Nobody ever got bona fide #mochiskin without a solid cushion foam cleansing regimen. In case you haven’t heard of cushion foam cleansing or cushion cleansing, it is the bedrock of any J-Beauty skincare routine. The technique gets its name from the big clouds of foam that form a “cushion” between the face and hands, guarding the skin from scratches, pulling, and other unwanted abrasion that so often occurs during cleansing. But this cushion isn’t made of your ordinary soap suds. Japanese cleaners don’t just foam - they form gigantic blobs of foam. The size of your head (no joke). The idea is that the foam is so dense and creamy that your hands never touch your face, guaranteeing an entirely friction-free experience. All the while, the foam micro-bubbles gently draw out dirt and impurities from your pores, for an effortless cleanse. Plus, you just feel like a million bucks every time these foam pillows glide gracefully on your skin.
Here are some other facts you might not know about cushion foam cleansing.
1. Cushion foam cleansing is the most important step
As shocking as it may be, more time is spent on cleansing than on any other step in J-Beauty. In the U.S., we’re so eager to jump to the rest of our juicy routine – serums, treatments, and creams – that we tend to rush through cleansing. In J-Beauty, we see almost the reverse pattern. Cleansing is the main course, and it’s not just for vanity’s sake. Proper cushion foam cleansing restores moisture to the skin and leaves it feeling more supple, shrinking the time you need to spend on the rest of your routine. More on that in our next blog on aftercare.
2. It’s all in the tools
As with all things Japanese, every part of the cushion foam cleansing technique is well-designed and thought out. Let’s start with the foaming net. It’s shaped like a sack to help easily whip up foam and squeeze out every last drop, so that you make the most of your cleanser. It’s also got a nifty hanger to let it air dry and stay sanitary before your next use. Plus, foaming nets are an excellent choice for people on the go. If you’re a fan of Japanese inventions, you might enjoy the foam maker even more. The pump is not only fun to play with, but it creates giant fluffy clouds ideal for a friction-free cleanse.
3. Water temperature is critical
Another subtle yet delicate aspect of cushion foam cleansing is the right water temperature. Most J-Beauty routines suggest lukewarm water to avoid stripping the skin of its natural oils and moisture. Although easily overlooked, water temp is crucial for mochi skin seekers.
KITAO Matcha + Chia Enzyme Powder
Best exfoliating cushion foam cleanser
This exfoliating washing powder is made with organic matcha (ECO-CERT certified), chia seeds, quinoa and acai. The powder transforms into a dense foam when combined with water. Its gentle granules help buff away dead skin and impurities trapped within your pores, while the gentle papaya extract brightens and refines.
Recommended for: Dry Skin
Paraben free, Phthalic Ester free, synthetic coloring free, petroleum mineral oil free
Edo Cosme Rice Bran Facial Wash
Best brightening cushion foam cleanser
This is gentle facial cleansing exfoliant scrub that contains rice bran which nourishes and softens the skin with essential fatty acids, antioxidants, Vitamin B, and Vitamin E to improve dull skin and unclog pores for brighter, more radiant skin. Rice bran is ultra-moisturizing and prized in Japan for its anti-aging effects. This facial cleansing polish gently removes dirt and impurities while moisturizing the skin.
Recommended for: Normal Skin
Alcohol free, mineral oil free, fragrance free, colorant free.
Real Bell Black Charcoal Facial Wash
Best purifying cushion foam cleanser
Achieve clear skin with the power of charcoal. If you have oily, combination, or acne-prone skin, this charcoal facial wash is perfect for you. Cleanse your skin by removing any impurities that have accumulated over the year for a fresh, clean slate.
A purifying cleansing foam made of Kishu Binchotan (highest grade activated charcoal), jojoba seed oil, amino acids, squalane and algae extract. This gentle foaming cleanser will remove makeup and dirt from deep within your pores.
Recommended for: Oily Skin
Fragrance free, mineral oil free, paraben free, dye free.
Mutenka Sekken cold and hot process soaps
Best cushion foam cleanser for sensitive skin
Handmade by artisans in Hyogo, Japan, this handcrafted soap is made of Japanese sake extracts derived from rice to help soothe and moisturize the skin for a more radiant complexion. Japanese sake is rich in anti-aging amino acids and helps to hydrate and brighten the skin.
There are 8 different types of bar soaps made from different ingredients. Choose what’s best for your skin.
Recommended for: Sensitive Skin
Artificial fragrance free, preservative free, colorant free.