27 Best Japanese Skincare Brands You Must Try

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Are you looking to revamp your skincare routine with the best skincare brands? If so, you’re in for a treat! Dive into the world of Japanese skincare brands, where innovation and tradition meet to create top-notch beauty products. Whether you’re a skincare enthusiast or someone looking to enhance their beauty by using different beauty tips, you’re bound to find gems among the vast array of products.

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Table Of Contents

Why Is Japanese Skin So Good?

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The secret to Japanese flawless skin lies in the holistic approach to skincare that focuses on purity, balance, and harmony. The 'double cleansing' method epitomizes this philosophy, gently purifying the skin first with an oil-based cleanser and then with a water-based one, ensuring thorough purification without stripping essential moisture.

In Japan, hydration is paramount, and there is a strong emphasis on using lightweight essences infused with natural ingredients like green tea and seaweed. These ingredients are rich in antioxidants and nutrients, nourishing the skin and promoting clarity and luminosity.

Japanese skincare rituals also prioritize sun protection as crucial in maintaining youthful skin. By applying high-quality sunscreen daily, the Japanese shield their skin from the harmful effects of UV rays, preserving its radiance and preventing premature aging.

Hydration plays a crucial role in Japanese skincare routines. An array of lightweight, hydrating products like toners and serums helps maintain skin plumpness and resilience, effectively addressing the early signs of aging. The Japanese approach to skincare is all about proactive, preventative measures rather than corrective treatments, helping to sustain the natural beauty and clarity of their skin.

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Is Korean Or Japanese Skincare Better?

woman looking beautiful - Japanese Skincare Brands

Regarding skincare, Japanese and Korean brands have made quite a mark on the global landscape. However, each has its own unique approach and philosophy, catering to diverse needs and preferences. 

Embracing Tradition and Heritage 

Japanese skincare is deeply rooted in tradition and heritage, strongly emphasizing natural ingredients, reliability, and longevity. Brands like Rohto Mentholatum and Kao have established themselves as industry stalwarts, offering products that prioritize simplicity and gentle care. This focus on tradition results in a consistent approach to skincare offerings and formulations, with brands evolving slowly, ensuring reliability and stability.

Innovation and Trendsetting

On the other hand, Korean skincare is all about innovation and trendsetting. K-beauty brands are known for their constant product launches and formulations that align with rapidly changing trends. This approach to skincare is more dynamic, with new products hitting the market frequently. The packaging of Korean skincare products also tends to be more colorful and modern, catering to a youthful audience and embracing a vibrant, forward-thinking image.

Tailoring Skincare to Individual Needs

Your skin type is vital in determining whether Japanese or Korean skincare is better suited for you. Those with sensitive or dry skin might find Japanese skincare more beneficial due to its minimalist approach, emphasizing hydration. On the other hand, individuals with oily skin may benefit more from the exfoliation, oil control, and targeted treatment emphasized in Korean skincare routines. 

Choosing the Best Routine for You

Ultimately, the best skincare routine aligns with your skin type and concerns, as well as your lifestyle and preferences. Whether you opt for Japanese or Korean skincare, it's crucial to find a routine that you can stick to consistently for long-term benefits.

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27 Best Japanese Skincare Brands You Must Try

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1. Aqua Label

Aqualabel is a sub-brand of Japanese cosmetics manufacturing giant Shiseido. It offers a range of products perfect for busy consumers who want to give their skin the attention it deserves without a time-consuming routine. Aqua Label’s star product, the all-in-one Special Gel Cream, is known for its watery and light texture, making it easy to hydrate your skin quickly for clearer, more resilient skin.

2. Tatcha

Tatcha, founded in 2009 by Vicky Tsai in Kyoto, Japan, combines science with traditional Japanese ingredients to create restorative products. The brand’s Dewey Skin Cream, Indigo Overnight Repair, and The Essence offer hydration, protection, and skin resurfacing with the help of fermented Japanese superfoods.

