Top 25 Best Japanese Moisturizers and Face Lotions to Buy Online 2019 – Tried and True!

Top 25 Best Japanese Moisturizers and Face Lotions to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!

Last time, we talked about toners. Now, we move on to the next step in the Japanese skincare routine: moisturizers and face lotions※1. Face lotions are important–they are, if you remember, the lid that seals your toner in. And, just like in America, in Japan, we have our high-end and drugstore brands, our revolutionary products and dupes.

We thought it was high time someone separated the wheat from the chaff. That’s why we ordered the 25 most popular moisturizers and face lotions from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also invited a skincare specialist and had her compare the following:

  1. Hydration
  2. Application

This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese moisturizers and face lotions. We also talk about the difference between lotion and cream at the very end of the article–be sure not to miss it.

※1 乳液: moisturizer / face lotion

Table of Contents

Introducing the Expert Who Lent Us Her Knowledge

This time around, we borrowed the expertise of a skincare specialist, who’s a well-known face both in magazines and on the web.

Aiko Kawakami
〈Aiko Kawakami〉

Skincare Specialist

She's a skincare specialist who's got over 20,000 consultations under her belt. She approaches skin with a combination of scientific evidence and experience, using her knowledge of dermatology and cosmetic ingredients to help women become even more beautiful, down to their fingertips.

She's the representative of the board of directors over at ANSEM (Association of Nail & Skin Experts Maestro) and an instructor at the JCLA (Japan Cosmetic Licensing Association). She's also made numerous media appearances.

How to Choose Japanese Moisturizer and Face Lotion – Buying Guide

We’ll get into how we tested and compared all the products, but first we’d like to introduce two things you should look out for when choosing face lotion.

① Choose Something Properly Hydrating

First order of business, make sure the lotion is actually hydrating. Think of facial lotion like a lid that seals moisture into your skin. How it performs thus determines the health of your skin, at least to a certain extent.

First Thing You Should Do is Look for Hydrating Ingredients

First Thing You Should Do is Look for Hydrating Ingredients

It might be a drag, but read the ingredients list. That’s the most readily available indicator of how moisturizing a lotion is. The following are ingredients that are deemed effective in Japan.

  • BG: Also known as Butylene Glycol※2, 1,3-Butanediol※3. Slightly thick and sticky in texture. Can also be used as a preservative. So popular as a moisturizing ingredient that we’ve experienced supply shortages.
  • DPG: Also known as Dipropylene Glycol※4. Has similar properties to BG. A humectant often used as a substitute.
  • Glycerin※5: Quite thick and sticky in texture. Extremely moisturizing and feels wet upon application.

※2 ブチレングリコール: butylene glycol

※3 1,3-ブチレングリコール: 1,3-butanediol

※4 ジプロピレングリコール: dipropylene glycol

※5 グリセリン: glycerin

Then Look at How the Ingredients are Combined

Then Look at How the Ingredients are Combined

It’s not the ingredients that make the lotion; it’s the overall formulation. A lotion’s ability to moisturize changes depending on how ingredients are combined, so you can’t just think, “Oh, because these certain ingredients are at the top of the list, this lotion will definitely be hydrating.”

Generally speaking, the following combinations are said to be the most hydrating.

  • Glycerin and BG
  • Glycerin and Sodium Hyaluronate※6
  • Concentrated Glycerin※7 and Trehalose※8

Looking at this, you can probably tell how effective glycerin is. We also checked for hydration during our tests, so look out for the scores.

※6 ヒアルロン酸ナトリウム: sodium hyaluronate; the salt form of hyaluronic acid

※7 濃グリセリン: concentrated glycerin

※8 トレハロース: trehalose

Aiko Kawakami
Skincare Specialist
Aiko Kawakami's comment
The most hydrating facial lotions tend to have both glycerin and BG in them. Sugars like trehalose and sugar squalane are able to attract and retain water, so they keep your skin moisturized for longer.

I also recommend lotions that contain oils, whether that be mineral oil or Vaseline. I know that mineral oil has a bad rap, but there are many gentle oils out there that have been derived from petroleum. Keep the age of your skin in mind when thinking about oil content.

