It’s only natural to start worrying about your skin more with age. That’s why in this article, we’ll be introducing the top 10 high-quality, Japan-made skincare items that you should know about, focusing especially on products containing traditional Japanese ingredients like “koji” malted rice (indispensable for making sake) or green tea. We urge you to please use these products to start taking care of your skin now before it’s too late. For your convenience, we’ll also be ranking each beauty item based on their quality, price, and more.
1. “Nihonshu no Keshosui” Lotion by Kikumasamune, Highly Moisturizing (500 ml)
This skin lotion made with Japanese sake is produced by Kikumasamune Brewery, which has been making Japan’s famous alcoholic drink since 1659. Japanese sake is rich in amino acids and mineral compounds which have a great moisturizing effect. The lotion comes in a large bottle, so alongside your face, you can also use it on your neck, arms, legs, and the rest of your body.
Size: 500 ml
Item Dimensions: (W x D x H): 64 mm x 64 mm x 214 mm
2. “KG Moist Mask” by Kinpakugen, Pure Gold Foil, Made in Japan
This luxurious moisturizing mask is made with gold foil, which is gold that has been hammered flat until it’s just 0.0001 mm thick. Gold foil helps prevent the skin from drying up while making it more supple and protecting it from UV rays, among other beneficial effects. The set includes four masks, which might not seem like a lot for that price, but sometimes it feels good to treat yourself to a luxurious skincare treatment.
Item Dimensions: (W x D x H): 125 mm x 25 mm x 175 mm
3. “Kuromon-Ichijo” Face Wash Soap by Nishijin, Made in Japan
This soap has been made under the supervision of Hakusan-yu, a Kyoto public bathhouse first established over 120 years ago. The soap heightens your skin’s barrier function while keeping it smooth thanks to a combination of silk, rice bran oil, olive oil, and other ingredients. You can, of course, use it on your face, but it works wonders on the rest of the body as well. It might seem a little pricey, but considering that you’re paying for silk, it’s a real bargain.
Size: 90 g
Item Dimensions: (L x W x H): 90 mm x 59 mm x 34 mm
Brand: Nishijin Soap
4. Moisturizing Green Tea Balm by Gion Tsujiri
This balm has been made in cooperation with Gion Tsujiri (est. 1860), a grower and seller of Uji tea from the city of Uji, Kyoto. The product uses only the finest, carefully-selected green tea leaves grown in the south of Kyoto Prefecture. Simply apply the balm to places that feel dry and let it work its magic. Because the active ingredient here is Japan’s famous green tea, the balm would also make a great present or souvenir.
Size: 40 g
Item Dimensions: (H x W x D): 48 mm x 48 mm x 32 mm
Brand: Gion Tsujiri
5. “Hatomugi” Easy-to-Wash-Off Mud Pack by Wahadabisen
This mud pack has been made with pearl barley (“hatomugi” in Japanese), which has been grown in Japan since ancient times and has a moisturizing effect that leaves your skin supple. The mud pack is also a great pore cleanser, and the best thing about it is that it’s very easy to use because you can apply it in the bath and then easily wash it off!
Item Dimensions (H x W x D): 152 mm x 80 mm x 38 mm
6. “Wa-Hakka Sui” Moisturizing Skin Lotion by Cosmetex Roland (250 ml)
This water mist lotion has been made with medicated Japanese mint, which helps prevent acne, skin roughness, and more. Simply spray it on whatever part of the skin that has been giving you trouble. It’s as simple as that. You can use it anywhere on your body because although the product does have that minty fragrance, it’s very light and pleasant.
Size: 250 ml
Item Dimensions (W x D X H): 59 mm x 59 mm x 184 mm
Brand: Cosmetex Roland
7. “Kome-yu” Rice Oil by Kuramoto Bijin
This oil is made exclusively from rice used by the Tonoike Sake Brewery in Tochigi Prefecture. Rice oil is full of vitamins and has recently been gaining attention for its beautifying effect on the skin. Simply wash your face, put some lotion on your hand, and mix it with a few drops of the oil. Then, apply it to your face or the back of the neck. The oil can also be used on elbows and heels.
Size: 60 ml
Item Dimensions (W x D x H): 48 mm x 48 mm x 175 mm
Brand: Tonoike Shuzoten
8. “Kinmokusei” Fragrant Olive Hand & Body Cream by Maiko Cosmetics
This hand and body cream is made from “kinmokusei,” or “fragrant olive” extract, a natural moisturizer that helps keep the skin looking smooth, young, and refreshed. Additionally, true to its name, the fragrant olive extract has a pleasant and relaxing smell that anyone can enjoy.
Size: 70 g
Item Dimensions (W x D x H): 65 mm x 65 mm x 50 mm
Brand: Kyoto Maiko Cosmetics
9. “Sake Kasu Awa-Sekken” Sake Lees Foam Soap 23.7 fl oz (700 ml)
This bubble soap is made with sake lees from Akita Prefecture. Sake lees are the sediment produced during the brewing of Japanese sake. They have a great moisturizing effect and really penetrate the skin to protect it from the inside. Since this is a foamy soap, it’s very delicate on the skin, which is why it has received such good reviews.
Size: 700 ml
Item Dimensions (H x W x D): 245 mm x 14 mm x 75 mm
Brand: Motegi Kazuya Cosme
10. Hand Cream Sharing From Japanese Candle Craftsmen | Cosmetics
This hand cream is made by Nakamura Candle, a long-standing Japanese candle company in Kyoto. They developed this product using wax from local Japanese wax trees in an effort to use locally produced materials. Stretchy but not sticky, it feels amazing on the skin, and because it doesn’t have a strong fragrance, anyone can enjoy it. That’s what makes it great for a present. The cream is very popular among Kyoto’s maiko.
Item Dimensions: N/A
Material: Japanese wax
Brand: Nakamura Candle
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*These products may not be able to be shipped to certain countries. Please see the retailer’s website for more information.
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.