Beauty rules that are common in Japan

Common knowledge is such an unreliable thing. Not sure if "unreliable" is the best word to describe it, but it really is, because your common knowledge can be senseless in other places. But it's always good to know what is common in other countries, isn't it? Especially when the "country" is Japan, where women give so much attention to beauty!

  • Don't rub your skin with a towel, nor with a cotton pad.
It's surprising to see how girls in Europe and the US rub their skin when they wash their face or pat it dry. Whenever I'm watching "skincare routine" video, and see a girl rubbing her eyes with a cotton pad with Bioderma, then with a muslin cloth, then with a towel, and then again with a cotton pad soaked with toner, it makes me want to scream "NOOOOOO!". That's a huge NO-NO in Japan because it does irritate your skin obviously, and ruin your skin texture. Do not ever rub your skin, even when you wipe your face with a towel, gently pat dry rather than scrubbing.

  • Moisturise with lotion before applying a moisturiser.
In Japan, we all use moisturising lotion before moisturiser. Moisturiser replenishes your skin with oil and other ingredients, whilst lotion gives moisture back to the skin. You can either apply with  a cotton pad or your hands. I choose depending on the texture of the lotion, but when I use a cotton pad I make sure not to rub, and I gently press my skin with my hands in the end to help the lotion sink in completely. 

  • Always wear SPF, even on a cloudy day or indoor.
UV rays are always attacking your skin. Even when you stay indoors. Make sure to apply sunscreen in the morning after washing your face. This is why I love Clinique Superdefence SPF20, as it works as a moisturiser and sunscreen in one!
Hair care

  • Blow dry your hair with a hair dryer.
You need to blow dry your hair unless you have super short hair to maintain both your hair and scalp healthy. When your hair is wet, the cuticle is open which makes your hair in a very fragile state. It causes hair breakage, split ends and dry hair. Also it's easy to imagine your scalp is also wet when your hair is wet. It encourages bacterial growth which can lead to skin diseases and odour. 

If you don't blow dry your hair with a hair dryer only because you are worried it would damage your hair, use a heat protecting spray. Ideally ones with an effective ingredient Erucalactone that seals up the cuticles by the heat. We are aware that the heat damages the hair, but maintaining healthy scalp is much more important as you can cut your hair but your scalp is a part of your body skin, like your face.

  • Wash your hair every day or at least every other day.
I was shocked when I learnt there were countries where people didn't wash their hair every day. That's how it's common sense to wash hair daily. We don't care if it damages our hair (just invest on a good hair mask!), we need to be clean!! I am sorry if I sound harsh, but it is quite disgusting for Japanese people to imagine not washing hair for days, and you sleep with it. 

  • Silicone is bad for your hair. Wait, it's not too bad actually.
It's crazy how people went "anti-silicone" a few years ago and brands started bringing loads of silicone-free shampoo and conditioner. But then some brands started claiming that silicone wasn't always bad, there were some kinds that would clog pores, but not all of them. Silicone-free hair care products are still popular in Japan, but consumers are not as particular as they were. One thing you need to watch out is that the products especially hair treatment or conditioner, that don't contain silicone tend to contain more oils, which get oxidised on your scalp which smell bad. Trust me, it happened to me and I wondered why. I much prefer silicone!

  • Avoid any friction when your hair is wet.
 My hair used to get tangled and dry so bad during winter. I asked my hair dresser why, and he asked "You don't go out with wet hair, do you?". I looked back, and realised that I would wash my hair in the morning and blow dry, but as I didn't have much time I would just dry 70% and wrap a scarf around my neck and went out. Again, your hair is very fragile when it's wet. Any frictions would cause a damage to it. Dry your hair completely before you leave your house, or go to bed.

 Body care

  • Apply moisturiser on the butt.
 I cannot believe how people are unconcerned about their butt! You are sitting down like 10 hours a day (or more?) and your butt always rubs against chairs. This area tends to get dry as well, and the combination of frictions and dryness can cause pigmentation and rough skin. I scrub and moisturise my butt daily, to keep it like a baby's (TMI).


  • Leave the top part of your eyebrows as natural as possible.
I know you can go crazy pulling out your eyebrows. But do not touch the top part of your eyebrows, that way they look more natural. In other words, when the baby hairs on top of your eyebrows are completely gone, they look fake and old fashioned.

  • Make your eyebrows a little brighter than your hair colour.
This is common in Japan too, but apparently not so much in other countries. Blonde hair + dark eyebrows look very strange to me, but it might depend on each person. I personally don't like dark eyebrows with my bright hair colour, so I dye them every other week at home, and use an eyebrow mascara to colour them daily.

  • Blot before applying foundation
Apply a moisturiser, then blot with a tissue. Apply a primer, then blot again. You don't need any excess oil before applying foundation. Make sure your skin is completely oil-free, and then apply it. It prevents your makeup to slip off during the day, and make it last much longer.

There are the ones just came up in my head! Let me know what the beauty habits in your country are, on Twitter or Instagram!

P.S. I'm getting many responses saying "I don't agree" or "That's wrong", but there are just common things in Japan and obviously you have different habits in other countries. I am not claiming that you all should follow them, I'm just sharing how Japanese girls take care of ourselves, as Japan is tend to be one step ahead when it comes to beauty.