Moisturizing is one of the most important steps in the Asian skincare regimen. Asian women believe that a “watery”, radiant complexion makes a crucial base for good makeup and their secret to achieving that? Applying lotion religiously.

Unlike the regular moisturizers that we call lotion here in the US, “lotion” (化妝水) is a hydrating toner that should be applied after cleansing and before moisturizer. While some people argue that toners are redundant and just another marketing gimmick, I personally can’t live without them. My rationale? If your skin is dehydrated and you slap on layers and layers of moisturizers, they will just sit on top of your skin and not get absorbed. But if you use a hydrating toner to soften the top layer of your skin first, it will help any moisturizer or treatment that follows to penetrate better into your skin.