Ultimate Guide to Japanese Cosmetics

By Marjorie Gutierrez | Updated December 17, 2020

Branching away from the pale white makeup and red-painted lips, Japanese Cosmetics have evolved to more soft, natural looks. Thus, the rise in makeup trends like gradient lips and sparkly eyeshadows has become the norm in Japanese makeup looks. 

The abundance of Japanese Cosmetics will leave you speechless as you enter the busy streets of Shibuya or Shinjuku. Skincare is one of the most essential aspects of Japanese Cosmetics that is taken very seriously! 

There are so many products that go into the morning and nighttime skincare routines to achieve flawless skin. Japanese skincare involves more products than any other typical skincare routine in a different country. Since there are so many products with different functions made for unique skin types, it might be difficult finding the right one for your skin type!

This guide will explore different products for each step in a typical Japanese Skincare routine. Keep reading to find the holy grail product for you!

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    History of Japanese Cosmetics

    Japanese Geishas

    Japanese Cosmetics in Old Age

    Japanese companies are now known all over the world for their good quality and highly effective, simple but impressive cosmetics. But when did it all started? It was dated way back in Japanese history when the chronicles called kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters) as well as nihon shoki (the second oldest book of classical Japanese history) was released when we first recognized that using makeup had been existing already during the ancient times. The pigment red can be seen from clay figurines created in the Kofun period during the year 300.

    While other types of cosmetics such as rouge and powder were brought from China and Korea, the first Japanese lead-based facial powder was made by a Buddhist priest during the year 692. According to stories, the Japanese empress was so impressed by her creation when it was given to her. Makeup was continued to be used by aristocrats in these early times.

    During the Heian period (794-1185), when Chinese influence was losing its peak, Japanese cosmetics started to reform and have its own originality and distinctiveness. Women started to wear their hair long and straight, powder their faces white like ivory, remove their eyebrows then paint them a bit higher on their forehead. During this time they have also started to blacken their teeth. 

    From the beginning of Edo era (1600-1868), basic etiquettes were the main focus. Japanese women were taught the essential ways of using cosmetics. According to professionals, the palette consisted of three basic colors: red (lipstick or lip rouge, nail polish), white (face powder), and black (teeth-blackener and eyebrow pencil).

    The traditional rouge was made from safflowers which were used as lipstick, blush, and nail polish. The adequate way is to apply a thin layer of lip color which was seen a symbol of refinement but towards the end of the Edo period, there was a fad for a heavier application of lipstick for the more lustrous look. Due to the demand for safflowers, they became so expensive that it was said the flowers were worth its weight in gold. During this time, only the rich and powerful can afford the said rouge.

    The white powder applied on the face is called oshiroi. It is carefully mixed with water for the perfect consistency and is very hard to attain. Adding in too much water can lead to an uneven application, while too little can make the application crack and fall off. The arduous task is done almost every day in order to achieve the perfect complexion which was also considered in Japan as "the essence of a beautiful woman."

    Pitch black teeth were regarded as beautiful which may be contradictory to the current trend of having sparkly whites. This Japanese tradition which was called ohaguro was seen as an unusual beauty ideal back then when Westerners visit the country, it was described as destroying the beauty of women and making them look unsightly. In spite of criticisms, this custom still continued until the end of the Edo period.

    During the Meiji era, the traditional ways of applying cosmetics mentioned above have started to change. In the year 1870, a law was officially declared banning the practice of eyebrow shaving and the use of tooth-blackening. Most Japanese women started to halt the custom when Empress Meiji herself discontinued the use of it in 1873. 

    It was in 1877 when the people started to have worries about the safety of using lead-based face powders. The concern came into being when lead poisoning began infecting a lot of Kabuki actors. The use of them was banned in the later years and lead-free face powders were invented and sold in the market at the same time. However, many actors opposed the ban due to the belief that lead-based oshiroi (face powder) made their faces look more beautiful compared to products without it.

    Through Taisho era (1912-1926), when Western influence was at its peak, Japanese traditional ways of applying makeup had begun to fade. The reason may be due to being inspired by celebrities on the big screen. Modernity started to envelop the country and Japanese women had to follow the change. Thin eyebrows, droopy eyes with black liner, and thin lips started to be a trend. This look was very similar to the flapper style in Western countries.

