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15 of The Best Japanese Cleansers That Work Wonders for Your Skin

  • 5 min read

What Kinds of Japanese Cleansers Are There?

Japanese cleansers come in many forms, from gels and lotions, to wipes, scrubs, and powders. Traditionally, as part of a classic 4 step Japanese skincare routine two cleansers are used – an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup and surface dirt followed by a foaming cleanser to remove all remaining impurities. In this article we’ll introduce some of the most popular Japanese cleansers that will work wonders for your skin, no matter what your skin type is including:

  • Best Japanese cleansing oils 
  • Best Japanese foaming cleansers 
  • Best Japanese facial scrubs, powders, and peels

Best Japanese Cleansing Oils

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil – Suitable for all skin types 

DHC’s Deep Cleansing Oil is one of the most popular Japanese oil-based cleansers that features antioxidant rich organic virgin olive oil from Spain, hydrating vitamin E that also softens skin and protects it against free radical damage, and rosemary oil to invigorate and refresh skin. This cleanser effortlessly dissolves hard-to-remove makeup such as waterproof mascara and eyeliner without clogging your pores or leaving your skin feeling greasy.

 

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

 

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Rohto Hada Labo Gokujyun Oil Cleansing – Best for sensitive and dry skin 

This highly effective Japanese cleansing oil gently dissolves makeup and is formulated with olive oil and two types of hyaluronic acid to keep your skin moisturized. Hada Labo specialize in highly effective skin care products without unnecessary ingredients and additives, and this cleanser is alcohol-free, fragrance-free, and colorant-free, making it suitable for dry and sensitive skin.

 

Rohto Hada Labo Gokujyun Oil Cleansing

 

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Attenir Skin Clear Cleanse Oil Aroma – Best for anti-aging effects

Attenir Skin Clear Cleanse Oil is a powerful cleansing oil which contains four anti-aging beauty oils including rock rose, immortelle, baobab, and argan oil to help remove hyper-pigmentation, nourish skin, and clean pores.It has a pleasant lemongrass and bergamot aroma and quickly breaks down and removes stubborn makeup leaving skin feeling supple and firm.

 

Attenir Skin Clear Cleanse Oil Aroma

 

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Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Cleansing Oil – Best luxury cleansing oil

This premium oil-based cleanser from Shu Uemura has a luxurious cashmere-like texture and is formulated with 8 precious botanical oils which have been sourced from all over the world to create a highly effective cleanser that leaves skin feeling renewed, moisturized, and soft. This cleanser also helps to reduce the appearance of pores and effortlessly removes makeup and impurities.

 

Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Cleansing Oil

 

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Shu Uemura Porefinist2 Sakura Refreshing Cleansing Oil – Best for acne prone skin

Although it is usually recommended for individuals with acne prone skin to avoid using oil cleansers, this cleansing oil from Shu Uemura has been specially created for people who are concerned about pores, impurities, and oily sebum. During product trials, 50% of participants showed a significant decrease in their darkened pores after 4 weeks. 99% of the cleanser’s ingredients are derived from natural sources like cherry blossom essence to create a fresh and light product with a powerful cleansing effect.

 

Shu Uemura Porefinist2 Sakura Refreshing Cleansing Oil

 

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Best Japanese Foaming Cleanser

Shiseido Elixir Cleansing Foam II – Best for anti-aging effects

Shiseido Elixir Cleansing Foam contains elastin and water-soluble collagen to help prevent signs of aging skin, even out skin tone, and tighten skin. It effectively removes impurities and dirt from pores, exfoliates dead cells, and leaves skin feeling firmer, smoother, and more moisturized. Just a small amount of this foaming cleanser goes a long way to create a rich creamy lather.

