Trend on Trial: I Tried a 9-Step Asian Skincare Routine Every Morning for a Week

Shiseido group shot

My skincare routine has always been very simple. Although as a blogger (and beauty enthusiast) I tend to try a lot of products, it’s usually with a casual approach with no particular routine in mind. I have wanted to be more thorough with my skincare, however, and recently, beauty trends have been taking a nod from East Asian skincare routines. Some now contain as many as 9 to 11 steps.

The exact routine varies from region to region, but they all tend to contain various products applied in layers, from thin to thick. Each step combats a specific skin concern, or boosts the effectiveness of the next product to be applied, making these Asian skincare routines very effective.

With a huge array of beauty products which utilize science to help solve just about any skincare problem, the SHISEIDO counter was my first stop for recommendations. My skin was analyzed in store, and results showed that it had a tendency to be dry. The recommended products and routine therefore focused on adding moisture to my skin. In total, there were 11 products recommended for my skin, within a 9-step routine. Read on for the routine and how it worked for me.

Applying double cleanser

Step 1 – 1st Cleanser
For my first cleanser, I used the SHISEIDO Gentle Cleansing Cream. The formula is quite rich and moisturizing, so it removes makeup and impurities without drying out the skin. This can be used both morning and evening, and is applied over dry skin. I used circular motions to help remove makeup and residue, before rinsing my skin with lukewarm water. My skin felt so smooth afterwards and very hydrated – it was like I’d used a moisturizer!

2 cleansers

Step 2 – 2nd Cleanser
A second cleanse is recommended to ensure skin is clean, and for this, I used the SHISEIDO IBUKI Gentle Cleanser. This produces a foam to remove any remaining residue, and it left my skin feeling fresh and smooth.

Softening cleanser

Step 3 – Softener
After cleansing, I applied the SHISEIDO IBUKI Softening Concentrate. Unlike a toner, which can dry out the skin, the softener provides instant moisture and reaches deeper levels to leave the feeling of healthy skin. I swiped it over dry skin using a cotton pad for instant softness.


Concentrating on application

Step 4 – Concentrate
SHISEIDO ULTIMUNE Power Infusing Concentrate contains antioxidants and ingredients to help strengthen the skin’s natural ability to defend itself against irritants such as pollution and the sun. I pumped twice to dispense enough onto my hands and dotted it onto the skin before working it in. This product is designed to give the skin a boost and increase the effectiveness of the rest of the elements of the Asian skincare routine.

Anti-spot serum

Step 5 – Serum
For targeted skin concerns, serums are invaluable. I tend to get occasional spots and resulting pigmentation, so I’ve been using the SHISEIDO Intensive Anti-Spot Serum. This serum’s highly concentrated ingredients help make the skin more even-toned. I’ve only been using the serum for the past week, and stubborn dark marks already seem slightly lighter than usual. With continued use, I hope to see a brighter, even tone and even more healthy skin.

Protective moisturizer

Step – 6 – Moisturizer / Emulsion
To lock in moisture, I used two products from SHISEIDO – the IBUKI Protective Moisturizer with SPF 15 in the morning, and the IBUKI Refining Moisturizer Enriched in the evening. The Protective Moisturizer is much lighter, with a milky texture, whereas the Refining Moisturizer is thicker and richer. For both, I applied a little with my fingertips and worked it in circular motions until the product was absorbed.

Eye serum

Step 7 – Eye Serum
Eye care is something I was lacking in my usual skincare routine but, as the skin here is quite delicate, it needs targeted treatment. As with the ULTIMUNE for the face, the SHISEIDO ULTIMUNE EYE Power Infusing Eye Concentrate helps combat environmental stressors when it is applied prior to any other eye cream.

Eye cream

Step 8 – Eye Cream
The last step in my eye care was a dab of the SHISEIDO IBUKI Eye Correcting Cream. It’s so concentrated, only a small amount is needed, and I applied this around the eyes to soothe and reduce puffiness.

Purifying Mask

Step 9 – Masks
For an added boost to produce healthy skin, weekly masks are a great idea. For my personalized Asian skincare routine, I used two different ones – the SHISEIDO Purifying Mask and the SHISEIDO IBUKI Beauty Sleeping Mask. The Purifying Mask is applied after double-cleansing and left on for 5 minutes before rinsing and continuing the rest of the skincare routine. This left my skin so smooth and refreshed.

Beauty sleeping mask

The Beauty Sleeping Mask is slightly different. It’s used as the last step in the evening skincare routine and left on overnight. I used this late one evening knowing I had an early appointment the next day and, despite feeling very tired, my skin looked fresher and more awake than usual.

Overall, I’ve loved using this Asian skincare routine. At first, I thought it would be confusing and a lot to remember, but after the repeating the steps a few times, it became second nature. I have more of an understanding of why so many products are needed — each one targets or boosts a specific area or skin concern. The main difference I’ve noticed is my skin is a lot more hydrated and seems plumper as a result.