    After the war in the '50s, Japan was greatly influenced by American popular culture. In the 1960s, movies on the big screen had a pinkish overtone, this caused pink-colored makeup to be popular all over the country. Thick eyebrows and lifted eyes with the use of gel eyeliner became well-liked. Makeups such as eyeshadows, fake eyelashes, lipsticks, foundations, and other products were imported to Japan. Many kinds of cosmetics became widely available and Japanese women became aware of the diversity of skin color. They started to part from the Edo period's 3 traditional primary colors of red, white, and black. 

    Japanese Cosmetics in the Modern Age

    During the '70s, the economic boom in Japan made people more informed about worldwide trends. Movie Actors, actresses, and models such as Twiggy became a popular figure, making her makeup the must-have all over the country.

     

    Since Japanese women mostly have a single eyelid, they draw double lines on their upper eyelids to imitate double-fold lids. It was also fashionable to overemphasize the eyelashes to create big, 3-dimensional eyes that give prominence to having strong emotions. This western look is not only copied with the eyes, but also skin tone. Pinkish and suntanned skin became the new trend.

     

    By the end of the '70s and early '80s, Japanese designers started to enter the world stage. Two avant-garde designers: Rei Kawabuko of Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto earned recognition in the Paris Fashion Week. Because of that, Japanese models were adorned all over the world, and beauty standards became less Western. Japanese women started to appreciate their almond-shaped eyes. They often define them with eyeliner and use shimmering eyeshadows. They also contour their cheeks to create a slimmer face and have more dimension.

     

    Japan's economy blossomed in the '80s, the "Japan as Number 1" decade sparked the start of women being more involved in corporate jobs. This changed the makeup look from having thin brows to sporting a bold and thick one. Natural-looking brows became the most popular during this time. 

     

    High-end luxury cosmetic items also became widely desired by Japanese women during the economic bubble in the mid-1980s. Lustrous and bright lips were well-liked with shades of rose pinks and bright reds while eye makeup is likely more natural for a look that shows both beauty and strength.

     

    The gorgeous look from the bubble economy changed dramatically from the start of 1994 until 1998 with the rise of Japan's number 1 artist of the time: Namie Amuro. The style was even named after her calling it the "Amura" look. The pop star who hailed from Okinawa made a huge mark on the fashion and cosmetics world. She wore her hair long and straight which was dyed brown. Her eyebrows were thin and arched. Those looks were the number 1 trend in the middle of the '90s.

     

    There is a different type of system that works at this bar. There is no cover charge for sitting at the bar and the drinks are as cheap as ¥300! You simply purchase tickets at the door for ¥300 each and use those to trade in for drinks and food. If you buy 10 tickets, you get the 11th one free! How cool is that, and it’s definitely a steal! The bar is located in Tokyo, just near the Yurakucho train station. In fact, it’s just a 5-minute walk away!

    Modern Japanese Makeup

    Japanese Cosmetics in the Present

    When the '90s was coming to a close, the new millennium started with a bang with the rise to fame of the "gyaru" or gal look. Bronze-toned skin, blonde hair with brows that are also dyed to match the hair became the new fad. Japanese women also used highlighter to make the eyes glimmer. As for the lips, it's preferable to use either beige, grey or nude colors. Makeup primer and highlighter also became must-have cosmetics in order to pull off that luminous and dewy skin.

     

    From 2004-2008, Japanese women were more in favor of a classically soft and feminine look. The hair was a more subtle version of the 80's perm, it is shoulder-length with light twists towards the end. The overall makeup is natural except for the eyes. Due to the economy going downhill, concerns for stability and the desire to get married became rampant. Ladies started to give emphasis to their eyes. They began using cosmetics such as eyeliner all around the eye area, circle contact lenses for a doll-like effect, mascara, eyelash perms, and extensions. As dating and matchmaking services became popular, huge and child-like eyes were must-haves during that period.

     

    This style evolved into  “yuru fuwa iyashi otono kawaii joshi,” which means: “loose, soft, soothing, mature, cute girl” style from 2009-2013. Having puffy eyes by using white eyeliner on the bottom lid and having rosy cheeks using pink blush became a fad during this period. In 2014, brightly colored lips reemerged and it is usually matched with straight hair. Color started to make a comeback with the recovery of the Japanese economy. From 2016 up to the present, eyes, cheeks, and lips stayed in the same color range as hues such as browns, oranges, lavenders, and pinks. With the start of the Reiwa period, we're all looking forward to the next cosmetics trend that will sweep Japan. 

