Japanese toners, or lotions as they are called in Japan, are not the same as western toners, which tend to be liquids that contain high volumes of alcohol that can dry out your skin. Japanese lotions are designed to be gentle on the skin and act more like a watery moisturizer containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid.
As part of a complete four-step Japanese skincare routine, a liquid lotion is usually used as a toner in the third step before applying a final moisturizer. This helps to prepare the skin so that the moisturizer can be fully absorbed, resulting in maximum hydration. In this article, we’ll introduce some of our favorite Japanese lotions that will help to make your skin look and feel more radiant and discuss which toners are best for various skin types including:
- Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Lotion – affordable and highly effective lotion formulated with 7 types of hyaluronic acid
- Kikumasamune Sake Skin Care Lotion High Moist– moisturizing lotion formulated with Japanese sake to brighten and hydrate skin
- Hakutsuru Daiginjo Sake Moisturizing Whitening Lotion – brightening lotion that contains Japanese rice extract to create smooth skin
- Dr.Ci:Labo Labo Labo Super Keana Lotion– gentle lotion that effectively removes blackheads and closes pores
- Juju Aquamoist Fermented Hyaluronic Acid Lotion– moisturizing lotion that features exclusive fermented hyaluronic acid that works faster and deeper into skin
- Sukoyaka Suhada Urea Moisture Lotion– intensive moisturizing toner with botanical extracts best for dry skin
- Matsuyama Hadaru Balancing Lotion– a light textured lotion best suited for oily skin
- Elixir Superieur Lifting Moisture Lotion– best-selling anti-aging skincare range by Shiseido
- Muji Light Toning Water Toner High Moisture – a lotion designed for sensitive skin made with natural spring water and free from irritants
- Ishizawa Lab Acne Barrier Medicated Protect Lotion – specialist lotion designed to fight acne and leave skin feeling smooth
Top 5 Japanese Toning Lotions That Can Make Your Skin Look More Radiant
One of the most popular Japanese lotions includesHada Labo’s Gokujyun Premium Lotion, an affordable yet highly efficient product formulated with 7 kinds of hyaluronic acid to lock in maximum moisture, leaving skin feeling silky smooth and soft.
This lotion is a favorite skincare product among beauty bloggers and has a cult following on online platforms such as Reddit and Tik Tok, gaining rave reviews from consumers thanks to its fast absorption rate, ability to retain moisture, and skin plumping effects.
It can also be used on sensitive skin as the Hada Labo hyaluronic acid does not contain any perfume or fragrance, oil, alcohol, and colorants, so it won’t cause any breakouts.
This highly moisturizing lotion contains Japanese sake from Kikumasamune brewery, ceramide, and placenta extract to moisturize, soothe, and tone your skin. Japanese sake is packed full of amino acids, and the high concentration of kojic acid found in rice wine hydrates, smoothens, soothes, and brightens skin by suppressing the production of melanin, helping to correct discoloration and dark spots caused by sun damage.
Sake has been used in Japanese beauty and skincare products for hundreds of years and was a beauty trick used by geisha to brighten and hydrate skin. It can also help to minimize pores and protect the skin from sun damage and premature aging thanks to the presence of ferulic acid, a plant-based antioxidant that fights against free radicals (unstable molecules that cause damage to skin cells).
If you’re looking for a Japanese lotion that also has a brightening effect, try Hakutsuru Daiginjo Sake Moisturizing Whitening Lotion, which features natural ingredients such as Japanese rice extract and job’s tears – a kind of grass plant found in Asia which is high in vitamin B3, known for its skin brightening effects and evening out complexions.
The ceramides found in Japanese rice also benefits skin in several ways. They can help to increase hydration, restore moisture, and reduce redness and sensitivity. Skincare products that contain ceramides can also be of benefit to more mature skin as they can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, leaving your skin looking smoother and younger.
For assistance reducing the appearance of pores, try Dr.Ci:Labo Labo Labo Super Keana Lotion, which softens the skin and effectively removes excess dead skin cells, blackheads, and closes pores.
