There is a piece of age-old skincare advice in Japan that if you spend 30 minutes putting on makeup, you should spend 30 minutes taking it off. It’s not meant to be taken verbatim — of course — but rather, a mindset that you should take the same care and attention washing your face as you would putting on makeup.
In J-beauty, facial cleansers are nearly always foaming and they aren’t intended to take off any sort of makeup. (That is what cleansing balms, oils, creams, and gels — all of which are categorised as dedicated makeup removers in Japan — are there to do.)
Washing your face with a foaming face wash seems like something you do half asleep. But if you really want to maintain clear, healthy skin, there’s more to washing your face than a half-arsed rinse.
This is the correct way to wash your face with a foaming cleanser, according to Japanese skincare:
Make sure your hands are clean.
If your hands have oil or other dirt on them, the cleansing foam will not lather well.
Give your face a thorough rinse with lukewarm water (33–38°C). Not just a quick splash, but take the time to make sure your skin is saturated.
In order for cleansing foams (and soaps) to work their best, skin needs to be wet enough.
Rub the cleanser vigorously between your hands with a little water to create a dense foamy lather.
You should never lather up your cleansing foam directly on your face.
You want to make a lemon-sized amount and it should be dense enough so that it will not drip off even if you hold your hand upside down. Just like the image above.
If you have trouble building the lather just by using your hand, there’re tools like a foaming net that will make it easier.
Very gently “massage” the foam over the face, starting with the oiliest region of your face (the T-zone).
The general advice is to wash for 10 seconds. Longer will strip protective oil from the skin while shorter isn’t sufficient time to cleanse the skin.
Rinse face thoroughly with lukewarm water (at least 10 splashes).
Be sure you’re not neglecting areas where lather tends to accumulate, like the hairline and side of your noses.
Gently press face dry with a fresh, clean towel or paper towel. You shouldn’t wipe your face dry.
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