The Best Methods of Japanese Exfoliation

Exfoliating is one of the most essential parts of a Japanese skincare routine. This step supports a smooth, healthy, glowing complexion by removing the buildup of dead cells on the skin’s surface, thereby improving skin texture and brightness. The buildup of dead skin cells also contributes to dullness and emphasizes signs of premature aging, such as wrinkles, which is why regular exfoliation helps skin look more youthful.

In addition, regular exfoliation allows for better absorption of your other skincare products, so you get the most out of those active ingredients. 

Exfoliation is a regular step in any Japanese skincare routine and should be done 2 to 3 times a week to keep your skin looking radiant. In this blog post, we cover some of the most typical Japanese methods of exfoliation as well as the best products, so you can get the J-beauty experience right at home.


Common Japanese Ways to Exfoliate

Japanese exfoliators are effective at removing dead skin cells and targeting other skin concerns, but they do so with gentle exfoliating methods and unique ingredients that benefit the skin. Many Japanese exfoliants are made of ingredients like rice bran that offer a mild physical exfoliation effect as well as an enzymatic exfoliation that helps remove dead skin cells.


Gentle Scrubs 

Many physical exfoliants are too rough, causing the skin more harm than benefit. That’s why Japanese skincare prioritizes natural, gentle ingredients that whisk away dead skin cells, brighten the complexion, and are soothing and nourishing. 

In the HIJIRIKO Facial Soap with Mt. Fuji Volcanic Mud, volcanic mud promotes soft, glowing skin by gently exfoliating and removing impurities. Volcanic mud is not only rich in vitamins and minerals that support skin health, but it helps pull toxins, pollutants, and excess oil from the pores. This facial soap includes hydrating ingredients such as glycerin, squalane, and rice germ oil to balance out the exfoliating power of volcanic mud. 

The body can handle more physical exfoliation than the face, but your scrubs should still be gentle. In the Matcha & Sakura Body Scrub by SASS, matcha powder brightens and fights premature aging with powerful antioxidants, all while stimulating circulation and buffing away dead cells. Epsom salt helps exfoliate and calm irritation, so it’s great for sensitive skin.

Exfoliating Masks

Exfoliating masks are a great way to incorporate go-to Japanese exfoliating ingredients such as volcanic mud, enzymes, and natural clays into your routine (while enjoying a bit of self-care). 

All skin types can benefit from the Pure Placenta Enzyme Exfoliating Mask, but it’s especially great for sensitive, allergy-prone skin. This foam mask gently exfoliates with enzymes such as papain to cleanse and even one’s skin tone. 

Another exfoliating product by HIJIRIKO featuring Mt. Fuji volcanic mud is their Facial Mud Pack. This purifying face mask deeply exfoliates and cleans with kaolin and bentonite clays, charcoal, and volcanic mud, so skin feels instantly softer and more radiant. It also includes moisturizing ingredients such as squalane and jojoba seed oil.

Hybrid Products

Japanese skincare is cosmetically elegant, combining age-old beauty secrets with modern technology to create luxurious, effective products. This is precisely why many Japanese products are hybrid, bundling different skincare steps, textures, and ingredients into one. 

For example, the Organic Tech-Cleansing Cream by White Ichigo acts as a double cleanse without the double cleanse, turning into an oil consistency once applied. The face wash also lightly exfoliates the skin with dissolving capsules that leave your skin feeling soft and smooth.

Another hybrid skincare product that gently exfoliates for healthy, radiant skin comes from Amaranth. The APP-C Moist Peeling uses sake sediment extract to exfoliate the top layer of skin without stripping away essential moisture. It also moisturizes, protects with antioxidants, and brightens with vitamin C.