② Choose Something that Makes You Feel Good when You Apply It

Choose Something that Makes You Feel Good when You Apply It

You also want to figure out what textures you like and choose a lotion that fits your preferences. You could buy something that’s been showered in SNS fanfare and glowing reviews, but if you can’t stand how sticky it is, then you’re not going to be using it for long. And skincare, like exercise, only works as long as you keep it up.

Unfortunately, the more ultra-moisturizing ingredients–like glycerin and beeswax–are in a lotion, the tackier it tends to be. If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, try products that are packed with ingredients like BG, which is lighter than glycerin.

Aiko Kawakami
Skincare Specialist
Aiko Kawakami's comment
The ingredient that I think works as a perfect seal is hyaluronic acid, which can bind and retain a lot of water. In particular, I recommend combinations of hyaluronic acid and glycerin or diglycerin.

If you don't like the feel of oils, look for lotions that contain collagen.

What Products We Ordered and How We Tested Them

What Products We Ordered and How We Tested Them

Now to introduce the 25 most popular Japanese moisturizers and face lotions that we ordered and the process by which we tested them.

{The Products We Tested}

  1. MINON Amino Moist Moist Charge Milk (ミノン アミノモイスト モイストチャージ ミルク)
  2. ELIXIR REFLET Balancing Oshiroi Milk (エリクシール ルフレ バランシング おしろいミルク)
  3. Juju Cosmetics Aquamoist Fermented Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Lotion (ジュジュ化粧品 アクアモイスト 発酵ヒアルロン酸 保湿乳液)
  4. Hada Labo shirojyun premium White with Tranexamic Acid & Vitamin C Medicated Whitening Lotion (肌ラボ 白潤プレミアム ホワイトトラネキサム酸×ビタミンC配合 薬用浸透美白乳液 )
  5. Sofina jenne Moisturizing UV Lotion for Combination Skin (ソフィーナ ジェンヌ 混合肌のための高保湿UV乳液 )
  6. d program Moist Care Emulsion R (dプログラム モイストケア エマルジョン R )
  7. Transino Medicated Whitening Clear Milk (トランシーノ 薬用ホワイトニングクリアミルク )
  8. Aqualabel White Up Emulsion II (アクアレーベル ホワイトアップ エマルジョンII )
  9. Orbis Aqua Force White Moisture-M (オルビス アクアフォースホワイトモイスチャー M )
  10. Nihonshu no Nyueki – Sake Lotion (日本酒の乳液 )
  11. Nameraka Honpo Soymilk Isoflavone Lotion (なめらか本舗 豆乳イソフラボン配合の乳液 )
  12. Curél Moisture Face Milk (キュレル 乳液 )
  13. ceracolla Moisture Milk (セラコラ 保湿乳液 )
  14. Sofina beauté Moisturizing Lotion Super Moist (ソフィーナボーテ 高保湿乳液 とてもしっとり)
  15. Sofina jenne Moisturizing Gel Lotion for Combination Skin (ソフィーナ ジェンヌ 混合肌のための高保湿ジェル乳液)
  16. d program Balance Care Emulsion R II (dプログラム バランスケア エマルジョン R II )
  17. FANCL Moist Refine Emulsion II (ファンケル モイストリファイン 乳液IIしっとり)
  18. Arouge Moist Treatment Gel (アルージェ モイストトリートメントジェル )
  19. Skin mania Clear Essence Milk (Skin mania クリアエッセンスミルク )
  20. LECHÉRI Lift Glow Emulsion II (ルシェリ リフトグロウ エマルジョンII)
  21. cutura Milky Lotion (キュチュラ とろ~り乳液 )
  22. Astalift Emulsion (アスタリフト エマルジョン )
  23. MUJI Moisturising Milk Moisture (無印良品 乳液・敏感肌用・しっとりタイプ )
  24. est the emulsion II (エスト ザ エマルジョン II )
  25. episteme day moisture emulsion a (エピステーム デイモイスチュアエマルジョンa)

We then tested for each of the following things:

Test ①: Hydration
Test ②: Application

Test ①: Hydration

Hydration

First and foremost, we looked at hydration.

We used a moisture analyzer and compared the state of our skin before application to its state eight hours after application.

