Asian Beauty Skincare Routine for Beginners

Starting out on a skincare journey can be rough. There are so many different products, adverts, brands and shiny new things. But putting everything that’s shiny and new on your face at once can be counter productive. So I’ve put together this simple guide for getting started on your Asian Beauty skincare journey.

If you’re interested in understanding in more depth the Asian Beauty Ten Steps skincare routine check out my guide from last year “Asian Beauty Guide – The What, the Why and the When”. There are also more suggestions for all the different steps, than my basic packs below.

Check back out the next steps with the “Advanced Asian Beauty Routine” once you’ve got the below nailed.

The Different Skin Types

First things first, identifying your skin type.
There are 4 main basic types:

  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Dry
  • Combination

The easiest and best way to start is with a clean face, and checking yourself out 3-4 hours later in the mirror.

I’ve super simplified it into the below.

  • No sign of oil or flakes = Normal
  • Shiny all over = Oily
  • Skin feels tight and/or flaky? Dry
  • All of the above. Particularly oily on the T Zone and dry on the cheeks = Combination

Skin Concerns

There will be some other terms you hear as well, I call these skin concerns. The below can happen in conjunction with the above base line skin types.

  • Sensitive – This is when skin is more easily irritable, important for those with this skin type to be even more cautious over what they put on their skin.
  • Dehydrated – This is a skin condition and can happen when your skin doesn’t have enough hydration. Often happens when people over-exfoliate or use drying cleansers. Skin can feel tight and irritated, but be flaky and somehow oily at the same time.
  • Acne Prone/Hormonal Acne – Some of the less fortunate, including myself, are just more prone to break outs.
  • Aging – Pretty much as the name describes. Older skin has different needs to younger skin. Usually requires more pampering.
  • Redness/Uneven Skintone – Patchy red areas of the face, usually around the nose or cheeks.

The above terms are the general terms you’ll come across. There’s plenty more out there but these cover most bases.

Asian Beauty Skincare Routine

Here’s a basic infograph to help you remember the order and the steps! Feel free to share with other skincare routine beginners, just ensure you give credit to MapleTreeBlog


For a complete beginner to a skincare routine I always recommend starting out with four or five products. Don’t run before you can walk after all!

Patch testing and introducing new products to your skin gradually is always a must, 2 weeks is recommended for introducing products.

I’d recommend introducing in this order: Suncream -> Second Cleanser -> First Cleanser -> Moisturiser.

Alternatively, if you’re concerned about clogged pores caused by the suncream in the month before you introduce the oil cleanser: Moisturiser -> Second Cleanser -> First Cleanser -> Suncream

My Recommendations for Your First Haul!

Pick one from each category.

Keep the below information in mind when making your choices.

Normal Skin Type

Lucky folks with normal skin types can focus on just the basics and ensuring their skin is clean, protected and moisturised

Oily Skin

With oily skin you’re looking for something more lightweight. Don’t be afraid of oil cleansers either, they’re not going to make your skin more oily, that’s a common misconception

Dry Skin

You’re looking for more soothing, creamy and rich for your skin

Combination Skin

Just like your skintype you want a bit of all of the above

Oil Cleanser

First Cleansers

DHC Cleansing Oil – Olive oil based cleanser which is my personal HG for getting all my make up off, and not being drying or oily. Reviewed Here.
Kose Speedy Cleansing Oil – Affordable mineral based cleanser which is a popular Japanese choice.
Banila Co Clean it Zero Purity – Balm cleanser which is great at getting off even stubborn mascara, and great for travelling

Foam CleanserFoam Cleansers

Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser – Low pH, readily available and affordable
Hada Labo Gokujyun Foam Cleanser – Personal favourite. Low pH, not stripping and the pump action is perfect for my lazy soul. Reviewed Here.

