Why Should I Use Japanese Skincare Products?
Japanese skincare combines Japanese cutting-edge technology with unique natural ingredients native to Japan and Asia to create high quality, effective products that form a complete daily skincare regime.
Japanese consumers tend to take a preventative approach to beauty and skincare to produce radiant looking skin naturally without the need for a lot of makeup, and a Japanese skincare routine will also expose your skin to all kinds of unique natural ingredients and botanical extracts. For example, Japanese citrus fruits such as yuzu are known for their anti-aging properties and promoting collagen production and are used widely in beauty products.
Another advantage to carrying out a Japanese skincare routine is that unlike Korean beauty regimes, you don’t need to buy a lot of products to see results as a lot of them are multi-functional, saving you time and money!
How to Choose Which Japanese Skincare Product is Right for You
What is the best Japanese skincare product for you? With thousands of products to choose from, deciding which products to invest in can initially seem overwhelming. The first step to answering this question is to determine your skin type.
Knowing your skin type can help you find a product that will work best for you. For example, if you have oily skin, then you are more likely to be prone to breakouts and clogged pores and should avoid products that contain fatty acids like coconut or camellia oil, and instead of thick creams, opt for a Japanese gel-based moisturizer instead.
If you have sensitive skin, try to search for products that don’t contain alcohol, strong chemicals, or perfume and have more natural ingredients. Retinoids can also be harsh on dry skin and cause irritability, as can Benzoyl Peroxide which is an ingredient often used in acne treatments.
For dry skin, look for products that contain moisturizing ingredients like olive oil, hyaluronic acid, and aloe vera. If you have combination skin then look for products that contain hyaluronic acid, gel-based moisturizers, and lotions, and avoid soap which can irritate combination skin.
In this article we will recommend products for a range of skin types in the following categories:
- Best Japanese Cleansers
- Best Japanese Lotions
- Best Japanese Face Creams
- Best Japanese Face Masks
- Best Japanese Sunscreens
- Best Japanese Skincare for Acne
- Other Recommended Skincare Products
35 Japanese Skincare Products That Will Help Transform Your Skin
Best Japanese Cleansers
Japanese cleansers come in many different forms, and if you’re following a traditional 4-step Japanese skincare routine that incorporates the double-cleanse, you’ll need an oil-based cleanser and a foam cleanser to follow.
For cleansing oils, we love DHC’s Deep Cleansing Oil, an award-winning and best-selling non-greasy cleanser whose ingredients include organic virgin olive oil which is sull of antioxidants, hydrating vitamin E, and rosemary oil to invigorate and refresh skin. FANCL’s Mild Cleansing Oil is also impressively effective – it instantly dissolves and removes the most stubborn makeup and pore-clogging dirt and oil without stripping natural oil from your skin, to leave it feeling soft and moisturized.
A good foaming cleanser gently removes impurities without stripping the skin of its natural hydration and removes any water-based impurities such as sweat, making sure any pores are left clean of any dirt. Popular Japanese foam cleansers include Senka Perfect Whip, an affordable and high-quality cleanser whose super fine bubbles form a rich and creamy soft foam remove impurities and excess sebum while leaving skin clean, smooth, and hydrated.
Kikumasamune Japanese Sake Face Wash contains fermented rice extract as one of its core ingredients to create a dense, refined lather that works into the pores to remove dead skin cells and other impurities, whilst brightening skin and leaving it hydrated.
If you prefer to use a cleansing wipe instead of a facial cleanser that requires washing your face with water, then Bifesta Makeup cleansing sheets are an effective alternative. These cleansing wipes are formulated with special ingredients that can easily remove the thickest layers of makeup and foundation, along with dead cells that cause skin dullness, whilst still maintaining skin moisture to leave your face feeling soft, smooth, and clean.