The Big Takeaway: Glycerin-Based Lotions were Usually Moisturizing

The Big Takeaway: Glycerin-Based Lotions were Usually Moisturizing

Products that did well on this test had one thing in common: they counted glycerin among the first few ingredients listed. And many of these top performers combined glycerin with BG. It backed up our claim that formulations featuring those two ingredients tend to be the most moisturizing.

But because ultra hydrating lotions all had glycerin in them, they were also dense and heavy in texture.

Test ②: Application

Application

Next, we tried applying the lotions.

We gathered up a few volunteers from several departments and had them talk about things like the fragrance and texture of the lotions, as well as whether the packaging was well-designed.

The Big Takeaway: Maybe It’s Because They Felt More Moisturizing, but We Liked Wet, Dense Lotions

The Big Takeaway: Maybe It's Because They Felt More Moisturizing, but We Liked Wet, Dense Lotions

It was a surprise, but we leaned heavily towards thicker lotions–so dense that they didn’t drip or run from our hands. We can’t deny that they were tacky, but they also left our faces feeling dewy after application. We could tell that our skin was being hydrated.

We were also partial towards lotions with fragrances, rather than without. It may just be moisturizer, but you can’t discount smell. There were products that smelled of alcohol or products with scents specific to certain brands, but in general, we liked light and refreshing florals.

And, though this is often overlooked, you want a bottle that is neither too big nor to small, but rather snugly fits into your hand.

The Final Verdict: Top 25 Best Japanese Moisturizers and Face Lotions to Buy Online

Now to introduce the 25 best Japanese moisturizers and face lotions available online. They were ranked by how well they did on our tests and given an overall grade ranging from D to A+.

25. Sofina jenne Moisturizing UV Lotion for Combination Skin

Sofina jenne Moisturizing UV Lotion for Combination SkinSofina jenne Moisturizing UV Lotion for Combination Skin

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Price: $29.99

Closer to Sunscreen than Lotion

This calls itself the ultimate daytime moisturizer, but it both smelled and felt pretty much like sunscreen. You want to use this not as a face lotion, but as a UV base.

Hydration D Application D
Overall Score D

24. Astalift Emulsion

Astalift EmulsionAstalift Emulsion

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Price: $35.64

Why is It So Tacky when It Doesn’t Even Moisturize?

This was a thick lotion and felt wet, but it didn’t keep us moisturized. We were also a bit taken aback by the orange color.

Hydration D Application C
Overall Score D

23. LECHÉRI Lift Glow Emulsion II

LECHÉRI Lift Glow Emulsion IILECHÉRI Lift Glow Emulsion II

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Price: $25.05

Can’t Expect Much Hydration. Packaging’s a Hit or Miss

Unfortunately, this lotion also wasn’t hydrating and had a strong cosmetic smell. The packaging was kind of elegant, but not everyone was enamored.

Hydration D Application C
Overall Score D

22. MUJI Moisturizing Milk Moisture

MUJI Moisturizing Milk MoistureMUJI Moisturizing Milk Moisture

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Price: $10.50

We Don’t Mind the Tackiness that Much, but the Cap Doesn’t Want to be Opened

This lotion was light, so even though it left our skin a bit tacky, we weren’t bothered. However, it was less hydrating than average. The cap was also so small, it was hard to get a handle on it.

Hydration C Application C
Overall Score C

21. Hada Labo shirojyun Premium with White Tranexamic Acid & Vitamin C Medicated Whitening Lotion

Hada Labo shirojyun Premium White with Tranexamic Acid & Vitamin C Medicated Whitening LotionHada Labo shirojyun Premium White with Tranexamic Acid & Vitamin C Medicated Whitening Lotion

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Price: $8.22

Will Probably Help with Whitening, but Feels Quite Sticky…

This didn’t really set, no matter how much time passed. You might like it if you want your skin to literally feel dewy all day. And this contains white tranexamic acid, which is an effective skin whitening agent.

Hydration C Application C
Overall Score C

20. cutura Milky Lotion

cutura Milky Lotioncutura Milky Lotion

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Price: $27.46

Bottle Keeps Its Contents from Oxidizing. We Just Can’t Get Over the Medicinal Smell

The bottle was designed so that its contents wouldn’t oxidize, which was great. Still, that didn’t help us overlook the smell, which reminded us of medicine. It was only decently hydrating, so there’s no need to buy this lotion in particular.