    Morning Skincare Routine

    Top Japanese Cosmetics for your Morning Routine

    If you're living in Japan, having a busy day is the norm. While it is quite mendokusai (troublesome) to have a full-blown skincare morning routine, it's important not to neglect and take good care of our beautiful skin with the help of cosmetics! And yes, what we apply on our faces in the morning is different from the ones we use in the evening. During the day we need to brighten, moisturize, and protect it from harmful UV rays. The products should also be light and comfortable for women to wear throughout the whole day. 

    1. Facial Wash

    After waking up from a long slumber, our faces are filled with dirt, dead skin, and a lot of oil buildup from the night before. It's very important to wash them all away. Cleansing our face with cold water is also a good idea to wash the sleepiness away. It's also necessary to wash away all the products you have used the night before in order to have that blank canvas for the new day. In Japan, facial wash comes in three types: liquid (液体), foam (泡), and solid bar (石鹸).  The following are some popular and highly recommended items for you: 

    Shiseido Senka Perfect Whip | Japanese Cosmetics

    Shiseido Senka Perfect Whip

    This product could be one of the best-selling facial wash over the past 10 years. Shiseido Senka Perfect Whip is amazingly popular not just in Japan, but also overseas. The foam is very thick and fluffy which is very gentle to the skin. It is also recommended for all skin types. It's priced at 450 yen in your local Japanese drugstores and supermarkets.

    Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Face Wash

    Haba Labo's Gokujyun range is a very popular line of cosmetics for Japanese men and women. It's highly effective for people with dry skin. During autumn and winter when the air tends to be dry, this facial wash cleanses the skin perfectly and preserves its moisture at the same time. It's priced at 450 yen in your local Japanese drugstores and supermarkets.

    Rohto New Hadalabo Gokujun Hyaluronic Face Wash | Japanese Cosmetics
    Mentholatum Acnes Medicated

    Mentholatum Acnes

    Mentholatum Acnes Medicated Cream Face Wash is especially effective for oily and acne-prone skin. It is made with medical ingredients to give relief to some dermal problems while making the face feel cleaned and refreshed at the same time. It's priced at 500 yen in your local drugstores and supermarkets.

    2. Facial Lotion

    The next step might feel strange to our readers from other continents of the world, but in Asia this is a normal part of our skin care routine. Though it is called lotion, it is not similar as the one we apply on our body; it has a very lightweight and watery consistency. Japanese women use this product to restore the moisture after washing it with a facial wash. It can be directly applied on your face and neck with clean hands if you are feeling a little bit lazy or if you are feeling quite fancy you can also apply it with either a cotton ball or cotton pad.

     

    A lot of people also use this cosmetic as a D.I.Y face mask. It can be done by soaking cotton pads with face lotion and placing it all over the face. If you do not feel like doing it yourself, you can also buy dry sheet masks from drugstores and soak it with the product as well. Below are some popular and highly recommended products for you: 

    hada labo gokujyun hyaluronic acid premium lotion | Japanese Cosmetics

    Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Premium Lotion

    Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Premium Lotion has 5 kinds of hyaluronic acid, a clear gooey substance that retains water in your skin to keep it moist and hydrated. For those reasons, this product is highly recommended for people with extremely dry skin. Once applied to the skin, the product blends well and absorbs fast.

     

    It helps achieve "glass skin", a look that is very popular with Asian women. It also helps in reducing fine lines and wrinkles with regular use. It is an all in one product indeed! It costs around 1,500 yen in your local drugstores.

    Curel Moisture Lotion III Enrich

    Curel Moisture Lotion III Enrich is very much recommended for men and women with sensitive skin. This product came from a leading Japanese skincare brand that has produced a successful line aimed to help people with sensitive skin. It has ingredients such as ceramide and eucalyptus that aid in hydrating and soothing the skin.

