Over the last decade, Japanese skincare has made its way more and more into everyday Western regimens. With a focus on a multi-step routine, lighter formulations (essences, “lotions”), and an emphasis on a gentle, layered approach to hydration, J-Beauty has long taken the world by storm. These are only some of the hallmarks of their particular take on skincare, however, that a lot of us may already be familiar with in our own routines.

What makes it different from the rest? To find out what makes Japanese skincare secrets so effective, as well as how they vary from typical Western practices, woman&home spoke with Elizabeth McCarron and Kat Buckley, skincare experts and members of The Skin Collaborative. They offer insight on how to incorporate these practices into your routine, as well as why exactly a Japanese skincare approach sets itself apart from the rest.

 What goes into a Japanese skincare routine?