Shiseido Elixir Cleansing Foam II

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Senka Perfect Whip – Best value foaming cleanser (suitable for oily/combination skin)

Senka Perfect Whip is a popular and affordable foaming cleanser found in most Japanese drugstores. This high-quality product uses super fine bubbles to form a rich and creamy soft foam that penetrates pores and remove impurities and excess sebum. Surprisingly effective when it comes to lifting grime away despite its lightweight texture, this cleanser doesn't strip skin of any necessary oil and moisture, so you can expect your face to feel clean, smooth, and hydrated after use. There is also a variation of Senka Perfect Whip that includes collagen if you are also looking for a cleanser that improves skin elasticity.

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Kao Curel Foaming Face Wash Intensive Moisture Care – Best for dry/sensitive skin

This foaming facial cleanser by Curel has been specifically designed for dry and sensitive skin and is pH balanced, fragrance free, and colorant free. The soft and fluffy foam gently cleanses any impurities leaving skin feeling soft and hydrated. It thoroughly cleanses skin without stripping away any necessary moisture and protects ceramides which are important for retaining moisture.

 

Kao Curel Foaming Face Wash Intensive Moisture Care

 

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Ishizawa Lab Acne Barrier Medicated Protect Face Wash – Best for acne prone skin

This facial cleanser by Ishizawa Lab is designed to remove dirt and bacteria that causes acne, whilst protecting the skin’s natural moisture. It is free from ingredients that can cause skin irritability such as coloring, perfume, alcohol, and is packed full of natural plant extracts and essential oils such as tea tree, lavender, rosemary, and eucalyptus. This medicated face wash also helps to reduce redness and inflammation and is hypoallergic and allergy tested.

 

Ishizawa Lab Acne Barrier Medicated Protect Face Wash

 

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Transino Clear Wash Foaming Cleanser – Best for dull skin

This facial wash from Transino is specially formulated to address dull skin leaving it feeling hydrated and looking brighter and more translucent. Just a small amount of this cleanser turns into a rich dense foam which contains 50% moisturizing cream along with other soothing ingredients such as vitamin C and medicinal plant extracts for skin conditioning. This product is designed to prep the skin and complement Transino’s range of skin whitening products so is a good cleanser to use before applying products designed to reduce any dark spots or freckles.

 

Transino Clear Wash Foaming Cleanser

 

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Best Japanese Cleansers: Facial Scrubs, Powders, & Peels  

For deeper complementary facial cleansers that can be used alongside your regular skincare routine check out our recommendations of scrubs, exfoliators, and peels. 

Best Japanese Facial Scrubs

For a deep cleansing facial scrub, Ishizawa Lab Keana Nadeshiko Baking Soda Scrub Face Wash is formulated using baking soda to work deeply into pores and remove any impurities. The baking soda easily cleanses clogged keratin and sebum without damaging skin and its amino acid-based ingredients leave skin feeling smooth and hydrated.

Alternatively, this Azuki Facial Scrub made from Japanese red azuki beans is a unique cleanser. Azuki beans contain a natural foaming agent called saponin that helps to remove dead skin and cleanse pores by extracting sebum, dirt, and bacteria, leaving skin healthy and smooth.

Best Japanese Powder Cleansers

In addition to oil and foam cleansers, powder cleansers are also popular Japanese skincare products. These innovative powder cleansers turn to foam when mixed with water and often come packaged in individual capsules, making them a perfect travel-sized product.

One of our favorite powdered cleansers includes Kanebo Suisai Beauty Clear Powder Facial Wash, which gently cleanses skin and effectively removes dirt from pores, dead skin cells, and excess sebum to prevent acne and making skin appear brighter and smoother. You can find more Japanese powder cleansers here.

Best Japanese Facial Peels

Peeling gels, masks, and jelly are also common types of facial cleansers in Japan. Products like Cefine Herb Clear Gel Pure Peeling Gel require just a few drops massaged onto your skin before turning into a rubber like residue that effectively removes dead skin cells when rinsed off.

Meishoku Detclear Bright & Peel is a gel type peeling Japanese face wash that is designed to be used once or twice a week. It spreads smoothly and gently on your skin and contains natural extracts from plants and fruit to cleanse dirt and remove dead skin.

You can find more Japanese facial peels through the Japanese Taste website here.