     

    This lotion feels light on the skin and very easy to spread. To top it off, this product is also alcohol-free as well and it penetrates the skin very well without a sticky residue. It costs around 1,300 yen in your local drugstores.

    curel moisture lotion iii enrich | Japanese Cosmetics
    Glowie Co Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion | Japanese Cosmetics

    Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion

    Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion has low molecular weight elastin that gives that extra firmness and moisture to the skin with the help of 3 hyaluronic acids. In 2014, a group of women around the age of 45 and above experienced significant improvement in skin hydration, fine lines, and wrinkle depth reduction after 2 weeks of topical application of hyaluronic acids. However, this product may not be suitable for people with highly sensitive skin for it contains retinol, a substance that may cause irritation and skin peeling.

    Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion | a Type

    Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion | a Type has low molecular weight elastin that gives that extra firmness and moisture to the skin with the help of 3 hyaluronic acids. In 2014, a group of women around the age of 45 and above experienced significant improvement in skin hydration, fine lines, and wrinkle depth reduction after 2 weeks of topical application of hyaluronic acids. However, this product may not be suitable for people with highly sensitive skin for it contains retinol, a substance that may cause irritation and skin peeling. It costs around 1,500 yen in your local drugstores.

    Hada Labo Gokujyun a Type | Japanese Cosmetics

    3. Essence

    This one is an optional step. In Japanese, essence is called 美容液. A lot of people skip it because they just can't be bothered on how their skin smells or feels after using it. The extra step may feel like it is too much especially when we are feeling super lazy in the morning. It is totally fine to skip it, but if you want to take that extra step in protecting your skin from dullness and wrinkles, we highly recommend adding this product to your morning routine.

     

    A lot of essences have very light and watery consistency and is usually applied onto the face with a light, patting motion using our hands. Many western women may be confused on what essence really is. It is not a light serum or a toner, but it helps in promoting cell regeneration.

     

    For people who want to achieve that younger-looking skin, this would be an important step for this product helps fight against wrinkles and fine lines, as well as dull and uneven skin. With regular use, we can see improvements including a brighter and clearer complexion.

    Naturies | Japanese Cosmetics

    Naturie's Hatomugi Moisturizing Gel

    Our image of essences may be more than what our budget for skincare can afford. While there are expensive products such as SK and La Mer, Japanese cosmetics also offer reasonable ones such as  Naturie's Hatomugi Moisturizing Gel.

     

    The packaging may not be as sleek as its competition, but it definitely does its job in the moisturizing area. It is also fragrant free and it does not contain any artificial dyes. Cheap and works great! What more can we ask for? Well, if there's one negative point about this product, it would be the jar container. As many of our readers know, jar containers are easy to be contaminated. So we highly suggest that instead of using our fingers to scoop the product, we should use a small spatula instead. It costs around 900 yen in your local drugstores.

    SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

    Trying new Japanese cosmetics might be a hit or miss at times, but this brand had already made its name to be one of the most popular and must-have Japanese cosmetics in the country. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence boasts on working on all skin types.

     

    The product is claimed to moisturize, help clear blemishes, and get rid of tiny bumps on the face. The product also improves our skin's texture, making it smoother and helps in strengthening the barriers of the skin. Going barefaced would not be a problem with the regular use of this essence. The only downside? It is a bit costly. It is priced around 10,000 yen in some department stores. 

    SK-II | Japanese Cosmetics
    Astalift | Japanese Cosmetics

    Astalift White Essence Infilt

    Astalift White Essence Infilt came from a line of anti-aging skin-care brands from Fuji film. This is the key product in the line that boosts whitening. It also helps age spots appearance reduction by decreasing melatonin generation. At the same time, the product is enhancing the quality of the skin, making it stronger and more firm. With regular use, higher skin elasticity with a brighter complexion can be achieved.

     

    Some chemicals used in Astalift White Essence Infilt include Nano AMA, Vitamin C, and collagen. This product is a good alternative if you are looking for Japanese cosmetics that are not too cheap and not too expensive, something in between. It costs around 6,000 yen in your local drugstores and department stores. 

    4. Moisturizer (Cream or Emulsion)

    For some people who are not used to Japanese cosmetics or if you are new to the morning routine game, you might be surprised that the fourth step would be for moisturizing. Well, the basic idea with the application of these products is doing it by layers, from the most lightweight consistency to the thickest.