Hydration C Application C
Overall Score C

19. ELIXIR REFLET Balancing Oshiroi Milk

ELIXIR REFLET Balancing Oshiroi MilkELIXIR REFLET Balancing Oshiroi Milk

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Price: $15.55

Felt Light on Skin. Will Work Well as a UV Base

It was peachy and thick in texture, but also lightweight. It didn’t really leave skin tacky after application, so we’d say this lotion is an easy one to use and layer over. It wasn’t that hydrating, but it did provide UV protection. You should use this one not to moisturize your skin, but as a protective base.

Hydration C Application C
Overall Score C

18. est the emulsion II

est the emulsion IIest the emulsion II

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Price: $98.71

We’ll Take the Stickiness, but We Can’t Take the Smell

This lotion felt thick and slimy, but we could take that in stride. What we couldn’t accept was the smell, which was like chlorine or rusted metal. Not something we’d want to use every day.

Hydration B Application D
Overall Score C

17. Curél Moisture Face Milk

Curél Moisture Face MilkCurél Moisture Face Milk

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Price: $12.78

We Like the Light and Silky Texture, but Some Might Think It’s Not Enough

This lotion was quite light, so it didn’t leave our skin tacky after application. We’d say Curél’s lotion is a good choice for summer, when it gets muggy. However, it might not be hydrating enough for winter or for those with dry skin.

Hydration C Application B
Overall Score B

16. Nameraka Honpo Soymilk Isoflavone Lotion

Nameraka Honpo Soymilk Isoflavone LotionNameraka Honpo Soymilk Isoflavone Lotion

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Price: $11.94

Light and Silky. Worth a Try if You Aren’t Picky about Skincare

This lotion felt light and refreshing; unfortunately, that also meant that it wasn’t particularly moisturizing. However, it’s considered the drugstore moisturizer in Japan, so if you’re just getting into skincare and you aren’t really picky, then Nameraka Honpo’s lotion will serve you well.

Hydration C Application B
Overall Score B

15. d program Balance Care Emulsion R II

d program Balance Care Emulsion R IId program Balance Care Emulsion R II

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Price:$30.34

Smells a Bit like Alcohol. Won’t be Enough to Quench Dehydrated Skin

We noticed a bit of an alcohol-y smell about this one, but the finish was light and the formula quite pleasant to apply. However, it didn’t really moisturize our skin. The thin texture and subpar hydration made this moisturizer unsuited for dry skin.

Hydration C Application B
Overall Score B

14. d program Moist Care Emulsion R

d program Moist Care Emulsion Rd program Moist Care Emulsion R

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Price: $30.94

It’s Meant for Dry Skin, but It’s Not that Moisturizing…

This had the same alcohol-y scent as d program’s Balance Care Emulsion. This one’s supposed to be extra moisturizing, and it did feel wetter and thicker on our skin, but in actuality, it wasn’t that much more hydrating than the Balance Care. This was formulated for sensitive skin; it toned down on acidity so as not to be irritating.

Hydration C Application B
Overall Score B

13. Skin mania Clear Essence Milk

Skin mania Clear Essence MilkSkin mania Clear Essence Milk

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Price: $26.51

Decently Hydrating, but also Tacky… You May or May Not Like the Smell

It smelled strongly of herbs; some of us liked that, some of us didn’t. It contained both glycerin and BG and was decently hydrating; it was also quite sticky. The bottle had a clean, simple design, if a little plain.

Hydration B Application C
Overall Score B

12. ceracolla Moisture Milk

ceracolla Moisture Milkceracolla Moisture Milk

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Price: $7.10

Hydrating, but Thick and Leaves a Sticky Residue

The formula contained both DPG and glycerin, making this lotion more hydrating than average. It actually shared some of the same ingredients as plastic bags, which is a good thing because it’s going to lock in moisture. Only thing you really need to get over is the fact the packaging makes this lotion look like it came from the dollar store.

