Physical Health, Wellness / Self-Care

The basic 5-step Asian skincare routine that every guy needs

words by: Alee Kwong
Dec 28, 2020

This isn’t a hot take, but 2020 has been a rough year. The overarching stress from the global COVID-19 pandemic not only left us with collective trauma (by the way, quick check-in, how have you been holding up?) but also irritated skin and mask acne from wearing protective masks nearly every day.


Although this year has felt like an eternity filled with a plethora of information, one non-negotiable thing you need to take away from this year is that you need to trash your 3-in-1 shampoo, body wash, and face soap. You aren’t doing yourself any favors, and it’s not like you need to save time during this pandemic. You probably have a bunch of useless stuff that you have thought about impulse buying at 3AM, so why not invest your coin in Asian skincare products that will get the job done and have you looking like you skipped 2020 right into 2021?


Compared to Western skincare, Asian skincare is much more gentle. Instead of focusing on rapid results, Asian skincare primarily emphasizes hydration in hopes of achieving a supple, smooth, and glowing complexion. It is built on years of traditional Asian skincare practices and has been rapidly growing and gaining popularity in Western culture.


There are a lot of Asian skincare products on the market, so here are 5 tried-and-true products that will step up your game.


  1. COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

Here’s the thing, your skin’s pH level controls how your skin behaves. You mainly want to avoid cleansers that will strip moisture from your skin, leaving your skin feeling dry and tight. This gel cleanser is gentle and effective with its pH level sitting between 5.30-6.30.

USE: Daytime and nighttime

TIP: Instead of haphazardly rubbing the cleanser all over your face, separate your face into zones (forehead, cheeks, chin, nose) and work exclusively in those zones when washing.


  1. Hado Labo Gokujyun Premium Lotion

This Japanese “lotion” is actually more of a thick serum that can be used as a step before your moisturizer to increase hydration in your skin during the colder and drier winter months, and used alone during the humid summer months. 

USE: Daytime and nighttime

TIP: Gently press and pat the product into your face. These gentle motions will ensure that the product is absorbed into your skin instead of sitting on top of it.


  1. Neogen Real Vita C Powder Lemon

Vitamin C (aka ascorbic acid) is a vital step in your skincare routine. This one step does a lot of heavy lifting. If you find yourself missing your 3-in-1 products, you can find comfort in knowing that ascorbic acid does the skincare big 3. It brightens, it smooths, and it helps to keep you looking young. 

USE: Daytime

TIP: Use a small spoonful and mix it with your moisturizer.


  1. Good (Skin) Days On The Bright Side Moisturizer

Remember, hydration is key. Moisturizer is the step that seals in all your hard work. A very important ingredient that you want to look out for in a moisturizer is ceramide. Ceramide is the MVP that makes sure that your skin stays hydrated and happy with a supple moisture barrier. 

USE: Daytime and nighttime

TIP: To make sure you are applying this evenly, instead of putting the moisturizer on your hands and rubbing it all over your face, try dotting the product on your face, applying more dots to the parts of your face with more surface area.


  1. Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50

None of this matters if you don’t protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Sunscreen is arguably the most important step in everyone’s routine. The New England Journal of Medicine documented Bill McElligott, a truck driver who’s left side, the side of his face that was exposed to sun rays, had dramatically aged during the 28 years he had been on the job. 

USE: Daytime

TIP: Ideally, you should wear this outdoors and indoors, sunny days and overcast days. Just wear it every day.


Again, it’s been a long year. Self-care is the least that we can do for ourselves. While these products and steps may seem like a lot, I guarantee you will enjoy these moments that you have in the morning and evening to take care of your skin.


Photo via Getty