I spent the past two weeks traveling through Japan, and one thing’s clear: Japanese skincare is in a league of its own.

You thought a nightly routine should consist of cleanse, tone, moisturize? Child’s play. If a routine is less than five steps, it’s not even in the game. A flawless complexion takes dedication.

Begin with step one: Pre-cleanse.

Not to be mistaken with actual cleansing, the first step is to remove makeup—not with harsh makeup removers, but with gentle, luxurious cleansing oil. I finally tried the cult favorite Deep Cleansing Oil by Japanese brand DHC, and I’m hooked.

Dirt, oil, mascara—everything just melts away while skin is nourished with olive oil and vitamin E.

$28 at dhccare.com or Mitsuwa Marketplace, 100 E. Algonquin Rd.