     

    This is to ensure that the skin can absorb all the nutrients and hydrating ingredients from each product and finally, locking them in all together with a thick cream (フェイスクリーム) during the winter season and a lighter version called emulsion (エムルション) for usual warm days. Once you start this process of adding essence and lotion before moisturizing, you will realize that you would not be needing a heavy and thick type of moisturizer normally because your skin would already be hydrated in the first place.

    Curel Intensive Moisture Cream


    Curel Intensive Moisture Cream is very effective for people with dry and sensitive skin. It also works great as a heavy moisturizer during winter. This product can be used in your morning and evening routine. However, people who have a combination skin type might find it quite thick in the morning especially if you are applying makeup directly after applying the cream. It has no fragrance, alcohol, and any artificial coloring that is why it is perfect and soothing for people with sensitive skin. It costs around 2,500 yen in your local drugstores and department stores.

    Curel Intensive Moisture
    Shiseido Elixir Lift Moist Emulsion

    Shiseido Elixir Lift Moist Emulsion

    Shiseido Elixir Lift Moist Emulsion is a perfect drugstore Japanese cosmetics for people who are looking for a brand that is reliable, and has active, anti-aging ingredients. Shiseido's Elixir Lift Moist Emulsion has 3 variations to choose from: (WI, WII and WII) which literally indicates the heaviness of its moisturizing weight.

     

    So based on your skin's needs and type, you have the chance to choose one that would perfectly suit you. Shiseido's Elixir range contains a nice fragrance, so if you have a very sensitive skin this product may be the best for you. It costs around 3,800 yen in your local drugstores and department stores.

    Obagi Derma Power X Lift Cream

    Obagi Derma Power X Lift Cream is one of the most-known Japanese cosmetics in drugstores. Even though the price may be more expensive than your usual drugstore products, its high-quality formula is definitely worth the extra yen. Obagi Derma Power X Lift Cream contains powerful and active ingredients to battle skin problems like aging and pigmentation. It is also enriched with collagen and elastin making the product an amazing drugstore find.

     

    For people with dry skin and are searching for a cream-based moisturizer that has the power to reduce fine lines, this product would be a good match for you. Since the product is cream-based, the consistency may feel a bit heavy on the skin. It is recommended to massage the formula onto the skin and wait for a few minutes in order for it to be absorbed completely. It will leave your skin extra dewy and hydrated. It costs around 10,000 yen in your local drugstores and department stores.

    Obagi Derma Power X Lift Cream | Japanese Cosmetics

    5. Subscreen or UV Creams

    At last! We're getting into the last step of our morning skincare routine! Out of all the steps mentioned above, for Japanese women, perhaps this is the one that they give the most importance. Sunscreens and UV creams do not just leave our complexion fair and even, it also protects us from harmful UV rays that cause aging and dark spots on our skin.

     

    This is a very popular Japanese cosmetics staple for all seasons: during the hot and humid summer as well as the cold and dry winter. It is not only famous in Japan but also known all over the world for its quality and wide range of products to choose from for every skin type. The water-based sunscreen (日焼け止め) is the most recommended for it can be applied under makeup without the feeling of greasiness and discomfort.

    Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen

    ANESSA Perfect UV Sunscreen

    ANESSA Perfect UV Sunscreen can be listed as one of the best-selling lines of Japanese cosmetics made by the beauty giant Shiseido. It has been on the top list for best UV protection for a long time.

     

    Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen can protect the skin for a long time, it is also waterproof and has moisturizing ingredients for that extra beauty effect. The brand became popular for its Aqua Booster Technology which is said to block UV rays from going through the skin. It penetrates well so it will not leave a white cast and it will also make the skin supple and soft to the touch. It costs from around 1,600 yen to 3,000 yen in your local drugstores and department stores.

    Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel

    Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel is another amazing Japanese cosmetic product and it is also one of the most affordable sunscreens in Japan. The product is composed of a very light and watery gel which makes it very easy to apply.

     

    It is so lightweight that the feeling is almost as if you are washing your face with water. It also does not leave a greasy feeling on the skin and keeps the moisture locked in. This very popular Japanese cosmetics Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel has a high water content which is known to keep oil away so it is highly recommended for people with oily or acne-prone skin. It costs around 800 yen in your local drugstores and department stores.

