J-Beauty: Discovering the Delights of Japanese Skincare

Unlock the Secrets of J-Beauty A Japanese Esthetician Reveals the 3 Pillars

Japanese Esthetician’s 3 Pillars of J-Beauty

Smiling Asian Woman

Image by Liliya Rodnikova / Stocksy

October 30, 2023

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Korean beauty, or K-beauty for short, has been popular in the U.S. for quite some time. The philosophy is best known for its multi-step process, often including 10 individual steps each evening. Korea is also known for being ahead of the curve when it comes to beauty innovations, and it’s home to many of the trends we know and love today (looking at you, glass, dumpling, and honey skin!).

Japanese beauty (or J-beauty), on the other hand, follows more of a minimalist approach. It contains different basic elements than Korean beauty but has a similar focus on hydration and natural-leaning ingredients.

Consider the below your field guide to J-beauty, straight from master esthetician turned J-beauty curator for Shikō Beauty Collective, Kyoko Getz.

Barrier support is everything 

“Japanese skincare focuses on skin’s barrier function and TEWL (transepidermal water loss),” Getz states. “These are the vital aspects of the skin’s overall health and wellbeing.”

When your skin barrier is compromised, it can lead to symptoms like dryness, irritation, eczema, acne, accentuated fine lines, and more, Getz explains. So J-beauty emphasizes gentle, hydrating products over those that may dry out the skin in an effort to address a multitude of concerns simultaneously.

“Gentle cleansing, nourishment (both inside and out), hydration, moisture, and protection are the crucial steps to achieve a healthy skin barrier,” she notes.

A few exemplary J-beauty products she recommends for this purpose are the Nemohamo Full Barrier Serum and Seiso J-Beauty Pure Ceramide Concentrate—both of which include ingredients designed to soothe your skin barrier like ceramides, squalane, glycerin, and more.

Balanced nutrition

As Getz previously hinted, the J-beauty philosophy starts with an inside-out approach. Nourishing the body from within will contribute to healthy, radiant-looking skin.


Some dietary staples include fermented foods like miso, natto, koji, and tsukemono (aka, pickled veggies).

“They are full of probiotics, vitamins, and enzymes,” she says, which can boost the immune system and promote gut health (since gut health is very important for skin health, as well).

Getz also emphasizes the importance of seasonal eating in Japanese culture, and not just for fruits and vegetables. She explains that popular and available fish also come and go with seasonal changes, which contributes to the prioritization of fresh foods of all kinds.

Green tea is another must-have Getz “can’t forget to mention,” with respect to her own roots in Uji, Japan—the birthplace of the Japanese tea ceremony. Green tea boasts tons of health benefits, but it has been shown to be beneficial for skin health in clinical studies as well. This is unsurprising, given the tea’s anti-inflammatory properties and high vitamin C content.

Advanced technology

Finally, we have high-tech tools. “When it comes to Japanese skincare, advanced technologies and innovations are a huge part of it all,” Getz declares.

There are plenty of at-home skincare devices popular in Japan, such as the one from Getz’s own brand, Olura. The Olura Eno—a vibrating handheld device that helps to slough off dead skin cells and improve the penetration of topical serums and treatments, is a perfect example of what J-beauty technology stands for: minimalistic designs with multiple benefits and clinical efficacy.

But it’s not all about the devices—innovative skincare formulas also own a spotlight in J-beauty. One example Getz shares is the previously mentioned Nemohamo—a Japanese skincare brand that utilizes a low-temperature vacuum extraction to make use of whole plants in their skincare formulations, she explains.

The hero plant for this brand specifically is Panax ginseng. When utilized with this advanced extraction method, the enzymes, vitamins, and minerals in ginseng are preserved and highly available.

That’s not to say other natural-leaning brands don’t pay special attention to the manufacturing process, but this is an instrumental element to Japanese beauty.

The takeaway

In a nutshell, Japanese beauty is all about skin barrier support, prioritizing a balanced diet with fresh produce and seafood, and utilizing advanced technology through manufacturing and devices. Not sure where to start? You can’t go wrong with getting to know your skin barrier—here are the basics.

Discovering the wonders of J-beauty is like diving into a fantastic world filled with secrets to unlock and treasures to behold. From gentle cleansing rituals to nourishing the body from within, all the way to utilizing cutting-edge technology, Japanese skincare is a delightful journey that will leave your skin radiant and your heart full of beauty enthusiasm.

So, dear beauty lovers, have you dipped your toes into the whimsical world of J-beauty? Or are you already a devoted explorer? Share your thoughts and experiences with us, and let’s embark on this enchanting adventure together!

Image source: Smiling Asian Woman by Liliya Rodnikova / Stocksy