3. Astalift

Recognizable by its elegant red packaging, Astalift products are backed by superior nanotechnology and contain astaxanthin for deep skin penetration. Popular products include anti-aging face creams and collagen drinks.

4. Obagi Japan

Affiliated with Rohto Pharmaceutical, Obagi Japan focuses on harnessing the skin’s natural power for healthy, beautiful, bare skin. Their best-selling Rohto Obagi C25 Vitamin C Serum moisturizes, brightens the skin, and diminishes visible wrinkles.

5. Attenir

Attenir’s anti-aging skincare solutions are tailored for women in their 30s to 50s and are surprisingly affordable. The brand's focus on Cleansing Oils and the innovative Dresslift Series sets it apart from other Japanese skincare brands.

6. Koh Gen Do

Koh Gen Do combines active botanicals and Japanese skincare technology to support the skin's natural regenerative ability. The Oriental Plants series uses fermented food ingredients to absorb nutrients, and their Spa Soft Gommage Gel is an effective exfoliant for healthy, smooth skin.

7. Kracie Hadabisei

Kracie Hadabisei’s skincare products address various adult concerns, such as wrinkles and acne prevention. Their Intensive Wrinkle Care under-eye patches and Acne Care Lotion offer anti-aging benefits and hydration.

8. Shiseido Elixir 

Shiseido Elixir specializes in anti-aging skincare, aiming to maintain firmness and radiance. Their products focus on “tsuyadama,” the inner glow that reveals youthful, moisturized skin.

9. Biore

Biore, owned by Kao Corporation, focuses on pores with formulas developed according to Japanese beauty philosophy. The UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel Sunscreen is a popular product for effective sun protection.

10. SK-II

SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence and GenOptics Aura Essence Serum are best-sellers, combining fermented foods for supple, moisturized, and youthful skin.

11. Curel

Curel’s skincare products focus on ceramide care and support the skin’s natural barrier for those with dryness and sensitivity rather than covering the skin with moisturizing ingredients.

12. DHC

DHC’s products are rooted in wabi-sabi, embracing beauty in imperfection. Their Deep Cleansing Oil, with organic olive oil, is a standout product renowned for hydration and antioxidant benefits.

13. DAMDAM

DAMDAM offers clean skincare products free from harmful synthetics. The Mochi Mochi Luminous Cream and Skin Mud Pure Vitamin C Mask provide a vegan formula for soft, plump skin and enhanced brightness.

14. Dr Ci:Labo

Dr Ci:Labo’s Aqua Collagen Gel is a best-selling product based on state-of-the-art aesthetic dermatology. Their products are powerful and updated regularly, resulting in effective skincare solutions.

15. Hada Labo

Hada Labo’s range of products caters to consumers with dry and dehydrated skin, featuring hyaluronic acid ingredients for deep hydration and plumping.

16. Sukoyaka Suhada

Sukoyaka Suhada’s range of moisturizing skincare products helps retain moisture and maintain firmness and elasticity. Their Urea Moisture Lotion is an intensive moisturizing toner for dry and rough skin.

17. Sekkisei

Sekkisei’s Lotion toner enhances translucency and improves skin texture. The brand combines well-known hydrating ingredients with Asian botanicals for moisturizers of varying richness.

18. Kanebo

Kanebo’s cosmetics reflect the latest beauty trends from Japan and overseas. Their Suisai powder-type facial washes, facial sheet masks, and Allie coral reef-safe sunscreens are popular products.

19. Shu Uemura

Shu Uemura’s high-quality cleansing oils and award-winning eyelash curler set the brand apart. The Ultime8 Sublime Cleansing Oil effectively renews skin and reduces visible pores.

20. POLA

POLA’s range of anti-aging and general skincare products is tailored to individual needs, emphasizing a holistic approach to beauty, including sleep, diet, and exercise. The POLA BA Premium Moisturizer Lotion is a popular anti-aging repair and hydration cream.

21. Mediplus

Mediplus products harness energy for enhanced skin self-healing abilities, strength, and antioxidant capacity. Their All-in-one Moisturizing Hydrating Gel and Cleansing Oil are popular for supple, moist skin.