Hydration B Application C
Overall Score B

11. Aqualabel White Up Emulsion II

Aqualabel White Up Emulsion IIAqualabel White Up Emulsion II

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Price: $12.53

Refreshing, Both in Scent (Minty) and Texture (Light)

It was silky and slipped right into our skin. It smelled faintly of mint and didn’t feel tacky. However, the quality wasn’t much more than the price would suggest. Furthermore, even though the formula’s so runny, the bottle has a wide lip; a lot of product can come sloshing out, so you need to pay attention during application.

Hydration B Application C
Overall Score B

10. FANCL Moist Refine Emulsion II

FANCL Moist Refine Emulsion IIFANCL Moist Refine Emulsion II

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Price: $13.34

Spreads Easily and Absorbs Readily into Skin. Hydration is Average

The formula was easily spreadable and a little went a long way; it was also light and not tacky. It was decently moisturizing, but might not be enough for the winter months. The bottle was pretty small–held 30 ml–so you can pack this in a bag and bring it traveling.

Hydration B Application B
Overall Score B

9. Transino Medicated Whitening Clear Milk

Transino Medicated Whitening Clear MilkTransino Medicated Whitening Clear Milk

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Price: $32.75

Bit Sticky upon Application, but Skin Feels Hydrated after It’s Set

It was a little runny and sticky upon application. However, after it had been absorbed, it left our skin plush and plump, if the slightest bit slimy. The bottle also had a wide lip that product glooped out of, which led us to deduct a few points.

Hydration B Application B
Overall Score B

8. Nihonshu no Nyueki – Sake Lotion

Nihonshu no Nyueki - Sake LotionNihonshu no Nyueki - Sake Lotion

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Price: $5.90

Best Quality for the Price. Serviceable, as Long as You Don’t Mind the Smell of Sake

This had a silky texture, if a bit watery. It smelled of sake, so if you’re not one for fragrances (or Japanese alcohol), then you won’t like it. There was a pump, but way too much product rushed out with every push. However, we got 380 ml of product for over 500 yen (~$5). The formula was moisturizing, and you can use it on not just your face, but your entire body.

Hydration A Application D
Overall Score A

7. episteme day moisture emulsion a

episteme day moisture emulsion aepisteme day moisture emulsion a

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Price: $129.11

Makes Skin Feel Smooth and Soft–Shame It Doesn’t Actually Hydrate

This moisturizer was meant to be used during the day and has an SPF of 18. It smelled of geraniums, which is lovely if you like floral scents. The bottle featured a minimalist design (with some text). The texture was dense and felt wet going on; however, who would’ve thought that, over the course of a day, this would be the least hydrating of the 25 products we tested

Hydration C Application A
Overall Score A

6. Arouge Moist Treatment Gel

Arouge Moist Treatment GelArouge Moist Treatment Gel

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Price: $25.07

Lightweight Formula, but Still Manages to Be Incredibly Moisturizing

It made our skin feel soft and smooth; however, because it was a gel, it was also lightweight. It was among the most moisturizing lotions we tried. But it was sticky, most likely due to the concentrated glycerin.

If you’re a powder foundation user and you decide to purchase this lotion, we recommend organizing your morning routine along the following steps: toner, then lotion, then primer, then powder foundation.

Hydration A Application C
Overall Score A

5. Sofina beauté Moisturizing Lotion Super Moist

Sofina beauté Moisturizing Lotion Extra Moist Sofina beauté Moisturizing Lotion Extra Moist

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Price: $26.71

Soft Scent of Dew-Covered Petals. Moisturizes Your Skin, Leaving It Soft, if a Bit Tacky

We were mesmerized by the gentle scent of dew-covered petals. The pump was convenient. The formula was thick, wet. Though we couldn’t help but notice a slight stickiness, after the lotion set, our skin felt soft and packed with moisture.

Hydration was fine, nothing special–but we couldn’t help being drawn in by the feel, smell, and design.

Hydration B Application A
Overall Score A

4. Juju Cosmetics Aquamoist Fermented Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Lotion

Juju Cosmetics Aqua Moist Fermented Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Lotion Juju Cosmetics Aqua Moist Fermented Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Lotion

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Price: $5.10

Worth Way More than Its Price Tag. Serious Hydration, as Long as You Can Get Over the Tackiness

The texture was a bit heavy and a bit sticky, but this lotion will actually moisturize your skin once it’s been absorbed. There was no fragrance. In Japan, you can get 150 ml for about 500 yen (~$5), which we’d say is a pretty good deal.

