I Have Tried the 4-2-4 Cleansing Method and Realized Why Asians Have Such Shiny Skin
There are many beauty products and methods to help take care of our facial skin. Some people prefer natural products only, others seek professional help. Unfortunately, not all our efforts are fruitful, and our faces don’t always look as healthy and fresh as we would like.
My name is Mary, and specially for CHEERY, I decided to test the famous Asian 4-2-4 method that is supposed to cleanse and moisturize the skin.
I’ve had skin issues since my teenage years. It’s tender and thin, so it doesn’t look perfect very often. I frequently have acne and irritated skin, especially on the first day of my cycle. My mom and my beautician swore I would forget about acne by the time I was 20 years old, but I guess they forgot to tell the acne about it. It’s been many years, and I’m still in a hopeless battle with it.
I’ve tried a lot of different skin cleansing products—creams, gels, scrubs—but I didn’t notice any effect. At some point, I even decided to stop using decorative products, such as foundation and powder. So, now, all I use is mascara from time to time. I feel like my skin is better now, but it’s still pale and irritated.
So, I decided to use a new method, popular in Asia, called 4-2-4. It’s supposed to make the skin even and almost shiny. The description is more like a ritual that should get my skin rid of the old cells and moisturize it.
Washing the face is divided into several stages, with different products. It’s better to do it in the evening, before bed, but you can also use it at any other time, when you feel that your face needs moisture.
Stage 1: massage with cleansing oil — 4 minutes
At this stage, it’s better to use a cleanser based on natural oil, such as almond or grapeseed. I’ve chosen a not-so-expensive but not very cheap product with very few ingredients. The oil should be applied on dry skin and rinsed carefully.
I applied the product from chin to forehead and used circular motions to spread it around my entire face. I tried not to massage the skin around the eyes too much, and paid more attention to my problem areas: the chin, the cheeks, and the forehead.
At first, I used a little bit of oil, but it got absorbed too fast, and the sensation was quite unpleasant. So, through trial and error, I realized it’s better to use 3-4 small amounts.
At first, the cleansing oil got foamy on the skin. But in 1-2 minutes, the gel became thicker, so I had to apply some extra effort to massage it into the skin. At first, I was confused, because I usually apply cleansers and wash them off immediately. It felt wrong to keep the substance on my skin instead of rinsing it off.
Also, the instructions said that the massage had to take 4 minutes, and I was bored after 2! It felt like it took forever, and even though the oil got absorbed quite fast, I couldn’t stop the massage at this stage.
My phone helped me a lot. I downloaded a few books and just read them while massaging, looking at the clock from time to time. Now, the procedure didn’t feel that long anymore, and I even exceeded the limit once.
The only downside was “turning” the pages with oily fingers. Maybe you can kill time by listening to music or an audiobook.
After 4 minutes, the cleansing oil got fully absorbed and the skin looked pink and fresh. I was still bummed by the fact that I never washed the cleanser off — it’s hard to shake off old habits. And the cleanser felt like it was tightening the skin a bit.
Stage 2: massaging with cleansing cream — 2 minutes
Stage 2 includes using a creamy cleaners. Some experts recommend using water-based products. The foam is supposed to soothe and moisturize irritated skin.
The product should be applied right on top of the oil and rubbed in with the same massaging motions. This process takes only 2 minutes, so I wasn’t overly bored. But the cream got foamy at first.
But 2 minutes later, the product was almost fully absorbed, just like the first product. After stage 2, I had a tingling sensation and even some light burning in several areas. Maybe, I was rubbing too hard or chose a cream that wasn’t the best for me.
After the massage with the cream, my skin looked a bit irritated, but I generally felt nice. It seemed as if there was a mask on my face. I remember I used a fresh egg white mask once, and this felt similar.
Stage 3: washing — 4 minutes
The next step is washing. At first, you should wash off all the products with warm water. This should improve blood circulation and help get rid of all the dirt after a long day.
The first step takes 2 minutes. Well, you can’t really wash all the products off with less time. I even washed my face several extra times because I felt there was still some cream or oil leftover.
When the skin started squeaking under my fingers, I moved to the next stage — washing with cold water. It should also take just 2 minutes.
Icy water is supposed to improve blood circulation and help the pores close. It was a bit harder to do this step because a cold splash of water before sleep, even if it’s just on your face, is not the most pleasant thing in the world.
At this stage, I turned music on to keep track of the time and not look at the clock. But after washing with the cold water, I felt the moisture get literally absorbed by the skin.
After the whole process, I sometimes just left the water on the skin, not using a towel. Or, I carefully soaked in the excess water and applied a night cream with light patting. After the long ritual, I felt really fresh, as if my skin was full of moisture, but not oily.
Results after the first days
I didn’t notice much of an effect after the first week. The acne was still there, and there was no special shine or smoothness as the 4-2-4 method promised. But I decided not to give up and continue the experiment, even though, I confess, I skipped a few nights. I felt too tired after a long working day to do the whole process sometimes.
The results of the experiment
But in 2 weeks, the first results finally appeared. The acne started to disappear slowly, the pores have become smaller, and even though my face still didn’t look like a commercial photo, my general skin tone has become smoother and the red spots have disappeared.
I think I’m going to continue washing my face this way. Even though this 10-minute procedure does feel long, the time is definitely worth it.
Do you have your own facial treatment methods that you find useful?