When it comes to Japanese Beauty, what we love about it is that you can find amazing skincare products at really affordable prices. Japanese beauty goes beyond the well known brands, SKII and Tatcha, and includes brands that may be hard to pronounce (but don't be discourage to try it, you never know what it can do for your skin). So let's talk about effective and affordable Japanese skincare products with a cult following.
To most people living in Japan, the drugstore is perhaps a necessary pit stop on the way home from work to pick up a cleanser and a snack. To me, as an American tourist back in 2017, it was a destination, a skincare and cosmetic heaven! These drugstores are probably not what you have in mind. Yes, they are similar to our CVS or Walgreens but when it comes to skincare, they are a game changer! (If you get the chance to visit Japan, clear your calendar because you will literally be there all day!)
What you will find:
Just about anything! You can find low-end to high-end skincare products made in Japan, and especially the most popular brands with a cult following. These drugstores may look and feel a bit chaotic but it’s where you will get the best price.
What does cult mean:
Cult beauty products are the ones people are constantly saying they ‘swear by’ and buy in bulk (I’m guilty of this). These are the best-selling product that earns the title “cult” not because of any kind of secret, but because of their devoted fans and skincare enthusiasts and they work.
Here are the top 12 Japanese Drugstore Beauty Products with a cult following that you must try now! Starting from the first step of the J-beauty routine:
DHC DEEP CLEANSING OIL
The double cleanse is a ritual in Japan, which starts with a cleansing oil to remove makeup first and is then followed up with a water-based cleanser. DHC Deep Cleansing oil was the first cleansing oil I’ve ever tried and it’s still one of the best, so it’s no surprise it’s one of the top selling Japanese cleansing oil with a cult following. It has been featured on just about every beauty magazine from Allure to Byrdie and all saying it’s divine! A great way to test out this product is to purchase a travel size of the DHC Deep Cleansing oil on the Yoku Glow here!
KOSE SOFTYMO CLEANSING OIL
Here is another must have cleansing oil that is not only effective but also very affordable. Kose Softymo Cleansing Oil is a gentle-yet-effective makeup remover and cleanser that leaves your skin super soft. The Daily Vanity says “Kose’s Softymo Cleansing Oil does not leave any hint of oiliness after you rinse it off, and manages to melt off waterproof makeup very well. Plus, it costs only a fraction of the price – what a steal! One of the products you should buy in Japan? Most definitely!” Ready to give this cleansing oil a try?
SENKA PERFECT WHIP
If you're not familiar with Senka Perfect Whip by Shiseido, well, it's time to get familiar! It's one of Japan’s best sellers and a cleanser with a cult following around the world. The silk cocoon essence and double hyaluronic acid in the formulation leaves the skin strengthened, hydrated and supple, just as it promises. Bustle said, “People are flipping over this Shiseido Perfect Whip Cleanser, which creates a luxurious lather that protects skin while it's being washed.” It’s still one of my favorite cleanser and it deserves a spot on your shelf too so go ahead and add it to your cart!
KANEBO SUISAI BEAUTY CLEAR POWDER
This cleanser is not only a gentle and thorough cleanser that comes in powder form but a must have for all skin care travelers. Each set comes with 32 little individual capsules that with a little bit of water, foams up to remove oil, makeup, and build-up. What makes it a cult favorite? It leaves the skin feeling soft and fresh every time. It contain an enzymatic cleansing powder to gently exfoliate, hydrate with hyaluronic acid, and brighten skin with tofu extract. Kanebo Suisai Beauty Cleaar Powder has also been featured on Bustle, Allue, Byrdie, and many more beauty blogs as a must have. Give it a try today!
CURE NATURAL AQUA GEL
Forget any preconceived notions you may have of exfoliators being too harsh on your skin, because Cure Natural Aqua Gel is nothing like that. It's been awarded "Skincare Brand of the Year" by World Branding Awards and is the number one selling exfoliator in Japan and soon to be around the world! People and beauty bloggers are raving about this product from Refinery29 to Bustle. Made from activated hydrogen water, this exfoliator gently picks up and removes dead skin cells on the surface of your skin for cleaner, clearer skin. It's also alcohol free, cruelty free, and allergen-free. This surely is a miracle product so don't sleep on Cure Aqua Gel.