    Biore UV Aqua Rich
    Allie UV Gel | Japanese Cosmetics

    Allie Extra UV Gel

    ALLIE Extra UV Gel is another popular Japanese cosmetics brand that has been in the same league as Anessa for many years. It has the capacity to dehydrate dry and parched skin. The texture is very gel-like that can make the skin dewy and healthy upon application.

     

    ALLIE Extra UV Gel is also a great sunscreen that can be used every day even in colder temperatures for that extra protection and moisture. It also contains hyaluronic acid and collagen which helps for that youthful and glowy finish. 2,100 yen in your local drugstores and department stores.

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    Night Skincare Routine

    Top Japanese Cosmetics for your Night Routine

    As our busy day comes to an end, our faces have been fully exposed to the outside world. In hot climates; dirt, pollution, and sweat had already begun to clog our pores which may eventually lead to breakouts. In colder temperatures; the skin is extremely at risk of being dry and parched. If we add stress to the list that would even increase the damage that can be done to our faces.

     

    But thanks to the regeneration properties of our skin at night, it can fully heal and recuperate while we are getting our beauty rest. Our skin's healing is even more speedy in the evening than during the day so if you are living in Japan, it is highly recommended to apply Japanese cosmetics such as serums and other skin treatments at night to absorb everything in.

    1. Makeup Removal

    This step is probably the most important one because sleeping with makeup residue on your face is a big no-no! Throughout our day, dirt and makeup are all trapped in our pores which causes our skin's protective layer to break down. Sleeping with makeup on intercepts the skin from its highly necessary renewal which causes the healthy collagen to break down. No matter how sleepy we feel, we should never skip this important step. In Japanese and Korean skincare routines, cleansing the face is a two-step process that is called "double cleansing."

     

    Almost all Japanese cosmetics removers are oil-based but there are other kinds such as water-based cleansers as well as cleansing balms. The easiest way to do this step is to apply the product on a cotton pad and gently wipe it on the face by moving it in an outward motion. For stubborn mascara and eyeliner, simply use another cotton pad soaked with the product and press it onto the area and leave it there for a few seconds. Once immersed, it will be easier to remove all the residue. The Japanese term for makeup remover is メイク落とし.

    Biore Makeup Remover Perfect Oil

    Biore Makeup Remover Perfect Oil is a very popular Japanese cosmetics for cleansing. It is also one of the top-selling drugstore skincare products. On a usual basis, it would be impossible to mix oil with water, but with Biore's technology, the product can be applied onto the face with wet hands and face. The texture is very lightweight making it very easy to work with and it also has a slight fruity essence.  Because it is oil-based, it does not only remove makeup efficiently but also removes stubborn waterproof mascara and eyeliner. It also comes at a great price! It costs around 1,000 yen in your local drugstores and department stores.

    Biore Makeup Remover Perfect Oil | Japanese Cosmetics
    Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil | Japanese Cosmetics

    Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil

    Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil is one the most famous brands not just for their make-up tools used by celebrities all over the globe, but also for their amazing Japanese cosmetics as well. It won second place on the @cosme Best Cosmetics Award in 2019 for Best Cleanser of the Year.

     

    Shu Uemura's Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil is said to be infused with 8 precious oils and 75% ingredients that can benefit the skin. After use, you can feel softer, smoother, and moisturized skin while removing makeup easily. The product may be quite pricey but with all the additional benefits, it's definitely worth it. It costs around 3,000 yen online and in some selected department stores.

    FANCL Mild Cleansing Oil

    FANCL Mild Cleansing Oil is a very popular item in Japan and it also won the best cleanser at the @cosme Best Cosmetics Awards in 2019. It completely removes makeup, unclogs pores, and makes rough skin smoother. Even if it has the word "mild" on its name,  it has a lot of cleansing power without stripping moisture off the skin. It is also a good Japanese cosmetics to reduce the appearance of fine lines from having extremely dry skin.

     

    In order to work efficiently, it is recommended to use the product completely within 120 days after opening it. The reason for this is because the product contains no additives and preservatives, so it's highly recommended to use it before it becomes expired. It costs around 1,500 yen online and in some selected department stores.

    FANCL Mild Cleansing Oil | Japanese Cosmetics

    2. Exfoliate

    Proper exfoliation is another important step for it takes away the barrier of dead skin cells blocking the skin releasing fresh new cells to emerge. This paves the way for moisturizing products to get into the skin more deeply thus making it more effective. It also helps in brightening the skin and allowing makeup and skincare products to be applied smoothly and evenly.

