Fancl Cleansers: Japanese Cleanser Guide


Fancl (ファンケル) is a Japanese brand that was founded in 1982 and is an innovator in preservative-free skincare. Their philosophy is grounded in eliminating harsh and unnecessary ingredients to help achieve stronger and healthier skin. Fancl cleansers are free from harmful ingredients which can irritate and are developed especially for those with sensitive skin, including skin concerns such as dermatitis. Many of their products are award-winners and are free of fragrances, artificial colors, preservatives, petroleum-based surfactants and UV-absorbing ingredients.

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While Fancl cleansers might seem compact in size, there is a very good reason for their packaging. As they are preservative free, these small products are all designed with enough product for 30 days of skincare, so that products remain fresh. While each product has a different expiry, they should ideally be used within a few months of opening. The packaging is also designed for easy dispensing that keeps out bacteria. If you’re lucky enough to be in Japan, you can check out the range at their flagship store Fancl Ginza Square in Tokyo.

Fancl Cleansers Comparison

The following ratings (out of 5) are based upon the average product ratings across a range of Japanese (and global) beauty and shopping sites.

Fancl Mild Cleansing OilFancl Mild Cleansing GelFancl Facial Washing PowderFancl Deep Clear Washing Powder
Mild Cleansing OilMild Cleansing GelFacial Washing
Deep Clear
Washing Powder
Cleansing oilCleansing gelCleansing powderCleansing powder
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Fancl Cleansers Range

Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil

1. Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil

Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil is the brands most infamous and beloved product. It has topped numerous beauty lists, including best Japanese cleanser in the Cosme awards in 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019. Just take a look at the reviews, people love this stuff! A preservative-free cleansing oil, it removes makeup and leaves skin feeling soft and moisturized. Despite being gentle it’s also very effective, removing waterproof mascara and eyeliner with very little friction. Suitable for sensitive skin and can also be used on the body, such as the chest and back.

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How do you use Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil?

  1. Start with clean, dry hands and a dry face. This cleansing oil is one of the rare products that will still work when used on a damp face, however it will take longer to cleanse the skin and remove all impurities.
  2. Place two pumps of the product into your hand and gently rub your hands together to disperse the oil. It’s important to use the right amount of product, as using too little product will result in more friction which can cause skin damage.
  3. Gently massage the oil into your face using circular motions without rubbing. Spend a little extra time on any areas with heavy makeup, such as around the eyes and mouth. This step will dissolve any sebum, makeup or sunscreen on your skin. Though it is gentle, try to avoid getting the oil in your eyes.
  4. Take a little water in your hands and massage gently over your face. The water will create an emulsion with the oil and turn the product a milky color.
  5. Rinse the product off with lukewarm water (ideally around body temperature). Pat your face dry with a clean towel.
  6. Follow with the next step in your skincare routine. This cleansing oil should be followed with a second cleanser like this one.
Fancl Mild Cleansing Gel

2. Fancl Mild Cleansing Gel

While this product isn’t purchased so often abroad and isn’t featured on their English site, Fancl Mild Cleansing Gel gets decent reviews in Japan. It comes in a thick gel texture which gently removes light makeup and still leaves the skin feeling moisturized. It’s due to be released in a new and improved formulation in the near future.

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Fancl Facial Washing Powder

3. Fancl Facial Washing Powder

The Fancl Facial Washing Powder is one of the brands top-selling products. This face wash comes in a powder format that you add water to and work up into a dense foam. It is gentle formulation that helps remove impurities without irritating the skin and is suitable for the second step in a double cleansing routine. Contains agar and rice starch to help lift dirt from pores and cleanse the skin. Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

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How do you use Fancl Face Powder?

  1. Starting with clean hands, place a teaspoon sized amount of powder into the palm of your hand, making a little well.
  2. Add a few drops of water to the powder and work the mixture up into a foam. You can do this by lathering it in a circular motion with your fingers or by using a foaming net. Using your hands will result in a light bubbly foam, while a foaming net will result in a richer, denser lather.
  3. Gently apply the foam to your damp face and massage using circular motions to cleanse.
  4. Rinse the product off with lukewarm water (ideally around body temperature). Pat your face dry with a clean towel.
  5. Follow with the next step in your skincare routine, ideally a lotion (aka toner) like this.
Fancl Deep Clear Washing Powder

4. Fancl Deep Clear Washing Powder

And finally, this infamous product! It was most recently awarded best Japanese face wash by Cosme in 2019. Also a face wash in powder form, these come in a capsule style packaging. Each capsule contains enough powder for a single foaming face wash, suitable for the second step in a double cleansing routine. They contain charcoal and clay, and are designed to remove dirt, cleanse pores and help maintain moisture. While these capsules involve more packaging and can work out a little more expensive, they are perfect for travelling and are easy to pack. They have some pretty staggering ratings and many people report a reduction in the appearance of pores. Instructions are similar to those above.

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