Really, the only thing we could complain about was the design of the packaging, but that’s just something you’ll have to get over for a cheap drugstore lotion that actually moisturizes.

Hydration A Application B
Overall Score A

3. Orbis Aqua Force White Moisture-M

Orbis Aqua Force White Moisture-MOrbis Aqua Force White Moisture-M

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Price: $27.81

A See-Through Gel that’s a Bit Slimy, but Also Super Hydrating

In third place, we have a gel lotion. Orbis’s Aqua Force felt soft and wet. It spread easily over skin, leaving it dewy. There was some sticky residue after application, but you can be sure that this product will seal in moisture all day.

It did smell quite strongly of alcohol, which may be a deal breaker for some.

Hydration A Application B
Overall Score A

2. Sofina jenne Moisturizing Gel Lotion for Combination Skin

Sofina jenne Moisturizing Gel Lotion for Combination Skin Sofina jenne Moisturizing Gel Lotion for Combination Skin

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Price: $30.09

We’re Obsessed with this Lotion and Its Refreshing Scent of Spring. Not Super Happy It’s in a Jar, Though

In second place, we also have a gel lotion. Even though this formula contained glycerin, it was actually quite smooth, almost like water; it spread and then sunk easily into skin. It packed just the right amount of hydration–not too little, but not so much that our skin felt tacky or was shiny with oil.

This contained natural essential oils from flowers and fruits, and we felt like we were at a spa. We were just disappointed it was in a jar, since not only was it difficult to control how much product we scooped out, we also had to worry about sanitation.

Hydration B Application A+
Overall Score A+

1. MINON Amino Moist Moist Charge Milk

MINON Amino Moist Moist Charge MilkMINON Amino Moist Moist Charge Milk

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Price: $15.53

Pretty Astounding when It Comes to Hydration! The Ultimate Drugstore Lotion mybest Recommends to Everyone, Regardless of Skin Type

In Japan, perhaps this lotion would need no introduction from us; it already joined the greats after winning @cosme’s (Japan’s most comprehensive makeup database) Best Cosmetics Award in 2018. Its hydration is on another level; even the other products we tested couldn’t compare, which earned it the only A+ for hydration.

It wasn’t tacky, and skin stayed moisturized for hours. It was enough to quench even dry skin, but it was light and spread easily. It was gentle on sensitive skin as well. Even Ms. Kawakami was all for the ingredients they used. Plus, though this is an amazing lotion that’s suitable for all skin types, it’s available for less than 2000 yen (~$20).

Once you try this lotion once, you may get hooked. You’ll certainly be amazed at the changes you’ll see in your skin.

Hydration A+ Application A
Overall Score A+

What’s the Difference Between Cream and Lotion?

What's the Difference Between Cream and Lotion?

There’s people out there that use cream in place of lotion, but do you know the difference between them?

The greatest difference between lotion and cream is oil content. Both are largely made up of water and oil, but cream contains more oil, while lotion contains more water.

Therefore, at night, when you should be going for heavier skincare, we recommend using creams; while on busy mornings, when you need something that’s going to absorb quickly into skin, use lotion. After all, what kind of product you need always depends on your particular situation.

Aiko Kawakami
Skincare Specialist
Aiko Kawakami's comment
You can always swap out a lotion for a cream or vice versa when the situation calls for it. For example, you can use lotions before and after your period, when sebum starts building up under skin; you can use creams when your skin is dry and you need extra hydration.

Have You Got All the Steps of Your Skincare Routine Down?

Have You Got All the Steps of Your Skincare Routine Down?

It’s not a routine if it doesn’t have multiple steps, right? Japanese skincare often starts with a cleanser, then facewash, then toner, essence, lotion, and finally cream. Learn more about these other products below.

Summary

We consulted a skincare specialist, purchased the 25 most popular moisturizers and face lotions, and tested them all.

Your original writer had the following to say: I tried all the products, but what surprised me the most was that, out of our top three, two were gels. I actually have combination skin, so I want to try more of Sofina’s lotion, which finished in second and smelled amazing.