     

    But please take note that exfoliation is not a daily routine, but more of a once or twice a week ordeal. For people with highly sensitive skin, it is recommended to exfoliate only once a week. We can find Japanese cosmetics that has the ability to exfoliate by looking for words that contain "gel" ジェル or "peel" ピール.

    Natural Aqua Gel Cure | Japanese Cosmetics

    Natural Aqua Gel Cure

    Natural Aqua Gel Cure is from a Japanese cosmetics company founded in 2003. The company focuses on making products that can "cure" or help in recovery. At first glance, the bottle looks pretty normal but please do not skip reading the directions.

     

    To use the product, apply 4 to 5 pumps on dry skin, and pat your face gently with a clean towel beforehand. Apply the gel onto the whole face and wait for a few seconds before wiping it off. Then rinse again and continue with the next skincare routine step.

     

    The product can be quite gentle to the skin. It does not have any tiny granules and fragrance. The price is also reasonable, it is only around 2,000 yen online and in some drugstores.

    Detclear Bright & Peel

    Detclear Bright & Peel has a lot of similarities with Natural Aqua Gel Cure. It also works as a peeling gel and the texture is also jelly-like. The only difference would be the price for this product is cheaper.

     

    If you prefer some fragrance in your Japanese cosmetics, there are also a variety of scents to choose from like mixed berries, mixed fruits, and fragrant-free. It costs around 1,200 yen online and in some drugstores.

    Detclear Bright & Peel | Japanese Cosmetics

    3. Facial Lotion

    As I have said during the morning routine, this next step might feel strange to our readers from other continents of the world, but in Asia, this is a normal part of our skincare routine. Though it is called a lotion, it is not similar to the one we apply to our body; it has a very lightweight and watery consistency.

     

    Japanese women use this product to restore the moisture after washing it with a facial wash. It can be directly applied on your face and neck with clean hands if you are feeling a little bit lazy or if you are feeling quite fancy you can also apply it with either a cotton ball or cotton pad.

     

    A lot of people also use these Japanese cosmetics as a D.I.Y face mask. It can be done by soaking cotton pads with face lotion and placing it all over the face. If you do not feel like doing it yourself, you can also buy dry sheet masks from drugstores and soak it with the product as well. Below are some popular and highly recommended products for you:

    Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Premium Lotion

    Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Premium Lotion has 5 kinds of hyaluronic acid, a clear gooey substance that retains water in your skin to keep it moist and hydrated. For those reasons, this product is highly recommended for people with extremely dry skin. Once applied to the skin, the product blends well and absorbs fast.

     

    It helps achieve the "glass skin", a look that is very popular with Asian women. It also helps in reducing fine lines and wrinkles with regular use. It is an all in one product indeed! It costs around 1, 500 yen in your local drugstores.

    hada labo gokujyun hyaluronic acid premium lotion | Japanese Cosmetics
    curel moisture lotion iii enrich | Japanese Cosmetics

    Curel Moisture Lotion III Enrich

    Curel Moisture Lotion III Enrich is very much recommended for men and women with sensitive skin. This product came from a leading Japanese cosmetics skincare brand that has produced a successful line aimed to help people with sensitive skin. It has ingredients such as ceramide and eucalyptus that aid in hydrating and soothing the skin.

     

    This lotion feels light on the skin and very easy to spread. To top it off, this product is also alcohol-free as well and it penetrates the skin very well without a sticky residue. It costs around 1,300 yen in your local drugstores.

    Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion | a Type

    Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion has low molecular weight elastin that gives that extra firmness and moisture to the skin with the help of 3 hyaluronic acids.

     

    In 2014, a group of women around the age of 45 and above experienced significant improvement in skin hydration, fine lines, and wrinkle depth reduction after 2 weeks of topical application of hyaluronic acids. However, this product may not be suitable for people with highly sensitive skin for it contains retinol, a substance that may cause irritation and skin peeling. It costs around 1, 500 yen in your local drugstores.

    Hada Labo Gokujyun a Type | Japanese Cosmetics

    4. Face Mask or Face Pack

    Face masks are the best Japanese cosmetics for your skincare treatment. It not only beautifies our skin but also helps with our skincare concerns. Using the appropriate product can help moisturize the skin, take away excess oils, and help minimize your pores.

