Japan is home to some of the most interesting skincare practices on the planet. We’re talking facial rollers, bubbling masks, and a full shave for women (it’s called kao sori, and it makes your skin feel baby-bottom-smooth). But beyond the kawaii, what makes the country’s innovative market even more unique is how it retains century-old beauty customs for the next generation. Scroll down for 6 Japanese tips and tricks that have inspired skincare routines worldwide. Talk about keeping up appearances!

1. LESS IS MORE.
Japanese women value understated beauty and subtlety—in other words, no-makeup makeup. In fact, save for the gyaru subculture (which piles on the dolly lashes and “drunken” cheek color), beauty enthusiasts place the focus firmly on good skin before perfect makeup.

2. HAVING SAID THAT, MORE SKINCARE IS BETTER.
The most well-known beauty secret of Japanese women is their multi-product skincare routine. Regular regimens can go all the way up to 11 steps! (If you’re a K-beauty junkie, this will sound very familiar.)

3. MASSAGE THE FACE.
For each and every step of their routine, Japanese women massage the product in. They don’t just spread it out in an even layer and let it absorb on its own—they really work the stuff into the skin with their fingers. Besides boosting absorption, this practice helps relax the facial muscles and improve blood circulation.

4. USE SUNSCREEN.
In Japan, women wear sunscreen no matter what the weather, even when it’s typhoon season. After all, SPF doesn’t just protect the skin against sun spots, it also preserves its elasticity.

5. TAKE HOT BATHS.
The Japanese are firm believers in the onsen, or hot spring. Whether you have access to a hot spring bathing facility or not, a rousing hot soak is good for radiant skin. When further enriched with oils, essences, salts, or tea, these healing waters promote an all-over glow.

6. EAT WELL.
Finally, Japanese women believe that what you put inside the body is the first step to gorgeous skin. Stick to a diet that’s low in sugar, eat more veggies than you do meat, and don’t forget your daily dose of green tea!

Illustrations by Carmela Dagdag

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