Everything You Need to Know About the Japanese 4-2-4 Cleansing Method

In the era of 10-step skin care routines, double cleansing regimens and 7 skin methods, washing our face with a simple bar of soap is no longer an option. But sometimes our demanding nighttime beauty regimen can give us anxiety instead of the glowing skin we’re after. What if we told you there’s an easy 10-minute skin care routine that only uses two products, but promises beautiful skin? Even better, you don’t have to do it every day.

We’re talking about the Japanese 4-2-4 cleansing routine. The method involves deep, and we mean seriously in-depth, cleansing. It mainly focuses on keeping circulation up via massaging — and it even works with your daily drugstore brands.

The 4-2-4 method basically entails four minutes of massaging your face with a cleansing oil, two minutes of massaging with a water-based cleanser (preferably creamy), then two minutes of rinsing with warm water and two minutes with cold water. The 4-2-4 method should ideally be done before bedtime and before you apply your regular nighttime serum-moisturizer-night cream trio. But it can be done whenever you feel like your skin is in need of some detoxing.

According to In Fiore founder Julie Elliott, poor circulation is the reason behind most of our skin issues, like dryness and acne. We sometimes just pile up one product after another and the congestion may hold back their effectiveness. Elliott says the 4-2-4 method flushes out the toxins, allowing skin to look healthy and plump.

[ Next: 11 Low-pH Cleansers to Help Protect Skin’s Acid Mantle (and Why That’s So Important) ]