22. Kose Infinity

Infinity’s skincare products restore skin firmness and address age-related skin problems. The Infinity Intensive Wrinkle Serum is a popular product for restoring skin firmness and reducing wrinkles.

23. Kikumasamune

Kikumasamune’s sake-based skincare products are known for moisturization, soothing, and toning. Their High Moist Sake Skin Care Lotion contains sake, ceramide, and placenta extract for highly moisturized skin.

24. FRMA

FRMA’s hypoallergenic, plant-based skincare products cater to sensitive skin, offering a healthier, radiant complexion without irritation. Their Hypoallergenic Organic Plant-Based Face Cream is an award-winning, gentle skincare cream.

25. Lululun

Lululun produces high-quality, affordable sheet masks for daily and special use. Ranges include Lululun Regular, Precious, and Over 45 for different age groups, with luxurious treatments like Lululun ONE and overnight masks.

26. Melano CC

Melano CC products use Vitamin C to brighten skin and treat dark spots. Their Intensive Anti-Spot Essence is a popular serum for treating dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and acne.

27. Matsuyama

Matsuyama focuses on simple, ingredient-focused skincare products. The M-Mark and Hadauru ranges offer daily-use facial washes, hand creams, and body lotions with natural soybean ingredients for moisturization and skin repair.

5 Famous Japanese Skincare Products For Glowing Skin

woman happy near sea side - Japanese Skincare Brands

1. Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion

A classic for a reason, it’s renowned for its hydrating properties. The Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion has become a staple in many skincare routines. Formulated with multiple types of hyaluronic acid, including fermented hyaluronic acid, it deeply moisturizes the skin without leaving any sticky residue. 

The fermentation process enhances the efficacy of hyaluronic acid, allowing it to penetrate deeper into the skin. Thus, it improves the skin barrier’s function and addresses skin irritation and inflammation, two factors that accelerate skin aging.

2. Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence Sunscreen

Sunscreen is the holy grail of skincare routines. Although one can be extremely hydrated and moisturized, these efforts won’t matter unless one is protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays. 

The Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence Sunscreen has gained popularity for its lightweight formula and reliable sun protection. A high SPF and PA rating (SPF50+ and PA++++) effectively shields the skin from harmful UV rays without feeling heavy or greasy.

3. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

SK-II is one of those brands that has a very interesting backstory. Scientists found themselves in a sake brewery searching for the best ingredients to slow skin aging. Traditionally, part of making sake involves mixing fermented rice by hand. 

They noticed that the older workers in the brewery had hands and forearms that were much less wrinkled than their faces. This led them to isolate Pitera, SK-II's proprietary natural bio-ingredient. It consists of 50 micronutrients and claims to be the key element for clear and radiant skin. Despite the higher price point, the company says that a bottle of this essence is sold every two seconds—a testament to its hydrating and brightening properties.

4. Senka Perfect Whip Cleanser

A good cleanser lays the foundation for healthy skin, and the Shiseido Senka Perfect Whip Cleanser does just that. Its luxurious lather effectively removes dirt, oil, and impurities without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. 

Formulated with natural silk essence and hyaluronic acid, it cleanses and adds hydration and serum-like benefits to the skin. This unique formulation may explain why your skin feels soft and nourished even after thorough cleansing.

5. Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence

Dark spots and hyperpigmentation are common skincare concerns, and the Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence has emerged as a solution. It is infused with potent vitamin C and targets discoloration and uneven skin tone, revealing a clearer and more luminous complexion over time. 

Its lightweight formula absorbs quickly, making it suitable for daily use. Vitamin C is a very sensitive ingredient in skincare, which is why beauty enthusiasts love all the thoughts that go into the Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence’s packaging. The completely opaque tube keeps heat and light away, and its tiny nozzle prevents the actives from oxidizing while stored in your vanity.

