We all know about Korean beauty skincare and makeup and have most probably tried it in one form or another. Japanese Beauty is not exactly new to the beauty world but it is not as popular as K-beauty. When I came across this entire new genre of ‘beauty’, I was intrigued. I was intrigued mainly because, unlike K-beauty, J-beauty does not have all of the steps and products that K-beauty has and is not as ‘aggressive’ as Western beauty routines that relies on lots exfoliation and chemical formulas. I love the whole Korean Beauty routine but to be honest, applying all of those products just didn’t seem very do-able to me and if you’ve ever been in the market for skincare products and then you would know how expensive it is. Another thing with applying so many beauty products, how do you know exactly which products works for your skin? As with American beauty routines – my face could just never handle the aggressive nature of the products as I have extremely sensitive skin so find something that works in my skincare routine is quite a mission. A few months back I was browsing Allure and really learned the ins and outs of J-beauty and obviously because skincare is such a personal thing – we all have different skincare needs and traits, I adapted it to my skin to make it work for me. I am not going to lie, Korean Beauty products are too out of my league, locally. When I say “out of league” I mean, it is overpriced and given the nature of all the products in a typical Korean Beauty Skincare Routine, I was not gonna give in on that routine. I was so pleasantly surprised when I encountered Japanese Beauty. So after reading up on it on Allure, I went to the only store that I know of that sells Japanese beauty products in South Africa just before my trip to Istanbul last year. Miniso in Canal Walk has everything you need in a beauty routine, makeup and bath and body products. All of the products that I am going to mention in today’s blogpost is from Miniso and super affordable on the pocket.
Just a quick little background on my skin: I have fairly clear skin but my biggest skincare concerns are enlarged pores, blackheads and texture. Knowing what my skincare concerns are, I shopped for products that I thought would best suit my skin. I didn’t go overboard with products (this isn’t the complete steps in a J-Beauty routine) but mostly took the main products. The goal with a Japanese skincare routine is to brighten your skin, lighten dark marks and also giving your skin a luminous glow from within. Skin hydration is what I was aiming for, minus all the oils that my t-zone loves producing. Here are the products that I used.
Miniso Facial Mask: Burn Relief Cactus GelThis is not a permanent product in my 6 week routine but it is such a gem of a product that I would urge everyone to go out and buy, whether you’re a guy that loves the outdoors in the summer months or a girl that loves lounging in the sun. In December and January I spent alot of time outside and in the pool. If you’re someone like me that tans red and brown easily, you would appreciate this product. This was the first summer vacation that I didn’t burn or have burning skin. Every time I returned from the pools or beach, I would hop in the shower and then come out the shower and slathered this all over my face and neck. It calmed my skin and prevented my face from going red and flaking like it normally would when I have been out in the sun even when using a high SPF sunscreen. Side note; the sun is the biggest cause to aging skin as well as damaged skin and skin cancer (constant exposure to sun), don’t get me wrong – your skin requires vitamin D but in “healthy doses” and a good SPF. The consistency of this gel is quite thick and if I had to compare it to a substance, I would say the jelly like consistency found in an Aloe Vera plant. It melts into your skin and might leave your skin feeling a tad tacky but the feeling disappears after a while. The fragrance of this mask is quite subtle and has a fresh scent to it.
Miniso Mung Bean Oil Control CleanserWe all know that I am a sucker for a good cleanser! In J-Beauty, double cleansing is essential. I don’t do the double cleanse technique because this mung bean cleanser does such a great job at extracting all of that excess oils from my skin. This doesn’t lather up like a normal cleanser would with a bubbly/soapy consistency but more like a shaving cream would coat your legs. This is honestly the best cleanser I have ever used to extract oil from my t-zone. What I can say is that this cleanser does not remove blackheads. A more abrasive skincare item like an exfoliator would do that. This cleanser smells “soapy” when on the face but doesn’t smell overpowering. I squeeze a generous amount onto my fingers, warm the product onto my fingers by rubbing it together and then massaging it onto damp skin in circular motions to coat my face like a face mask. I do this for about two minutes and then rinse it off with lukewarm water before tapping my skin dry with a micro-fiber cloth.
Miniso Soothing Aloe Fresh TonerBefore I tell you about this product, I am such a sucker for this packaging. Something about it just gets me and I love that it has a little plug underneath the top/lid which makes it perfect for travel as it prevents leaking in your suitcase or bag. Now if I am being honest, I am not a toner person. I never was. This toner
might have absolutely changed my mind. Even though I have an oily t-zone, a toner usually strips my skin from its natural oils completely. This toner? the complete opposite! My skin drinks this toner up and it leaves my face feeling and looking supple. I pat this into face after cleansing and leave my face to soak up all of the product before going onto my following step. In my J-Beauty routine, I would say that this product is the main reason for the reduction in texture on my face. If you have sensitive skin and find it challenging to find a toner for your face – this one is for you! It is extremely gentle and really does sooth your skin.
Miniso Almond Moisturizing EmulsionThe last step in my J-Beauty routine is this moisturizer. The consistency of this moisturizer is a toss between a cream and a lotion and has a milky texture. I quite like how two pumps is enough for my entire face. After the toner has dried on my skin, I massage this emulsion into my skin in circular motion and then rub up (never down because you don’t want your skin to sag!). The packaging of this emulsion feels quite high end to me and it travels well. Now the scent of this emulsion won’t be for everyone. It smells quite earthy and it took sometime for me to get used to, it grew on me and now I adore it. My sister on the other hand loathe the smell. I am not sure if the scent disappears after a while or if you just get used to it but I don’t smell it anymore. This emulsion is perfect for sensitive skin as it hydrates your skin perfectly and leaves it feeling nourished. I would totally skip a primer after using this product as it leaves my skin feeling like a blank canvas for makeup.
Of course skincare has different meanings for everyone and if I had to give my personal opinion and final thoughts on my Japanese Beauty routine then it would be that I didn’t get the full results that I would want from my skincare routine.This routine didn’t fully work for me but for an individual with sensitive skin that doesn’t have blackheads like I do and that really does want to get into a skincare routine, this is for you. I have gone without makeup for over a month and I am sure my skin loves me for it but not using an exfoliator didn’t benefit my skin even though I don’t have any flaking right now. It definitely delivers on the brightening and glowing from within aim. I will however stick to my Japanese Beauty Skincare routine for now but incorporate a facial scrub into it because my blackheads and pores need to be kept at bay. What I can say is that my skin has never looked or felt brighter in years and approaching my thirties in the next few years really has opened my eyes to a better skincare routine.