Skip To Content
  • APA badge
  • beauty week badge

7 Skin Care Secrets Asian Moms Would Like To Share With The World

Pores, be gone!

1. If you have the time and energy to do just one thing every day: Wash 💦 off 💦 your 💦 makeup.


My mom always taught me that sleep is your skin's cheapest miracle worker, and the only way to take full advantage of it is by going to bed with a completely clean face. This means removing all your makeup using a makeup-removing oil or towelette AND using an additional foam cleanser to get rid of whatever oily or chemical-ey residue your makeup remover has left on your face. TBH, I personally don't use much face makeup so I skip the makeup remover step, but the process of "double cleansing" is huge among Korean ladies who want to maximize the efficacy of all their expensive lotions.

2. Whatever the weather — and even if you're planning on seeing the light of day for one minute walking from your car to your office — put on a layer of sunscreen.

We've all heard it, but Asian moms LIVE by this truth: Sunscreen is the most important product you'll put on your face all day, and it really only works if you stick to it every day, without fail. It prevents sun damage, scarring, and preserves elasticity. The trick to making SPF application a habit is finding a lotion that won't leave you sticky and that'll pair well with other products you might layer on top. I personally like Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen. It's a bit pricier than the other drugstore stuff, but a single bottle (which I use every day) lasts me a year, and I don't dread putting it on because it has an instantly drying matte finish that actually makes makeup application even easier.

3. Start using eye cream as early as you can afford it.

Okay, I know what you're thinking: "Eye creams are hella expensive, and do I ACTUALLY need it?" And the answer is yes and no. The most important thing to understand about all the elaborate Asian skincare regimes you've read about is that they're designed with preventative care in mind. So, instead of trying to treat sun-damaged, dehydrated, or otherwise neglected skin with harsh, chemicals-filled products, Asian skincare products seek to protect, hydrate, and strengthen your skin before it's damaged. (It's the same philosophy that applies to diet — invest your time in healthy, homecooked meals instead of fast food NOW and your body will thank you in the long run.) So even if you don't have wrinkles, under-eye bags, or red spots now — and if you have any room in your budget — show your eyes some love now so you won't have to splurge on expensive "repair serums" later.

4. Make every night a spa night with sheet masks.

HB Entertainment

Sheet masks among Asian women (as well as men!) are as much a part of their skincare routine as lotion. Instead of "saving" sheet masks for a special night, many use them after their cleansers on the reg — some even on a nightly basis! Pro tip: Though most sheet masks advise you to take them off after 15 minutes, it's perfectly okay to fall asleep with them on. On especially hot NYC nights, I'll put one of these babies on, crank up the fan, and fall asleep dreaming about my supple, post-sheet mask skin.

5. Get your face extra soft with a drop of serum every day.

Columbia Pictures

If there's one "secret" product in the entire Asian skincare arsenal, serum is it. Gooey, fast-drying, with a mucus-like texture, serum is a magical liquid that you typically apply after your cleanser, but before any creamy lotions. My mom applies hers as soon as she's washed her face and patted it try, claiming that her old skin needs this moisturizing concentrate to accomplish its regenerative work overnight. As for me, I'm honestly fine without it but I do notice that after nights I've applied serum, I wake up with skin that's aged, like, five years backward.

6. Go HAM on the night cream.


Night cream is EVERYTHING in the Asian skincare world. If there's one product (besides sunscreen) I've kept up with since I ever cared about beauty, it's been night cream. I love going to bed knowing that my night cream will be hard at work all night to restore my skin. Some people swear by XYZ Super Expensive Department Store Night Cream but Oil of Olay's Beauty Fluid has worked wonders for me for most of my life. (Whatever you use, just make sure it's heavier than what you put on during the day.) As I've learned from years of testing out my jars of my mom's expensive stuff versus my cheaper drugstore lotion, consistency with application is often way more important than the apparently higher-quality products.

7. And if you've followed all these steps, and still aren't satisfied with the results, follow the ultimate mom-ism: DRINK MORE WATER!

Pixelpot / Getty Images / Via

I mean, it makes sense, since humans are made of 60% water. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, and you'll literally be hydrating your skin from the inside out. And while you're at it, make sure to get your serving of nutrient- and fiber-rich fruits to replenish your skin's stores of antioxidants and vitamins. Growing up, my mom always forced me to eat a serving of fruit after dinner every night, claiming that it would make my skin more radiant. And when sunscreens and night creams failed to make my skin LOOK better — because of genetics, hormones, and the overwhelming stress of living with society's unattainable beauty standards — at the very least, replacing processed desserts with whole foods made me FEEL better, less lethargic, and generally better equipped to take on my day 💪.

💎 GLOW! 💎