‘Mochi Skin’ Is The New Beauty Trend Flooding Instagram – & It’s So Easy To Achieve

From 'glass skin' (skin so dewy, it's almost reflective) to 'cloud skin' (a multidimensional complexion combining both radiance and a matte finish), you might think you've had your fill of buzzy, Instagram-inspired skincare trends. But you'd be wrong.
Right now, most of us are dealing with the aftermath of winter; cue parched patches, uneven skin tone and a general lacklustre appearance. But Japan's latest skincare craze promises to get your skin in much better condition in time for spring.
Enter: mochi skin.
If you're familiar with mochi, a sweet Japanese ice cream or rice cake-covered snack, you'll know just how aesthetically pleasing the little plump, juicy-looking spheres are. According to Japanese brand DHC, the supple and bouncy appearance is what most of us want for our skin right now, with #mochiskin amassing thousands of hashtags on Instagram.
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The trend is pretty simple to master. Firstly, it's all to do with how you cleanse. DHC suggests ditching harsh exfoliating cleansers or scrubs for something gentle to keep your skin barrier intact, preventing dry, itchy or inflamed skin. If your skin is on the dry side, try DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, £24, which transforms into a featherlight milk to dislodge dirt and grime. If your skin is 'normal', combination or oily, pick up beauty editor favourites, CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, £9.50, The Ordinary Supersize Squalane Cleanser, £13.95, or Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser, £26. All three chip away at makeup without ransacking skin of the good stuff.
Now you've got your cleansing routine down, it's time to move on to the next step: multiple hydrating and moisturising layers. The trick is to look at the texture and go from the thinnest to the thickest: an essence followed by serum, followed by moisturiser. Of course, SPF is a must and should always come last.
In Japan, essences, skin milks or lotions such as Laneige Cream Skin, £33.73, are incredibly popular and very easy to layer. Supercharged with coconut water, Versed Baby Cheeks All in One Hydrating Milk, £16.50, floods skin with moisture without feeling sticky. Kiehl's Iris Extract Activating Essence Treatment, £38.50, is also transformative and shuttles hydration into skin, making it appear plump and lustrous. The easiest way to apply is to decant a puddle into the palm of your hand and pat it on to the skin, but you can soak a cotton pad and press it in, too.
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Next, choose a serum. For the daytime, pick something packed with pollution shield vitamin C, such as Lumene Nordic-C Glow Boost Essence Serum, £29.90, which skin laps up almost instantly, or Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate, £52, which boasts pure stabilised vitamin C for fast brightening results and a dose of hyaluronic acid for deep hydration. In the evening, you might want to switch to a retinol serum. Beginners will do well with La Roche-Posay Retinol 0.3% + Vitamin B3 Serum, £38. It boasts 0.3% retinol (gentle but enough to make a visible difference when used over time) and vitamin B3 (otherwise known as niacinamide) to boost moisture levels. If you're on a budget, The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Emulsion, £8, speeds up skin cell turnover and imparts a dewy finish.
Next, moisturiser, which should be slightly heavier than your essence and serum. If you have no skin complaints and are just after more moisture and plumpness, try Milk Makeup Vegan Milk Moisturiser, £35. It's rich but not sticky and makes for the perfect base under makeup or as a sleeping mask. Or to boost your serum's pollution-busting properties, try The Inkey List Turmeric Cream Moisturiser, £7.99. It features ultra moisturising vitamin E for that glass skin finish and squalane to smooth over parched patches. The last step should be SPF.
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Liz Vangyi, mochi skin enthusiast and cofounder of The Yoku Glow, recently wrote on Instagram that achieving plump, dewy skin takes "time, patience, and most importantly, understanding what works and doesn’t work for [your] skin." She added: "Keeping a consistent routine of products that addressed my skin’s need was the biggest component to achieving that natural glow."
Instagram influencer Karen Lee, also a big advocate for mochi skin, suggests applying a light layer of foundation on top if you don't want to go completely makeup-free. She rates Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick, £32, which can be used to conceal, too.
If you're prone to breakouts or clogged pores, applying multiple products might not be the best thing for your skin. But you can still achieve a similar glass-like effect with minimal products, providing you choose the right ones. For the ultimate glow, try a brightening vitamin C serum, such as Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, £67, followed with a dewy SPF like Glossier Invisible Shield, £20, daily. CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion, £11.99, also provides radiant moisture without a greasy look or feel. Follow with Rituals The Ritual of Namaste SPF Drops, £29.90, for a fresh, pillowy finish with added environmental protection.

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