Best Japanese Lotions
As part of a complete Japanese skincare routine, a liquid lotion is usually used as a toner before applying a final moisturizer. This helps to prepare the skin so that the moisturizer can be fully absorbed, resulting in maximum hydration. Some of the most popular Japanese lotions include Hado Labo’s Gokujyun Premium Lotion, a beauty blogger favorite – affordable yet highly efficient and formulated with 7 kinds of hyaluronic acid to lock in maximum moisture, leaving skin feeling silky smooth and soft.
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.
For 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.
Other Japanese lotions we recommend include Shiseido Elixir Bouncing Moisture Lotion, 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.
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.
Best Japanese Face Creams
Most Japanese face creams are used as the final step of a typical skincare routine as a moisturizer after the skin has been double cleansed and then primed using a lotion. These are often more gel-like creams for daytime use in addition to thicker creams that are designed to be left on the skin all night long.
Examples of popular Japanese face creams include Shiseido Aqualabel Special Gel Cream Moist, an all-in-one light moisturizing gel cream which is great for treating oily skin. It is formulated with a high concentration of collagen GL to highly moisturize and fight signs of aging.
Mediplus All-in-One Moisturizing Hydrating Gel functions as a toner, milky lotion, beauty serum, and cream, and in addition to containing hydrating ingredients like 4 kinds of hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, 2 kinds of collagen, 14 kinds of amino acids, and 3 different types of ceramides, it contains moisturizing thermal hot spring water from Tamatsukuri Onsen, an ancient Japanese hot spring.
If you suffer with dry skin, you can also try a soothing face cream like ENPISTA Natural Face Cream, blended with lavender and essential oils. ENPISTA specialize in making natural, organic products, and this cream contains ingredients like aloe vera, olive oil and jojoba oil a to gently moisturize your skin.
For a high-quality anti-aging night cream, try Shiseido Elixir Lifting Night Cream, a product that replenishes moisture and firms skin during your sleep, or Transino Whitening Repair Cream EX, a whitening cream that works throughout the night to improve skin tone and prevent dull skin, aging spots, freckles, and blemishes.
Best Japanese Face Masks
Visit any Japanese drugstore and you’ll be amazed at the number of sheet masks there are to choose from and their variety of ingredients – everything from rice to sake, as well as specially formulated masks designed to perform specific functions such as hydration, whitening, and anti-aging. Using a Japanese sheet mask regularly can work well as a complementary treatment to a good skincare routine. Below are a few recommendations of some of our favorite sheet masks.
For dry skin and minimizing pores, try the Ishizawa Lab Keana Nadeshiko Japanese Rice Face Mask which contains plenty of Japanese rice serum, an ingredient renowned for its moisturizing effects.
For a sheet mask that also has a skin plumping effect, try Kose's Clear Turn Essence Mask with collagen or their Clearturn Plumping Sheet Mask. Kose’s Clear Turn Essence Mask Collagen contains collagen GL to make your skin feel plump and firm. The Clear Turn Plumping Sheet Mask is packed full of hydrating and plumping ingredients such as retinol derivative which stimulates collagen and elastine production and it is said to be extremely effective at preventing dryness, sagginess, and fine wrinkles.
For a sheet mask that’s a little different, try the BCL Saborino Morning Face Mask, a 3-in-1 face mask that acts as a complete morning skincare routine in just 60 seconds. This multifunctional mask cleanses and hydrates your face, reduces eye puffiness, and tightens skin.
If it’s super soft ‘baby-like’ skin you’re seeking, try the Babyish range of sheet masks from Kose, whose gentle masks are made from Japanese cotton and filled with highly moisturizing ingredients like collagen, hyaluronic acid (HA), honey, and amino acid G.
Best Japanese Sunscreens
Japanese sunscreen is famous for its effectiveness, high SPF protection, and resistance against water and sweat. Many of the products also double up as effective makeup bases thanks to their non-greasy formulas that don’t leave any white cast behind. A good sunscreen will also protect your skin from premature aging and dark spots. There are many good products available to buy but here are a few of our favorites:
Hada Labo UV White Gel is a lightweight gel that is easily applied and formulated with highly hydrating components such as hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to replenish moisture and powered with SPF50+ for strong UV protection.
