Best Japanese Beauty Products: 20 Must Haves
There are so many incredible Japanese beauty products that have a cult following within the country, but are less-known (or just hard to come across!) outside of Japan. These are 20 of the best Japanese beauty products available. The products are chosen based on my own experiences from living in Japan, along with their ratings and reviews on Amazon.
These Japanese beauty products make the ideal addition to a self-care routine, whether for yourself or someone else. Many are considered holy-grail products and all of them have incredible reviews; one with over 2,000 five-star ratings.
Please note: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
Best Japanese Beauty Products
1. Japanese Facial Cleansing Foam
Senka Perfect Whip
I literally used to watch tourists fill suitcases with bulk purchases of this iconic product outside drugstores in Tokyo! Perfect Whip is a facial cleansing foam that is loved around the world. Ideally used with a foaming net, it barely has a fragrance and works well with sensitive skin.
2. Japanese Facial Cleansing Foam
Hada Labo Gokujun Hyaluronic Foam Face Wash
This foaming face wash is an alternative to above. It cleanses and moisturizes, without drying out skin. Can be used daily as part of morning and night routines and works well with dry and sensitive skin. Has a foam pump with lock (for travel) and a little product goes a long way!
3. Japanese Cleansing Oil
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
Cleansing oil is incredibly popular in Japan and this is perhaps the top-rated brand, look at these ratings. I’ve read that one bottle of this is sold every 10 seconds worldwide! Containing olive oil, rosemary leaf oil and vitamin E, it removes oil, sunscreen and stubborn makeup like waterproof mascara.
4. Japanese Cleansing Oil
Kose Softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil
This cleansing oil is an alternative to above and has a cult following all of its own. The oil is light and cleanses gently, working well with acne-prone and sensitive skin. As per the name, it removes makeup quickly and with ease. You can even buy soft refill packs online.
5. Japanese Cleansing Oil
Kose Softymo Deep Treatment Oil
This cleansing oil is also from the Kose Softymo range, but provides deep cleansing. The product is thicker than the Speedy Cleansing Oil, and has a slight citrus fragrance. Also removes makeup like a dream and has refill packs too!
6. Japanese Exfoliating Gel
Cure Natural Aqua Gel
Now this is a product with a staggering number of reviews. I’ve read that one bottle of this is sold every 4.5 seconds, making the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil suddenly look a little less impressive! Applied to skin after cleansing, this gentle exfoliator can be used 2-3 times a week. Can also be used on face and body too.
7. Japanese Lotion
Labo Labo Super Pores Lotion
Labo Labo is a well-loved brand in Japan and this toner lotion is designed to reduce the appearance of pores. Apply with facial cotton pads (see our recommendation below) to leave skin feeling refreshed.
8. Japanese Lotion
Kiku Masamune Sake Skin Care Lotion High Moist
This hydrating toner is an alternative to the toner above and is designed to do just that – hydrate, soothe, smooth and brighten skin. It is fast absorbing, works well with sensitive skin and has a slight sake fragrance that disappears upon drying.
9. Japanese Lotion
Hadalabo Gokujyun Premium Hyaluronic Lotion
This clear solution provides instant hydration to your skin. After washing your face, pour a small amount into your palm and pat onto face until fully absorbed. It works as a standalone moisturizer or as a foundation for other moisturizing products.
10. Japanese Horse Oil
Sonbahyu Pure Horse Oil
This is another of those products I used to watch tourists buy in bulk in Tokyo. If you’ve never heard of it before, horse oil is incredibly popular in beauty products in Japan, Taiwan and China. It moisturizes and is used to improve wrinkles, acne, sunburn and eczema. A little bit of this product goes a long way and it barely has a fragrance (a common concern!)
11. Japanese Charcoal Soap
Max Kishu Binchotan Charcoal Soap
Binchotan (Japanese charcoal) is loved for its ability to draw out impurities and is commonly used in bath and beauty products. This particular soap tends to have a bit of a cult following, just check out the glowing reviews. Possibly the bestselling Japanese soap on Amazon.
12. Japanese Exfoliating Towel
Salux Beauty Skin Cloth
I’ve written before about the magic of these Japanese exfoliating towels, which are made of a lightweight mesh that creates a rich foamy lather. They are for use on the body (not your face) and leave skin feeling unbelievably smooth.
13. Japanese Shampoo & Conditioner
Ichikami Smooth and Sleek Shampoo & Conditioner
This Japanese shampoo and conditioner set by Ichikami is one of the highest-rated online. These products are sulfate free and leave hair moisturized, soft, shiny and smooth. They have a gentle floral fragrance and work well with a wide range of hair types.
14. Japanese Bath Salts
Tabi No Yado Hot Springs Milky Bath Salts
Japanese bath salts can completely transform your regular bath, to recreate an onsen (Japanese hot spring) experience. This mixed pack from Tabi No Yado contains 13 sachets from 4 onsens which turn your bath water a milky color.
15. Japanese Face Mask
Keana Nadeshiko Rice Mask
Japanese sheet masks have gained popularity around the world in recent years and this Keana Nadeshiko Rice Mask is one of the most popular on Amazon. It is rice derived, has a super moisturizing effect and aims to reduce the appearance of pores. Only needs to be left on for 5 minutes and can be used daily. Also love that these aren’t individually wrapped, which saves on packaging.
16. Japanese Makeup Primer
DHC Velvet Skin Coat
This is straying a little into makeup territory (we usually focus on skincare), but it has so many glowing reviews (literally) it needs a mention! Can be used as a primer beneath makeup, or simply worn on its own for a natural look. Great for sensitive or acne prone skin too.
17. Japanese Sunscreen
Nivea Sun Super Water Gel
Hands down, this is the best sunscreen in the world. I’ve written before about just how much I love this lightweight formula. It is non-greasy and you can barely feel it on your face. Perfect for oily, combination, acne-prone and/or sensitive skin. Can’t recommend this enough.
18. Japanese Toothpaste
Apagard Premio Toothpaste
In Japan it’s common to brush your teeth after every single meal, even in the middle of the day. Dental care is serious business and this toothpaste proves it. While most toothpastes are based on fluoride, the gold standard in Japan is nano toothpaste. It combats tooth decay by remineralizing teeth, filling surface fissures and has a whitening effect.
19. Japanese Facial Cotton Pads
Muji Makeup Facial Cotton Pads
Honestly, I pretty much love everything by Muji. These facial cotton pads are made of pure unbleached cotton and are softer and spongier than their American counterparts, making them gentler on the skin. They are layered, so can be used as thicker pieces or peeled away for thinner pieces. And of course, they have a staggering number of reviews too.
20. Japanese Blotting Papers
Tatcha Original Aburatorigami Japanese Blotting Papers
And finally, a product I never knew I needed until I lived in Japanese humidity! These blotting papers (known as aburatorigami) are super thin sheets of paper that absorb excess oil without affecting your makeup underneath. Just a few dabs and you’re done. These papers are all natural and have beautiful flecks of gold through them.