The goal? Supple, radiant skin. The approach? That depends on who you ask. Here at DHC, we’re a fan of the classic Japanese 4-step regimen, a skincare routine that’s powerful enough to deliver the results you crave, yet quick and efficient enough that you don’t have set aside an hour every single night for a million-step process. Quality over quantity, people! When you’re smart about the products you use, great skin really can be as easy as 1, 2, 3…4!
If you’re a beauty fanatic, you’ve no doubt admired (and perhaps even debated trying!) a 10-step K-Beauty skincare routine at one point or another. The idea of devoting tons of time to showing your skin some love on the daily certainly sounds like a dream, but it’s not always a reality. It’s difficult to commit to such a time-consuming approach, and it can be overwhelming trying to keep up with so many steps. When it comes to J-beauty, the number of steps in a typical regimen is less than five, and when the right ingredients and approaches are utilized, the results are just as good. A simple yet effective lineup of four products is all it takes to give your skin the nourishment it truly needs.
The Japanese have long believed in the concept of wabi-sabi, the practice of finding beauty in everything, imperfections included. It’s a traditional mindset that promotes simplicity and acceptance, and in a lot of ways, it relates directly to how the Japanese approach their skincare. A 4-step regimen is simple, yet intentional, and all skin types can benefit from this approach —it’s not an overly-perfected, lengthy facial routine each night, but it provides an opportunity for one to treat their skin and have a moment of wellness each day, during which skin’s flaws are accepted and embraced while soothed. J-beauty skincare regimens aren’t about attracting clicks online for how lengthy and tedious they are; they’re about achieving one’s best skin for oneself, and ideally, accepting the skin you’re in along the way.
So, with that in mind, let’s talk about the specifics of a classic 4-step regimen. Really, it’s divided into two parts: A double cleanse and a double moisture. When it’s time to take the day off, begin with an oil cleanse to immediately remove makeup and excess sebum oil. Next, a foaming cleanse rids skin of sweat, pollutants, toxins, and any other no-nos that still remain on the face. Third, a toning lotion is a lightweight hydrator that can be pressed into the skin to condition one’s complexion post-cleanse. Last but not least, a moisturizer to lock in moisture, as the name implies, and ensure skin looks balanced and beautiful. Then you’re done, that’s it! A 4-step, wabi-sabi friendly regimen, that gives you great skin over time, and a moment of blissful wellness every single day.
By Bella Gerard