on our websites or stores. You can search for the nearest shop using our store locator. And if you feel it's too much of a hassle, don't worry. We will get the products delivered to you!

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