This gentle lotion has a light orange scent and contains moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and water-soluble collagen to leave you with dewy soft skin. It is free from ingredients that can irritate the skin such as alcohol, oil, and colorants. It is formulated with ingredients like royal jelly acid which contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Other ingredients include plant extracts such as hamamelis leaf extract, artichoke leaf extract and multiflora rose fruit which have been blended to tighten and cleanse pores.
This moisturizing lotion from Juju Cosmetics contains two types of hyaluronic acid to create a high-density, long-lasting moisturizing formula that works deep into the skin. One of the hyaluronic acids has been fermented so that the particles have been broken down. These tiny particles can then be easily absorbed into the skin faster and deeper – a unique ingredient formulated exclusively for Juju.
Juju’s lotion feels light on the skin but helps to lock in moisture leaving skin feeling hydrated all day long. A specialist in skincare for more than 60 years, Juju’s lotion also contains aloe vera and vitamin C to help tackle skin concerns such as uneven skin tone, lack of hydration, and aging.
5 Favorite Japanese Toners for Various Skin Types - Dry Skin, Oily Skin, Mature Skin, Sensitive Skin, and Acne-Prone Skin
This intensive moisturizing toner is ideal if you are concerned about dry or rough skin. It features 9 botanical extracts such as chamomile flower which contains powerful antioxidants that help protect skin from damage, and peach leaf extract whichreduces signs of pigmentation and boosts skin hydration.
Sukoyaka Suhada Urea Moisture Lotion also contains a blend of three highly moisturizing ingredients; urea, hyaluronic acid and ceramide, and the lotion’s unique formula not only moisturizes skin but also helps to retain moisture and protects the skin's barrier.
If you have oily skin, particularly in the T-zone area, then you’ll want to try Matsuyama Hadauru Balancing Lotion, a moisturizing lotion with a light texture that blends smoothly into the skin to leave it feeling healthy and hydrated.
This lotion contains ingredients derived from soybeans that help improve the function of the stratum corneum – the skin’s most outer layer that serves as a barrier between your body and the environment. Other ingredients include rice extracts that help to regulate your skin’s balance of oil and water.
Elixir Superieur Lifting Moisture Lotion is an anti-aging skincare lotion from Shiseido formulated with exclusive beauty ingredients to prevent signs of aging like dark spots caused by melanin, and promote firm, resilient, and incredibly soft skin.
The Elixir range of products are incredibly popular in Japan and became the top selling skincare products there for 14 consecutive years, from 2006-2020. The products feature an exclusive ingredient called M-tranexamic acid that has been developed inhouse which prevents freckles and mottled skin from appearing. Other ingredients include collagen and mandarin orange which together can help to improve skin elasticity and improve skin tone.
This lotion from Muji is ideally suited for sensitive skin to prepare it for moisturizing without causing any irritability. Formulated using natural spring water as the key ingredient sourced from the caverns of Kamaishi City in Iwate Prefecture, the lotion is free from fragrances, alcohol, mineral oils, artificial colors, and has been allergy tested.
Use this lotion after cleansing to remove any remaining dirt and impurities and your skin will be left feeling soothed, refreshed, and hydrated. Muji’s toning water has been specially designed to treat sensitive skin susceptible to dryness and stress and transform it into hydrated and healthy-looking skin.
This lotion has been designed to help combat adult acne which can be a sensitive and complex issue to solve. When skin suffers from a lack of moisture, keratin blocks the pores, making it easier for acne bacteria to grow. This lotion prevents adult acne and dryness whiles suppressing excess sebum. It replenishes moisture to soften dead skin cells and prevent pore clogging and inflammation, maintains skin balance, and leaves skin feeling smooth and resistant to acne.
Ishizawa Lab Acne Barrier Medicated Protect Lotion has a pleasant herbal scent and is formulated with 14 kinds of herbs and plants including tea tree oil, chamomile, sage, lavender, rosemary, and eucalyptus.