Mochi skin: The J-Beauty trend sweeping social media

And yes, it looks just as delicious as it sounds

Digital Beauty Editor / July 27 2020

Most mochi fans would probably name texture as their favourite feature of the rice cake sweet and hey, that’s totally fair; it’s hard not to be impressed by its ability to remain chewy and gooey while buried in frozen yoghurt.

Ask any skincare junkie, however, and you’ll get a totally different answer: that smooth, supple surface. One beauty goggles glimpse at the plump, matte exterior of mochi balls, though, and you’ll have a good idea of why we’d want our faces to emulate their appearance.

So while our tastebuds may be craving the actual treats, our complexions are craving the super soft texture they’re in possession of. Yep, ‘mochi skin’ is officially our latest obsession, and we have J-Beauty to thank for it.


While the Japanese-inspired trend has some crossover with K-Beauty’s elusive ‘glass skin’ aesthetic, (both share ‘silky’, ‘hydrated’ and ‘poreless’ as goals), the difference comes down to the finish each one favours; while glass prioritises glow, mochi heroes matte – after all, the snack is certainly free of any shine.

Mochi skin also involves far more of a focus on plumpness – you’re literally trying to replicate the domed, plushy roundness of the mochi balls themselves, meaning it puts some serious value on bounce factor.

So, if you’re looking to recreate the mochi look for yourself (and sadly, no, munching on the namesake treat won’t do it), we have some tips (and product recommendations) to get you to your goal.


Step 1: Double cleanse to refresh the skin

The first step on the way to beautifully bouncy skin? An invigorating double cleanse. Considering Japan isn’t big on exfoliation (they tend to favour a gentler refresh), a double-duty wash is an absolute staple in any J-Beauty routine.

 As for the formulas involved, try opting for one that involves a rinse, and one that doesn’t – start by applying an oil or balm cleanser straight onto dry skin to dissolve any makeup or residue, then double down with a gel, foam or cream to balance excess sebum, purify pores and leave the complexion plump and fresh.

Shu Uemura Porefinist2 Sakura Cleansing Oil

Shiseido Senka Perfect Whip Collagen Cleanser

Step 2: Smooth and mattify with hydrating lotion

Up next? ‘Biyoueki’ (or ‘beauty liquid’ as the term roughly translates to), a softening lotion-style formula designed to boost moisture levels and soothe the skin after cleansing. But while moisturising post-cleanse seems pretty standard, it’s important to remember that J-Beauty’s definition of ‘hydration’ is a little more precise than what we Aussies are used to.

In fact, Japan’s ‘hydrator gang’ consists solely of water-based options, favouring formulas loaded with water-replenishing humectants (such as hyaluronic acid or aloe) over the oil-based serums that we often rely on for moisture. Why, you ask? These styles of ingredients allow skin to soak up the moisture without imparting a glowy finish, so they’re ideal when working to create a matte mochi effect.

And though the step may be all about replenishing moisture, the application process is akin to how we would traditionally use toner; just tap onto a freshly cleansed face for a hit of hydration that’s anything but heavy.

DHC Urumai Lotion

Step 3: Plump and smooth with gel-cream moisturiser

Once the hydrating lotion has dialed shine down and freshness up, it’s time to look to a moisturiser for some plumping, smoothing action.

Again, opting for a water-based mix like a gel-cream is the secret to success, but make sure it’s packed with plumpness-boosters like collagen and ceramides to ensure the ‘domed’ effect kicks in ASAP.

Hada Labo Tokyo Skin Plumping Gel Cream

Step 4: Seal with SPF

So, you’ve prepped, and you’ve plumped; the only thing left to do is protect – because now that you’ve locked in the bouncy texture, it’s important to add a layer that will help to keep your flawless tone in tact long-term.

Don’t just slip, slop, slap any old formula on, though; you don’t want to undo all your carefully administered water-based hydration work, so be sure to reach for a sunscreen of the non-greasy, oil-free variety. Apply it gently yet generously and you’re done – consider mochi mode activated.

Curel UV Protection Milk SPF50+ PA+++


Main image credit: @kkkkaren_

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