Asian Beauty Toners


Hada Labo Gokujyn Hyaluronic Acid Lotion – Thicker than most toners, and packed full of hydrating Hyaluronic Acid. Reviewed Here.
Kikumasamune Sake High Moist Lotion – Thinner than the Hada Labo, quickly absorbs and can be decanted into a mist bottle

Missha Sun Cream, Biore SuncreamSuncreams

Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA++++ – This is a lightweight cosmetic suncream which doesn’t leave a white cast
Missha All Around Safe Block Waterproof SUN SPF50 PA+++ – Physical suncream, leaves a whitecast but offers top protection
Shiseido Senka Aging Care UV Sunscreen SPF50+ PA++++ – A favourite of one of the dry skinned bloggers I follow

Asian Beauty CreamsMoisturisers

Mizon Snail Recovery Gel – Lightweight gel which also soothes and is super affordable
Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream – If you’re looking for a heavier option than a gel. Soothing and hydrating
CosRx Ultra Moisturizing Lotion with Birch Sap –  This is a thin lotion, which also moisturises. Perfect as a day moisturiser for those who feel their skin is suffocated by thicker creams
Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream – Ceramides are great for dry skin and this is a fan favourite
ELIZAVECCA Aqua Hyaluronic Acid Water Drop Cream – Cream that turns into water. Lightweight moisturiser

Basic Tool Suggestions

Blotting Papers to keep the oil at bay during the day.
Cotton Wool for applying toners, micellar water, cream cleansers. I love the Muji square ones.
Hydrocolloid Patches for pimples – Cosrx Master Pimple Patch is my favourite
I hope that’s helped with getting started on your skincare journey! Share any of your suggestions in the comment box below.

Always love to hear from my readers.

Don’t forget to come back later this week for the next stage in your skincare routine! Where Acids, Masks and more are introduced to the routine.



  1. This is a super informative post! I love the infographic. I have friends that ask me about skincare a lot and I always wished there was something I could just show them. I’ve seen some other infographics, but this is the best one! Can’t wait to see the next one!

  2. Thanks, this is very helpful. Have shared this link with friends who also want to dip their toe into Asian Beauty.

  3. Everything Aliexpress

    I tried many of Asian skincare products, non of these that you mentioned but I may try and certainly recommend these that I have tested. Good skincare routine definitely help to keep it healthy

  4. Very detailed post and explanation of the different skin types.

  5. I am glad you addressed all skin types and you put the importance of a skin test! I tried a different skin toner once and didn’t apply it to a small area and it caused my face to dry out and peel. Some spots it was painful!

  6. This is a really thorough post! I should invest in a good skincare regiment to help halt the aging process ?

  7. What an amazing list. I’m just getting into Asian skincare. This was incredibly helpful.

  8. I never even thought about patch testing! I’m always so impatient and just dive into a product without thinking about whether or not it will negatively affect my skin. I’ll be trying this method from here on out, haha!

    xo, Helene

  9. This is a really great and informative post, I’ve been trying to make sure I cater my skincare products to my skin a lot better and I love that you have so many products suggested here that I think I’m going to research into the ones I think will benefit my skin the most! The artwork is so adorable as well!

  10. Great list of products. And wonderful tips. I have a very dry skin. And it took me quiet some time to learn what kind of products I should be using. Your post helps

  11. I bought one of each of the products you offered…and it’s my first day wearing it all in full and my face feels AWESOME. I’m also going to try my first sheetmask this evening. And where did you get those cute little snails?! Are they some sort of Mizon containers?!?

  12. Oh, what a sweet infographic, no wonder it gets pinned like mad 🙂 It is essential to know your own type of skin before you choose the care products you are going to use. Very well written article!

  13. Very nice guide! Thank you for posting!

    Ioanna |

  14. Pingback: Asian Beauty Advanced Skincare Routine - Maple Tree

  15. Hi just wanna ask if Softymo Hyaluronic acid is considered as first cleanser as its not foamy or second cleanser? I’m planning to use it as first cleanser and innisfree jeju pore cleansing foam as my second cleaser

  16. Hi, I was wondering if this routine is done in the morning or at night? Thank you!

  17. Lovely, good job! I have combination skin and went for secret key snail repair +egf toner as my first toner. It’s very lovely and perfect for beginners imo.

  18. Hi!!! I have a lil question 😛 I would like to know the difference between a toner and a serum, are they the same thing? I’m super begginer so I’d appreciate it, oh and also what’s the difference between an essence and emulsion? <3 thank you for your time I LOVE your blog.

  19. This was so helpful! Thank you so much! AB can be intimidating as a beginner (I know I am, I’ve been so confused by all the choices I haven’t bought a single thing yet!) but you nailed all the basic points. Thank you so much 🙂

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