LOTIONS (AKA TONERS):
NATURIE HATOMUGI SKIN CONDITIONER
Toners are a must have in any skincare routine no matter how minimal or extensive your routine is. Toners (aka lotions in Japan) are meant to hydrate and prep the skin for a moisturizer and this product does just that! It's no surprise to us that it's one of most praiseworthy “affordable” Japanese skincare product, and has been chosen as the best skincare product for the Best Cosmetics Awards by @cosme. It's also featured on Bustle's 12 best Japanese beauty products!
NATURIE HATOMUGI SKIN CONDITIONING GEL
This lightweight hydrating gel penetrates into the skin instantly to give you hydrated and soft skin. It contains the maximum amount of water possible, and formulated with Job’s Tears (Hatomugi), a natural plant ingredient with alcohol free. It's an all in one so it can be used for a multiple purpose as a toner, emulsion, moisturizer, serum and even for body. It has also won many awards in the cosmetic industry and featured on Vox. For the price and size of the product, you seriously can't go wrong and we have it here!
CUREL INTENSIVE MOISTURIZER
Curel Intensive Moisturizer by Kao is probably one of the most talked about Japanese moisturizer with a large cult following. It sounds as though it would be a heavy moisturizer but it's not, the texture is light and smooth and is great for year round usage (hear it from VOX). It's packed with ceramide and improves your skin´s natural barrier function. We have your new favorite moisturizer here!
MELANO CC VITAMIN C SPOT TREATMENT
We'll let Allure make the introduction, "The Rohto Melano CC Vitamin C Intensive Anti-Spot Essence is practically magic for fading post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (also known as ghosts of pimples past). The formula’s vitamin C and E derivatives work overtime to brighten dark spots." It surely has worked wonders on my face in fading dark spots and preventing pimples (simply apply it directly onto the pimple as you feel it coming on and watch it go away)! It's one of the top seller on our shop and a great addition to your skincare routine!
MINON AMINO MOIST MASK
Minon Amino Moist is one of the most popular brand in Japan and is known for making products for dry and sensitive skin. It has won the Best Cosmetics Awards by @cosme in 2016 and continues to rank highly on Cosme. It's formulated with 9 amino acids to restore and improve skin condition. It is suitable for all skin types especially when your face feels thirsty and helps to reduce redness or irritation. For sensitive skin gals and guys, it's not a must try it's a must have! You can purchase the mask right on our site as individual masks or as a pack of 4!
ALLIE EXTRA UV GEL
You've probably heard of ANESSA, but have you met ALLIE? Kanebo Allie Extra Perfect UV Sunscreen SPF50+ PA++++ is just as popular and effective as Anessa and is one of Japan's best sunscreen. Sunscreen is an essential step in the Japanese skincare routine, which wasn't a big step in my routine until visiting Japan. Sunscreens in the States are often thick and leaves a white cast, but Japanese sunscreens are nothing like that, they are light, easy to spread, and makes for a great makeup base while protecting your skin from sun damages. You can get it here without having to fly to Japan!
UNICHARM SILCOT URUURU SPONGE FACIAL COTTON PADS
Unlike other cotton pads these can be stretched literally. It comes in a pack of 40 double pieces (80 sheets total) and uses 50% less products. These pads absorb less fluid than regular ones, so your favorite toner end up on your face rather than getting absorbed by the cotton. The texture of the cotton pad feels like felt on touch but once you add a few drops of your fave toner, it become soft and smooth like a cloth. Silcot Uru-uru Sponge meets the international standard of “Oeko-Tex Standard 100” which means it’s safe for all skin types and even for babies! You can use them as a cotton pad or as a facial mask (check it out here). Once you tried these cotton pads, you will never go back, that's a promise!
There you have it, the 12 must have Japanese beauty skincare products to add to your skin care routine - all with a cult following! Check them out for yourself and let us know what you think of them.