     

    They are also an amazing tool to help remove impurities. We can use a d.i.y face mask using face lotion or buy from supermarkets or department stores. In Japan, there is a wide variety to choose from. So depending on your skin's concern, please use a product that has a good formula for your skin.

     

    It is also recommended to use it once or twice a week depending on the season and your personal skincare needs. In Japanese, face masks are called (フェイスマスク) or packs (パック).

    Utena Premium Puresa Face Mask Series

    Utena Premium Puresa Face Mask Series

    Utena Premium Puresa Face Mask Series is a widely known Japanese cosmetics brand all over Japan. It has 3 varieties to choose from: hyaluronic acid (to keep tissues hydrated and moist), collagen (improves skin's health by reducing wrinkles and dryness), and royal jelly (gives a lot of nutrients and antioxidants to the skin). The mask itself is made from cotton but it contains thick gold jelly. The recommended time of application is to leave it on the face for about 20 minutes or more. It costs about 800 yen in drugstores and supermarkets.

    Kose Clear Turn White Face Mask Series

    Kose Clear Turn White Face Mask Series is another popular brand in Japan. According to the company and as written on the box, it says it has been the number one best-selling face mask in Japan for 9 years. One box contains 30 face masks so it is very good for people who often use it weekly.

     

    They have a lot of varieties to choose from depending on your skincare needs. The price is also very affordable considering they are very popular Japanese cosmetics. It is only around 900 yen for a pack of 30. You can easily find it in supermarkets and drugstores nationwide.

    Kose Clear Turn White Face Mask Series | Japanese Cosmetics

    5. Serum

    If you are trying to level up your skincare routine and are looking for a product that works better than your normal cleanser or moisturizer, then we highly recommend adding face serums to your Japanese cosmetics collection! It contains ingredients in order to protect and hydrate your skin. It is often applied after cleansing and before you apply your moisturizer.

    Obagi C20 Serum

    Obagi C20 Serum is a good choice if you want the best all around serum. The product contains Vitamins E and C which are considered very effective in clearing acne and healing acne scars. It also tightens the pores, fades hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. It costs around 7,000 yen in some drugstores and supermarkets.

    Obagi C20 Serum | Japanese Cosmetics

    6. Eye Cream

    The skin around our eyes is very sensitive thus making it more prone to dryness. As a result, it can easily show age and fatigue. Moving the eyes constantly, as well as squinting can cause the fast appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Applying Japanese cosmetics such as eye creams can help address some of these concerns.

    Nameraka Honpo Wrinkle Eye Cream | Japanese Cosmetics

    Nameraka Honpo Wrinkle Eye Cream

    Nameraka Honpo Wrinkle Eye Cream is a good product to try if you are looking for an affordable and easy-to-find eye cream in Japan. This Japanese cosmetics is highly recommended for people who are new to the skincare routine game and don't want to spend too much yen. The product consists of ingredients like soy milk isoflavone and retinol derivatives which help reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. It costs around 1,000 yen in some drugstores and supermarkets.

    7. Cream or Sleeping Pack

    At last! We now conclude our Japanese evening skincare routine with the sealing effect of thick creams or sleeping packs. The time we are sleeping is when our skin really does the heavy lifting. It can keep our skin healthy, hydrated, and younger-looking overnight. It is the time when our skin restores and repairs so this step is really important. Creams in Japanese is often called フェイスクリーム or sometimes just クリーム.

    Gokujun Koigokujun Perfect Gel

    Gokujun Koigokujun Perfect Gel is an all in one cream that is perfect for those busy women who does not have the extra time to deal with a lot of skincare products or those who are on a budget and is not willing to splurge on individual Japanese cosmetics items. This gel can be a moisturizer, essence, lotion, cream, and face pack making it a must-have for lazy mornings and tiring evenings. It costs around 1,700 yen in some drugstores and supermarkets.

    Gokujun Koigokujun Perfect Gel | Japanese Cosmetics

    Concluding Remarks | Japanese Cosmetics

    Japanese Cosmetics are always evolving as people's needs or skin types are forever changing. There are a lot of steps and products that go into maintaining and caring for your skin. Hopefully, this guide helped you find your holy grail Japanese Cosmetic product and achieve your skincare goals! 

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