12 Best High-end Skincare Products to Buy in Japan

There are many, many Japanese skincare brands, and a lot of them are known throughout the world as top brands. Japanese high-end brands especially are known to be reliable. If you use some of Japan’s wonderful cosmetics, created with a mix of modern technology and traditional techniques, you can experience a very clear effect. So, out of the many Japanese skincare brands, here are some luxury skincare brands and products that we highly recommend you buy while in Japan.

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Japan’s top three cosmetics companies are Shiseido, Pola, and Kanebo, but outside of that there are also many other good Japanese cosmetics companies. Each company owns many brands, and most of them handle high-end products as well. High-end skincare usually begins at about 5000 yen a product but there are creams that can reach over 50000 yen a package. However, since they’re high-end, you can rest assured of the promised effect. These products would be good to use as a present to oneself for working hard every day as part of your daily precious skincare routine. Here are 12 recommended products to try.

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1. Sekkisei (雪肌精)

Because it uses Japanese and Chinese plants like adlay and Angelica acutiloba, this product is very effective against acne and helps tighten pores. Even though it feels refreshing on your skin, it is a proper moisturizer. It also works on hyperpigmentation and works to brighten skin, so it's been a beloved long-selling product for the past 30 years among people of all ages. There is a mini bottle that you can buy with just one coin (500 yen) so it's a popular souvenir that you can buy at the drugstore.

2. Shu Uemura Ultime 8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil (シュウウエムラ アルティム8 スブリム ビューティ クレンジング オイル)

This is a cleansing oil from the internationally renowned brand Shu Uemura. It's been awarded multiple prizes from Japanese fashion magazines. It takes off even the strongest waterproof makeup, refreshes your pores by cleaning them and supplying them with keratin, and properly moisturizes your skin. If you use it just ones, you'll never want to use another cleansing oil again. It's one of Shu Uemura's most popular products. Shu Uemura is one of the world's leading promoters of the importance of cleansing oil. You can buy this cleansing oil in department stores.

3. SKII Cellumination Aura Essence (SKⅡ セルミネーションオーラエッセンス)

SKII is the most famous Japanese high-end brand for anti-aging products. SKII is a line that all adult women want to try at least once. This product is a skin whitening liquid that's won a number of beauty awards. It's a product that has immediate visible effects starting the day after you use it and spreads easily on the skin. It's good for skin dullness and helps brighten your skin no matter how little you've slept or how poorly you feel. It also has a wonderful fragrance.

4. Nakamura Candle Hand Cream

Nakamura candle is a company that makes traditional Japanese candles, which are one of the traditonal crafts of Japan. In recent years, as the demand for traditional candles deminished, the company branched out into the world of cosmetics, creating this high-end hand cream by incorporating the same natural wax used in Japanese candles since ancient times. The hand cream is soothing to dried skin and leaves your hands feeling soft yet not greasy or sticky. The hand cream can be purchased from overseas here.

5. Obagi C20 Serum (オバジC20セラム)

Obagi is a brand that thinks of both beauty and health. Obagi C20 Serum is a beauty serum that is made of a combination of highly concentrated vitamin C and Vitamin E. If you use it after you use moisturizer, it's effective for pore tightening, acne, and acne scars. It can be used by people both old and young and if you use it for a long time hyperpigmentation and wrinkles also fade away. It's very popular because it's an all-purpose liquid that works on all your skin problems. Of course, you can buy it in drugstores, and recently Obagi has also begun selling foundation and other beauty products.

6. Haku Melanofocus (HAKU メラノフォーカス)

This is a dark spot corrector by Shiseido's brand Haku. This is a relatively new product but it's a popular product because it's been featured in various magazines. The name "Melanofocus" comes from the concentrated effect for correcting and dark spot prevention. There are an incredible number of Japanese beauty serums meant to be used for dark spots, freckles, and other problems, but among them this is an especially focused cosmetic. By the way, "haku" in Japanese is another word for white.

7. BA The Eye Cream (B.A  ザ アイクリーム)

This is an eye cream from high-end brand B.A. from one of Japan's three biggest cosmetics companies, Pola. Eye care is very important because that area easily shows your age. If you use this eye cream you immediately feel the effects as it is extremely effective on undereye bags. It may be a little expensive at 21600 yen, but because it has the same effect as injecting hyalurionic acid into the area, you can keep your eye area youthful. Your eye area is important for the impression of your overall face, so it's a very important part of skincare. This is definitely a recommended product.

8. Astalift Jelly Aquarysta (アスタリフト ジェリー アクアリスタ)

This is a cosmetics brand developed by Japanese photo film brand Fujifilm. You might think 'what do photos have to do with this?' but actually it seems like photo development techniques have a very deep relation to beauty products. The red jelly is full of lycopene and astaxanthin so it has double the ingredients. This beauty product is a new creation that uses techniques to prevent photo degradation. This is a popular product that uses anti-aliasing to prevent skin oxidation.

9. SKII Facial Treatment Mask (SK-Ⅱフェイシャル トリートメントマスク)

This face mask is from Japan's famous SKII anti-aging brand from Shiseido. It's a treatment that concentrates pitera, SKII's signature beauty ingredient, over one's entire face. It would be good to use on days when your skin has taken a beating or the day before an important event. Even though it's a home treatment, the effect is similar to going to an esthetician. It's a little expensive at 10800 yen for a pack of six, but it would be good as a present or a souvenir and they're very popular not just in Japan but also abroad.

10. Ipsa ME Moist 2 (イプサ MEモイスト2)

This is a popular all-in-one beauty metaboliser from Ipsa. You can have a skin diagnosis at the cosmetics counter and choose which products from their 17 varieties works best for your skin. You can use just this one product after washing your face so it's perfect for people who find skincare troublesome. It's rather affordable at 5940 and its simple design is popular. It's not easily found overseas, so it would be good to get a skin check directly in a department store.

11. THREE Balancing Cleansing Oil (THREE バランシングクレンジングオイル)

Three is a new brand that was started in 2009. Its high quality is very popular among makeup artists, models, and beauty fans. They use only domestic ingredients and make gentle products. This cleansing oil is a powerful cleanser but also helps clarify your skin. Its natural fragrance is nice and helps make one look forward to their daily cleansing. It easily takes off makeup no matter what it is so it's recommended for people who wear a lot of it. You can't find it overseas and even within Japan only a few department stores have it so it's perfect as a souvenir.

12. Cle de Peau Beaute La Creme (クレ・ド・ポーボーテ ラ・クレーム)

This is a night cream from Shiseido's most expensive brand, Cle de Peau. It's rather expensive at 50000 yen for 25 grams, but you see immediate results. It's good for older skin but younger people who use it will also probably feel the effects. It displays tremendous positive effects on wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. While the price is very high, it's cheaper than going to a high-class esthetician or getting cosmetic surgery.

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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Yuka Haramaki
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