Beauty trends can be all over the place, weird, and fleeting. And then there are some that develop into real beauty classics. Remember the K-beauty glass skin? It’s a most sought skin ideal, where the skin is so clear and dewy, that it appears reflective and seemingly transparent. A difficult ideal to achieve for many of us. And it may be even a more difficult ideal in countries with hot and humid weather.

Cue Japan’s take on glass skin – mochi skin. The Japanese refer to their skin ideal as “mochi hada” which translates into “rice cake skin”. For those not in the know, mochi is a delicious, chewy, and squishy snack made of rice and often filled with red bean paste.

Mochi, photo by Curt Smith

As for us humans, mochi skin is translucent, soft, plump, and free of lines while also being neither too oily nor too dry.

Both skin trends share common goals:

  • Poreless
  • Hydrated
  • Clear
  • Translucent 
  • Smooth

The difference lies in how glass skin favours a dewy and glowy complexion, whereas mochi skin prioritises matte skin. Further, mochi skin also concentrates on skin being bouncy and firm – just as if you’re replicating the qualities of mochi.

How do you get mochi skin?

Not only are there similarities with the goals, but both approaches also value a holistic healthy lifestyle and some skincare steps. 


In the morning, wash your face with just water. Only if your skin is acne-prone, use a face wash, best would be to choose one with salicylic acid.

Before bed, double cleanse your skin. Use an oil-based cleanser in the first step to break down and remove any makeup, sebum, sweat, and grime. The first step will remove all barriers so that your second step can go and deep cleanse your pore. Use a gel, foam, or cream to deep cleanse and purify your pores.

You’ll usually not see a dedicated exfoliation step in Japanese skincare. They favour a gentler face wash and steer clear of overly harsh exfoliating acids or scrubs. According to their approach, if you do your cleansing properly, there’s no need for the exfoliation step. 

Also, there are cleansers for the second step which contain enzymes. So, you’ll gently and gradually exfoliate your skin while preventing your skin to be exposed to harsher and more abrasive formulas that could dry out or thin your skin or damage your skin barrier. The keyword here is gradual: This means it’s not about instant satisfaction aka instant glow, but about long-term results. 


This step is often called conditioning and the Japanese use facial lotions -these are called kesho-sui (化粧水) (a rough translation would be ‘beauty liquid’). These skin conditioners hydrate the skin by adding water to it.  

As mochi skin is all about hydration, replenishing and locking in moisture is key. The Japanese facial lotions are water-based, formulated with water-replenishing humectants (such as hyaluronic acid or aloe vera). Their consistency is just like water and readily soak into the skin, leaving it feeling soft and supple. 

Typically, you can directly apply Japanese toners with your hands and pat them into your skin until it’s fully absorbed. 


Once your skin has absorbed the Japanese lotion, it’s time to lock in all the goodness. Look for a lightweight formulation that contains ceramides. This will replenish your skin barrier and so help your skin retain hydration. 


Plumb and firm skin mean the proteins (collagen and elastin) vital for the structure of the skin are plentiful. Wearing sunscreen is not only essential for all skin types and tones, but it’s key to getting mochi skin. Wearing sunscreen protects your skin from UV damaging and breaking down collagen and elastin. 

Use products with the right ingredients

The key to mochi skin are ingredients that help your skin to retain moisture and support as well as protect your skin barrier. Look for ingredients that’ll replenish your skin, restore moisture levels, and guard against free radicals such as


As you see some mochi skin shares some essential steps with the glass skin routine but is quite simple in comparison. Both are a skin ideal are coveted not only in Japan but also in Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and many other countries in Asia. 

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