Be sure to keep the tips and tricks we talked about today in the back of your mind, so you can find a lotion that will keep you smooth and hydrated, regardless of the time of year or age of your skin.

Original by Yukina Matsuda; Translation by Jasmine Li

  • Top 26 Best Japanese Moisturizing Serums, Essences, and Ampoules to Buy Online 2019
    Winters in Japan can get really dry, especially with offices running their heaters, full blast, at what must be a million degrees (not pointing any fingers, but). Times like these, you need a little extra moisture. Especially because one of the secrets to keeping your skin young is to keep it hydrated. Japanese cosmetics companies caught wind of this and–lo and behold–the market’s swamped with moisturizing serums. Great, but that makes it all the more difficult to tell which formulas will work for you and which… not so much. To save you some guesswork, we ordered the 19 most popular moisturizing serums from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also invited a skincare specialist and had her compare the following: Hydration Application This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese moisturizing serums, essences, and ampoules※1. ※1 美容液: serums, essences, and ampoules (all three are basically the same p

  • Top 28 Best Japanese Toners to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    We don’t know when it started, but Japanese women are known–have been known for a while–for beautiful skin. And walking around Tokyo, you can’t help but think “where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire.” While there’s no one factor that makes one’s skin what it is, we’d hazard a guess and say skincare is important. The Japanese skincare routine has quite a few steps. There’s cleansing; then the first step after cleansing is toning. To help you ease into Japanese skincare, we ordered the 28 most popular toners※1 from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also invited an specialist and had her compare the following: Application (How It Feels on Skin) Hydration This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese toners. We also consulted our specialist about skincare–for example, we asked about how to properly put on toner and the order in which we should apply toner, lotion, and essences. We share all this information at the

  • Top 14 Best Japanese Body Moisturizers to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True
    Browsing a Japanese drugstore is like panning for gold. You’re there looking down the aisles and everything seems like silt until you finally find a gem–a body lotion that hydrates (possibly even more than a high-end brand), low price tag, no shady ingredients. The task is fun but time-consuming, especially if you don’t read Japanese. And even if you do, do you really want to go through all of those katakana-ized chemical names? We certainly don’t. But we did. To save you headache (and a trip or ten to the drugstore), we ordered the 14 most popular body moisturizers from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) and tested for the following: Fragrance Hydration Application This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese body moisturizers. How to Choose a Japanese Body Moisturizer – Buying Guide We’ll get into how we tested and compared all the products, but before that, we want to introduce three things you should look out for when picking o

  • Top 14 Best Japanese CC Creams to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Foundation is so yesterday. Nowadays, in Asian beauty, all you hear about is alphabet cream: AA, BB, CC, DD, so on and so forth. CC cream is more a skincare product than a cosmetic; it usually functions as a color corrector and primer, though its properties can differ by brand. Depending on who’s making it, CC cream can be all sorts of shades and do all sorts of things. So which products are actually loved in Japan and which are dupes? To answer that question, we ordered the 14 most popular Japanese CC creams from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also consulted three experts, who looked for the following: Finish Ease of Application This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese CC creams. Introducing the Experts Who Lent Us Their Knowledge This time around,  we borrowed the expertise of hair and makeup artists Rika Fujiwara and Mutsuki, as well as the former fashion retailer and Instagrammer Chie Kato. [expertprofi

  • Top 12 Best Japanese Foundations to Buy Online 2018
    It’s one of the seven wonders of the world. It’s a trending question on Quora. Why do Japanese women have such beautiful skin? A lot of it starts down at the roots: skincare, diet, genes. However, some of it is surface level stuff: makeup and, specifically, foundation. And out of all the foundation that’s out there, liquid–high-end and drugstore–is prized because it’s both versatile and hydrating. So in order to tap into those beauty secrets, we ordered the 12 most popular Japanese foundations from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also consulted three experts, who looked for the following: Finish Ease of Application Coverage This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese liquid foundations. Introducing the Experts Who Lent Us Their Knowledge This time around, we borrowed the expertise of hair and makeup artists Rika Fujiwara and Mutsuki, as well as the former fashion retailer and Instagrammer Chie Kato. [expertprof

