Like the sound of bouncy, supple skin this summer?
Then you need to know about “mochi hada,” the latest Japanese skincare trend that promises to condition and deeply hydrate your skin leaving it baby-soft.
Mochi skin, or “rice cake skin” as it translates, is Japan’s answer to K-beauty’s “glass skin” (basically skin so luminous and flawless it resembles glass).
While K-beauty was all about dewiness and glossiness, mochi skin is more about plumpness and softness, just like a squidgy mochi – the traditional Japanese dessert in the form of a round dumpling filled with ice cream or other sweet treats.
The first step to mochi skin is pretty simple, it’s about thorough cleansing and layering hydration, explains DHC’s Amanne Sharif.
Double cleanse in the evenings first by massaging in a balm or oil, such as DHC’s cult olive-oil based Deep Cleansing Oil (£12.50), to break down and remove all traces of dirt, makeup and sweat. Then follow with a lathering wash.
“When you go in with your second cleanser, you’ve removed all the barriers to really deep clean your pores,” she says.
The next step is about conditioning the skin through “double moisture.”
In Japan they use lotions (liquids similar to toners or essences) as a pre-moisturising step – simply pat onto your face with clean hands. Lotions help to soften and hydrate the skin before you seal it all in with your moisturiser.
Obviously there’s a window for serums like vitamin C in between cleansing and conditioning, but in Japan people tend to steer clear of overly harsh exfoliation acids or scrubs, as well as colourants or added fragrances that typically feature heavily in western products. “It’s more about treating long-term over instant satisfaction,” says Sharif.
The trick to really nailing your J-Beauty regime? It’s all in the ingredients.
DHC’s newest skincare launch is a clever ode to mochi skin using one key ingredient in many forms: rice.
“Using rice water for your skin is very true to Japanese heritage and has been done for centuries,” Sharif says.
The Urumai plant-powered collection, a hybrid of the Japanese words urumi (moisture) and mai (rice), features a facial soap (£12.50), lotion (£22) and moisturiser (£25).
All three products contain a powerful Japanese rice peptide complex comprised of two hydrolysed rice proteins that work together alongside rice bran and rice extract to encourage cell turnover and firmness, while eliminating dryness and dullness.
This, combined with botanicals traditionally used in Japanese herbology, such as silver ear mushroom, dokudami and ginger, work together to pack a real punch.
The lotion, meanwhile, contains sake to brighten and act as an enzymatic exfoliator which can be used day and night thanks to its gentle nature.
“Sake makers in Japan are know to have beautifully conditioned, soft hands because they are constantly in this water,” Sharif adds.
Luminous, plump and silky skin a la Karen Lee (above).
OK, perhaps not quite as flawless in my case, but using the lotion as a pre-moisturiser for a week made a huge difference to how my skin felt – no more parched and dull by 3pm – and the enzyme powers of the sake really did leave my complexion brighter and smoother. And despite being lightweight and non-sticky, the moisturiser really works to lock it all in.
The J-beauty pro strikes again.