Try These: Holy Grail Japanese Skincare Products | CoolJapan

As the rigorous Korean 10-Step Skincare craze slows down and “skipcare” becomes the order of the day, another international beauty segment is on the rise: Japanese Beauty. The underrated neighbour of the K-Beauty phenomenon, J-Beauty has been quietly enjoying its success among insiders.

Known for its minimalist approach and having highly strict requirements in its personal care and cosmetic product regulations, it’s no surprise that Japanese skincare performs as well as it claims (no overselling labels here!). Add to that the porcelain-like skin of Japanese women and they’ve got us convinced. With Japan being one of the go-to destinations every season, we’ve come up with a guide to the holy grails of Japanese skincare that you must keep an eye out for on your next trip to the Land of the Rising Sun.

Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen

anessa sunscreen

Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Skincare Milk 60ml, SGD39.90/~USD29 (

Said to be the best sunscreen of all time, Anessa’s Perfect UV Sunscreen has secured the top spot in sunscreen ranking in Japan for a solid 17 years. Not only does it boast of a high SPF but it's also packed with skin-nourishing ingredients like marine collagen and hyaluronic acid to keep your face hydrated. It’s sweat-proof, waterproof, and non-sticky to boot making it a beloved essential in Japanese women’s daily skincare routines. It even has a mild range — perfect for sensitive skin types, which you can find out about here.

Cure Natural Aqua Gel

cure gel japan

Cure Natural Aqua Gel, SGD29.90/~PHP1,500 (

If you’re looking for a chemical exfoliant that really makes you feel as if you’ve exfoliated, Cure’s Natural Aqua Gel is the one for you. This skin peel makes use of activated hydrogen water for some mild surface peeling. You can actually see the dead skin cells coming off once you rub the product into your skin.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

dhc cleansing oil

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil 200ml, SGD32.50/~USD24 (

Many Japanese women rely on DHC’s Cleansing Oil to remove their makeup after the end of a long day. The vitamin- and antioxidant-rich formula transforms into a wonderful milky emulsion upon contact with water for a refreshing cleanse. Skin doesn’t feel stripped afterwards as the cleanser leaves it feeling nourished and radiant.

Lululun Face Masks

lululun face mask

Lululun Classic Moisturising Face Mask 36-Day Pack, SGD26/~PHP995 (

Serial maskers will enjoy Lululun’s hydrating face masks, which come in bulk form. This ultra-moisturising variant combines a blend of hyaluronic acid, acacia honey, and avocado extract to reveal supple skin. Use it daily for a noticeable glow boost.

Kanebo Suisai Beauty Clear Powder

kanebo powder cleanser

Kanebo Suisai Beauty Clear Powder, SGD26.90/~USD19 for a pack of 32 (

One of the most hyped Japanese skincare products is the Suisai Beauty Clear Powder from Kanebo. Tourists like to stock up on these travel-friendly babies that pack a powerful mix of enzymes and amino acid cleansing ingredients into their capsules. Simply mix with water and enjoy the feeling of an efficient and effective clean.

KOSE Sekkisei Emulsion

kose sekkisei

KOSE Sekkisei Emulsion 140ml, SGD65.60/~USD48 (

Another highlight of Japanese skincare is the Sekkisei Emulsion whose whitening and hydrating properties are praised throughout the country. It features Coix Seed Extract, Angelica Extract, and White Lotus, which work to dramatically brighten skin with continuous use. The non-sticky long-lasting hydration it provides is a hit even for the most dry-skinned users.

Senka Perfect Whip

perfect whip cleanser

Senka Perfect Whip, SGD7.90/~USD6 (

Japan’s favourite cleanser is the famous Perfect Whip. This cleanser offers the most delightful cream to foam formula that lathers wonderfully onto the skin, providing effective cleansing without the dreadful stripping feeling. The addition of Shiseido’s moisture-boosting Aqua-in-Pool ingredient helps strengthen the skin barrier, protecting it from daily damage.

SK-II Treatment Essence

sk-ii essence

SK-II Treatment Essence 160ml, SGD220/~USD159 (

The holy grail of holy grails, SK-II’s Treatment Essence is renowned all over the world for its youth-boosting properties. Its signature ingredient, Pitera™, helps cells regenerate for brighter, smoother, younger-looking skin. Brand ambassador Cate Blanchett credits her glow to regular use of the essence. And who wouldn’t want luminous, almost-ethereal skin like hers?

If you haven't tried any of these Japanese skincare products before, now's a good time to join in the action. Many of them are already available internationally but if you have a friend/relative booking a trip to Japan, it would be a good idea to keep these on your gift list. 

(Cover photos from: @sekkisei.official and @dhcskincare)

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