It’s no secret that Asian beauty products, J-beauty in particular, have taken the world by storm recently. The amazing ‘glass skin’ that has people enraptured around the world is a combination of many things, skincare and make up products included.
The land of matcha, sushi, and the Rising Sun is also known for its incredible beauty product offerings, and today we’re shining light on some of the best ones out there.
Whilst many products and brands already have cult followings (ahem, SK-II, anyone?), others don’t hold such a grand global stature and yet offer just as much magic.
Japanese beauty products are known for their guarantee of impressive results whilst using minimal ingredients. Japanese skincare products work on a more ‘preventative’ angle, whilst Japanese make-up serves to produce the freshest and most radiant looks.
J-beauty, as it is affectionately referred to by beauty enthusiasts around the world, is now globally available online.
From moisturizers to sunscreen, cleansing oils to lipstick, we’ve rounded up the 10 best Japanese beauty brands and products that you can try right now.
1. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
SK-II is a fan-favourite not only in Japan but around the world. It’s been in the skincare game for decades and has been revolutionizing skincare products for just as long.
The SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is one of the bestselling items around the world. It works as an exfoliating liquid that also hydrates. and its results show clearly just how powerful and reliable the product really is.
The essence itself is as light as water, and its key ingredient is Pitera, a proprietary yeast extract that is known for its incredible skin-smoothing effects.
Use this by applying a few drops onto your hands and gently pressing onto your face and neck. It is especially effective on mature skin.
- Smooths skin
- Brightens and evens skin tone
- Large bottle lasts a long time
2. Kiss Me Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara
Kiss Me Heroine’s product line absolutely dominates drugstore sales. Their adorable packaging, fair pricing and reliability make it a staple amongst the younger ladies in Japan and around the world.
The Long & Curl Mascara is one of the most popular mascara products due to the incredible curling ability of the wand as well as the instant lash lift it gives.
The formula comes out ultra-black, and doesn’t smear or smudge. The tiny tube slots perfect into bags for re-application during the day, although the staying power of this mascara means you’ll hardly need to do it.
Read More: Best Japanese Make Up Brands & Products
To cleanse it, you will require proper make up remover (if you’re interested, we have an article about Japanese oil cleansers that are designed specifically for stubborn make up such as this!
- Ultra-black colour
- Curls and lifts lashes
- Small packaging
3. Biore UV Aqua Rich SPF 50+ Sunscreen
This long-time fan-favourite Japanese sunscreen is unlike most sunscreens in the western market – and that’s one of its best features.
You see, instead of a thicker, white liquid, this sunscreen comes out in a lightweight, gel-like consistency that looks shimmery yet applies clear. It truly feels like you’re using a cooling aloe vera gel (or something similar) on your skin; but don’t let that light weight sensation fool you, this sunscreen offers SPF 50+ protection.
Read More: The 10 Best Japanese Sunscreens
It contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin and boasts super high water content. It’s ideal for combination skin types who gravitate towards weightless, satin-like finishes on the skin.
- Boasts SPF 50+ protection
- Lightweight gel-like consistency
- Rubs on clear
- Contains hyaluronic acid
4. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
Considered as almost a ritual part of the Japanese skincare routine, it is not a complete list of Japanese beauty products if cult-favourite DHC Deep Cleansing Oil isn’t on it.
If you’ve been into J-beauty for a while now, chances are, you’re probably tired of hearing about this cleansing oil. But that’s just it – it’s such a powerful, results-driven product that people can’t help but use it, fall in love with it, and recommend it.
It’s a gentle and lightweight cleansing oil that effectively targets the excess oil and impurities on the skin. It is used by many to remove even the stubbornest of waterproof makeup, and yet it simply does not leave the skin feeling dry of stripped of its natural oils.
Read More: Best Japanese Cleansing Oils
It contains olive oil, rosemary leaf oil, and vitamin E.
- Effectively removes makeup and impurities
- Lightweight formula
- Cleanses pores
- Nourishes the skin
5. Lululun Balance Moisture Masks
Lululun is arguably the top-selling face mask brand in Japan. The Balance Moisture masks in particular are super popular due to their baby pink packaging and affordability.
However, it’s not just its exterior and cheap price that’s impressive. These face masks come out thick and super soaked in serum. Many people use it on the regular after cleansing and before moisturizing.