Mermaid Skin Gel UV by Canmake is a versatile sunscreen with SPF50+ that comes in smooth watery gel form that glides onto skin without feeling sticky or rough, helping foundation to sit better and last longer.
Isehan’s Kiss Me Mommy UV Aqua Milk sunscreen is a moisturizing sunscreen suitable for the most sensitive and delicate of skin. Made with 80% natural ingredients including strawberry, aloe, and jojoba oil, the sunscreen is free from alcohol and fragrances, making it a gentle product that can be used on children and adults.
Kao Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel has a lightweight feeling, yet it effectively protects from strong UV rays thanks to its UV blocking ingredients such as water capsules which when applied to the skin create a pleasant, watery veil. It also has a powerful resistance to water that lasts for 80 minutes without the need to reapply.
Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Mild Milk is a super waterproof Japanese sunscreen with an SPF of factor 50 that is suitable for use on sensitive skin. This sunscreen also incorporates Shiseido's famous Aqua Booster Technology Ex, a formula that actually increases protection when skin meets the water or sweat.
Best Japanese Skincare for Acne Prone Skin
If you have skin that is prone to acne, there are plenty of specially formulated Japanese skincare products you can try to help treat problem areas. For example, for facial cleansing washes, we recommend Shiseido Senka Medicated Perfect Whip Cleanser for Acne, a medicated rich foaming cleanser that specializes in alleviating acne and preventing rough skin.
Alternatively, you could try a face wash such as Ettusais Pore Care Wash, which helps to prevent acne by utilizing deep cleansing ingredients to remove unsaturated fatty acids, and unnecessary sebum which causes enlarged pores and skin roughness.
After cleansing, use a Japanese lotion designed to tackle acne like Ishizawa Lab Acne Barrier Medicated Protect Lotion which contains 14 kinds of herbs including tea tree to prevent plugged pores, acne and inflammation while hydrating the skin.
Rohto Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence is a Japanese serum ideal for individuals with problem skin because it helps to reduce redness and irritation whilst killing the bacteria that causes the formation of acne. Ingredients include vitamin C and vitamin E as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial ingredients to prevent and treat blemishes and acne.
There are also several brands of sheet masks you can try that are designed to target acne like Kracie Hadabisei Moisturising Facial Mask Acne Care which contains green tea extract and special acne treatment gels like Kobayashi Atnon Acne Treatment Gel that suppresses the production of melanin and can be used after washing your face.
Other Recommended Japanese Skincare Products You Can Try
In addition to facial cleansers, creams, sheet masks, sunscreens, and lotions, there is an extensive range of other Japanese skincare products you can try to complement your regular skincare routine like eye creams and masks, facial peels, and scrubs. Popular products include the Kracie Hadabisei Intensive Wrinkle Care Eye Mask – an anti-aging serum eye mask that helps to reduce the appearance of dryness-induced eye wrinkles, reduce dark circles, and leave the eye area firm and plump.
Another popular eye product is the Sukoyaka Suhada Urea Moisture Eye Cream, an intensive moisturizing treatment cream for the eye area featuring botanical extracts and ingredients such as urea, hyaluronic acid, and ceramide.
If you want to try a Japanese facial peel, Cefine Herb Clear Gel Pure is a lavender scented Japanese peeling gel that removes unnecessary dead skin cells and leaves skin feeling clean, smoother, and brighter.
Finally, if you’re looking for a skincare product with unique Japanese ingredients then consider trying this facial pack made from Sake Lees. Sake lees, or sake kasu in Japanese is a by-product of sake and is what is leftover after the sake-making process. Sake lees also greatly benefits the skin because it is highly moisturizing and also naturally brightens the skin's complexion.
Where Can I Buy Japanese Skincare Products Online?
You can find the Japanese skincare products mentioned in this article and many others online through the Japanese Taste website, who specialize in shipping authentic Japanese products directly from Japan to your door.