  • Top 26 Best Japanese Whitening Serums, Essences, and Ampoules to Buy Online 2019
    It’s a buzzword in Japan: translucence※1. It’s similar to Korea’s glass skin–skin so pure that it’s nearly transparent, resembling layers of frosted glass. In order to respond to that aesthetic, cosmetic companies–both drugstore and high-end–here have been coming out with scores of whitening※2 serums, essences, and ampoules※3. As always, it’s difficult to tell what kind of skincare is effective and what isn’t. That’s why, this time around, we ordered the 26 most popular whitening serums from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also invited a skincare specialist and had her compare the following: Hydration Application This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese whitening serums, essences, and ampoules. ※1 透明感: translucence (lit. transparency; used to describe glass skin) ※2 美白: whitening (in this article, that refers to the tamping down of hyperpigmentation and the production of melanin, t

  • Top 18 Best Japanese Anti-Aging Serums, Essences, and Ampoules to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    We might not be able to prevent aging altogether, but we can still age gracefully. That feels like the consensus here in Japan, where anti-aging skincare is popular and constantly evolving. As time goes by, our skin undergoes certain changes–hormones are thrown out of balance, certain functions are dulled–and serums that you used once may no longer be as effective. So which serums a) target the signs of aging and b) will actually work for you? In order to answer that question, we ordered the 18 most popular anti-aging※1 serums※2 from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also invited a skincare specialist and had her compare the following: Hydration Application This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese anti-aging serums, essences, and ampoules. ※1 エイジングケア: anti-aging (lit. aging care), which, in this article, refers to products meant to moisturize mature skin ※2 美容液: serums, essen

  • Top 33 Best Japanese Hand Creams to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    So you’re getting ready to invest in Japanese skincare, down to your fingertips. But if you’re going to pay for that shipping fee (or plane ticket), then the hand cream better be good. It should hydrate, of course, and also smell nice. And you should be able to put it on, start typing, and not have your desk look like a crime scene that’s been dusted for fingerprints. There are perhaps few things in this world more plentiful than hand creams, so to help you narrow down your choices, we ordered the 32 most popular hand creams from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) and tested for the following: Hydration Fragrance Application This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese hand creams. How to Choose Japanese Hand Cream – Buying Guide We’ll get into how we tested and compared all the products, but before that, we want to introduce three things you should look out for when picking out a Japanese hand cream. ① What Do You Want Your Hand

  • Top 10 Best Japanese Powder Foundations to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    It can be hard to get powder foundation to sit well on the skin. But you can’t deny that it’s oil-controlling, no-mess, and easy to apply. And even in Japan, the land of seemingly flawless skin, powder foundation is popular and in abundance; it’s got its high-end and drugstore brands, rip-offs and dupes. So it makes sense to wonder which powder foundations actually work on this side of the Pacific. That’s why we ordered the 10 most popular Japanese powder foundations from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also invited two experts and had them compare the following: Finish Ease of Application Coverage This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese powder foundations. Introducing the Experts Who Lent Us Their Knowledge This time around, we borrowed the expertise of hair and makeup artist Rika Fujiwara and Instagrammer Chie Kato. Invalid Short Code. There is not profile. Please write expert_id = hikaku9 comment.
    Sorry, but What’s Powder Foundation Again? It’s just wh

  • Top 7 Best Japanese and Korean Cushion Foundations to Buy Online 2019
    Cushion foundation is like the precocious child of liquid and powder foundation. It covers and moisturizes, and yet it’s fast and portable, well-suited to rushed makeup routines in the morning. It was born in Korea, but soon caught on all over the world–and Korea’s close neighbor, Japan, wasn’t going to miss out on the fun. Lancome and NARS have their own much beloved versions of cushion foundation, but it’s worth talking about brands that come from this part of the Pacific. So we ordered the 7 most popular Japanese and Korean cushions from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also consulted three experts, who looked for the following: Finish Ease of Application Longevity This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese and Korean cushion foundations. Introducing the Experts Who Lent Us Their Knowledge This time around,  we borrowed the expertise of hair and makeup artists Rika Fujiwara and Mutsuki, as well as the for