Read More: Best Japanese Face Masks
Ingredients that are used include honey, aloe, and passionfruit, which help soothe and nourish skin.
- Soothes and nourishes skin
- Gorgeous packaging
- Contains honey, aloe, and passionfruit
6. Kanebo Suisai Beauty Clear Powder
These tiny pods of Suisai beauty cleansing powder by Kanebo are as fun as they are effective.
They look as though they’re made for children, but inside of these pods are condensed enzyme cleansing powders that powerfully yet gently exfoliate, hydrate, and brighten your skin. They help remove old keratin, cleanse pores and blackheads, and generally smoothen out the skin.
Ingredients used in these clear powder products include hyaluronic acid, tofu extract and royal jelly. The pods are quite tiny and thus are super travel-friendly – just pop enough for every night you’re away!
- Contains hyaluronic acid, tofu extract, and royal jelly
- Exfoliates, hydrates, and brightens the skin
- Travel-friendly pods
Read More: Best Japanese Exfoliators
7. Rouge Rouge Lipstick by Shiseido
Rouge Rouge should really need no introduction. This slick lipstick by Shiseido is a million in one.
It employs the “Vibrant Red Color Technology” to create shades of red that are so luscious and vibrant, it will flatter all skin tones, all face shapes, all styles.
Not only are the colours showstoppers, but the quality of this lipstick is second to none. It glides on smoothly, feels creamy, is long-lasting and feather-free. It’s infused with S Hyaluronic Acid Complex.
If you’re looking for a signature red look, this is the perfect make up product for you.
- Smooth and creamy consistency
- Contains Hyaluronic Acid Complex
- Boasts Vibrant Red Color Technology for a vibrant red shade
8. CANMAKE Cream Cheek
The particular Japanese makeup style where the under eye area is lined with a pink/blush undertone for a youthful look is typically created using the CANMAKE Cream Cheek.
This is a popular drugstore makeup brand that’s known for its creamy texture, long-lasting effects, and affordability.
It is applied onto your cheeks and whilst initially feels like a cream, will eventually dry as a lightweight powder.
It contains squalene and amino acid which means it will keep the skin hydrated and fresh.
- Contains squalene and amino acid
- Creamy texture
- Lightweight finish
9. Vitamin C Intensive Anti-Spot Essence by Rhoto Melano CC
For those who are particularly concerned about post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (otherwise known as pimple scars), this is a powerful Vitamin C treatment which targets these dark spots.
This formulated Vitamin C contains vitamin C and E derivatives, which work together to lighten and brighten dark spots.
It comes in a small applicator tube with a thin tip and it comes out as a clear serum-like product, making it super easy to apply.
- Contains vitamin C and E
- Targets and brightens dark spots
10. Hada Labo Skin Plumping Gel Cream
The Hada Labo Skin Plumping Gel Cream has been clinically shown to hydrate the skin within 24 hours of the first application – a crazy feat!
This serum-like cream contains high levels of hyaluronic acids, collagen, and ceramide to hydrate, bolster long-lasting moisture levels, and target fine lines and wrinkles. Once applied, it provides a full 24-hours of hydration, keeping the skin looking and feeling soft, supple and nourished.
It doubles as an intense moisturizer as well as an anti-ageing serum. The collagen helps to improve and maintain skin texture, structure, and appearance.
Read More: Best Japanese Collagen Supplements
It’s much-loved for being lightweight, non-greasy, and quick absorbency.
- Lightweight and non-greasy
- Non comedogenic
- Free of fragrance, paraben, and mineral-oil
- Intense levels of moisturizing
We hope you liked our selection of the best Japanese beauty brands and products! To achieve the flawless ‘glass skin’ and youthful make up looks that you commonly admire in many Japanese people, there are many factors to take into account.
However, a great first step would be to dabble into J-beauty!
Most Japanese beauty products are formulated with botanical extracts and are infused with high concentration levels of vitamins to achieve the healthiest, brightest and most nourished looks possible.
We hope our list of amazing J-beauty products have appealed to you in some manner! There are, of course, many other amazing products out there to explore.
If you have one you’d love to recommend to our readers, feel free to pop them into the comment section below!
Feel free to also check out our new TOP 10 Japanese organic and cruelty-free beauty products!
Curious about what Japanese men are looking for in a woman? Read our list of the 10 most popular Japanese female beauty standards.