6 Japanese Skincare Remedies You Must Try

woman finding Japanese Skincare Brands

1. Use GlowUp AI

Glowup AI's glowup app helps you find how pretty you are and your archetype. Here’s how Glowup works: 

1) Upload your photos, 

2) Glowup AI will analyze your facial features, 

3) Learn about insights into your most attractive traits and get personalized tips to highlight your beauty. 

The Glowup app is your bespoke AI beauty guide, dedicated to helping you unlock your full aesthetic potential. Embrace the journey of self-discovery and enhancement with us. Find your pretty (ex., Bunny Pretty, Cat Pretty, Doe Pretty, Fox Pretty, etc.): Discover your archetype and lean in to highlight your beauty; discover your best traits: Learn about your most desirable and attractive features, Get Personalized Tips: Enhance your appearance with detailed advice catered to you Find your pretty in seconds with our glowup app, Glowup AI — download our free app on the App Store or Google Play.

2. Rice Water For Wrinkles

Among the treasure trove of Japanese beauty hacks, rice water emerges as a revered home remedy celebrated for its anti-aging prowess. This humble elixir is easily crafted by soaking rice in water and utilizing the resulting liquid as a toner packed with antioxidants and vitamins; rice water toner tightens pores, brightens the complexion, and diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Its gentle yet effective nature encapsulates the essence of simplicity and efficacy synonymous with Japanese skincare.

3. Anti-Aging Secret

The Japanese approach to graceful aging transcends skincare, intertwining skincare rituals with holistic lifestyle practices. Embracing a nourishing diet rich in antioxidants—found abundantly in green tea, fish, and various vegetables plays a pivotal role. Mindfulness practices like meditation and the Japanese art of forest bathing are equally significant, fostering mental tranquility essential for holistic well-being. 

Prioritizing quality sleep completes this holistic approach, ensuring the body and skin rejuvenate optimally. Perhaps most importantly, though, the Japanese perceive aging as a natural progression and uphold the belief that a serene mind and nourished spirit radiate an eternal vitality reflected in one’s external appearance. By caring for and nurturing yourself, body, mind, and soul, your skin will reflect the care you show yourself, aging gracefully and in good health.

4. Wash face with lukewarm water & additive-free cleanser

Proper cleansing with a good facial cleanser is where skincare begins. Natural soaps such as Artemisia (yomogi) or activated charcoal (sumi) are excellent choices. Wash Hands First to prevent the transfer of germs and bacteria. Ensure your hands are clean before touching your face. Apply cleanser with fingertips, using soft, circular motions to treat your skin to a gentle massage. 

Avoid hot water, which can strip away essential oils and cause dryness. Lukewarm water is ideal for preserving your skin’s natural moisture. Use a clean, soft towel to pat your skin dry gently. Avoid rubbing to prevent irritation. Wash your face twice daily for normal skin or once for dry or sensitive skin to maintain balance and cleanliness. Clean the face if it becomes sweaty because perspiration irritates it and can trigger various skin conditions, including itchiness, breakouts, and rashes.

5. Deep cleanse with azuki bean enzymes

Exfoliating once or twice a week can do wonders for the skin. Proper exfoliation removes accumulated dead surface skin cells, which make it look dull, and promotes cell regeneration. While abrasive or AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) type chemical exfoliants can be effective but harsh for delicate skin, natural enzymes in azuki beans offer a significantly gentler alternative.

 Azuki has been an indispensable Japanese skincare ingredient since the eighth-century Nara period. It contains a natural cleanser compound called saponin and vitamin B9 (Folic acid), promoting new, healthy cell growth.

6. Apply a hydrating facial mask

Facial masks are a real treat. They hydrate the skin, draw out impurities, even out tone, smooth texture, and improve the appearance of pores. Plus, they make you feel relaxed and pampered. Preparation: 

Combine five grams of the Matcha & Yomogi mask powder with four tsp of warm water to form a paste. Apply thin layers to the face and neck. Treatment Time: Leave the mask on for fifteen minutes to allow the antioxidants and tannins to work. Cleanse & Hydrate: Rinse off and apply moisturizer for a smooth, lifted appearance.

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