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6 must-buy Japanese cosmetic products


Writer name : Mayuka Ueno

Many Japanese cosmetic products are available for a low price without compromising their high quality. This time, we have put together a selection of recommended cosmetics that includes both staple and new items that follow the latest trends, and which can be bought at drugstores, supermarkets, or convenience stores.

1. KOSE Sekkisei (Toner)

Sekkisei is a staple product that is very popular not only among the Japanese, but also among foreign travelers. This is a medicated toner with extracts from wakan (traditional Japanese and Chinese) herbs, which have high moisturizing properties. It provides plenty of hydration even to skin exposed to UV rays, and it quells the burning sensation of sunburns and snow burns. It is characterized by a light texture, and it is popular because it can be used not just on the face, but on the body as well. The water-based and oil-based components are very well balanced to make it easy for the toner to permeate the skin. Many people say that they also use "Sekkisei" to soak masks and do face packs. In addition, Sekkisei's sister brand "Sekkisui," which was developed in collaboration with major convenience store chain 7 Eleven is available in 7 Eleven stores all across the country. While the ingredients used may be fewer than in Sekkisei, Sekkisui makes for an ideal souvenir because of its reasonable price of about 1,000 JPY.

KOSE Sekkisei (manufacturer recommended price: 200 ml / 5,400 JPY, 360 ml / 8,100 JPY (both tax incl.))
KOSE Sekkisui Whitening Toner (manufacturer recommended price: 80 ml / 1,296 JPY (tax incl.))

Official Homepage

2. DHC DHC Medicated Q Lotion (Toner)

It's said that people reach the peak of their beauty in their 20s before it begins to fade, so this toner uses the beautifying ingredient coenzyme Q10 to counteract that. Even though the product has no artificial colorings added, it is a bold yellow color, which can be taken as a symbol of the rich concentration of coenzymes in it. Its ingredients also include placenta extract, a medical whitening agent which controls the production of melanin in order to prevent dull spots and freckles, as well as hyaluronic acid and collagen, both essential ingredients for a beautiful skin. It has a moist texture, and with repeated use you will surely notice that your skin becomes plumper and softer. We recommend this product to those who place special importance on hydration.

DHC Medicated Q Lotion (3,600 JPY (tax incl.))

Official Homepage

3. Shiseido Maquillage Dramatic Powdery UV (Foundation)

This is the product that debunked the established truth that powder foundation dries the skin. This foundation is made following a "mousse press method" unique to Maquillage that whips essence water together with powder to create a mousse that is then slowly pressed, and the result is a product that fits the skin perfectly. It includes ingredients that allow it to adapt to the skin better as sebum is produced, so it continues to look beautiful as the hours go by without getting smudged or revealing your pores. This foundation is great even for those who have stayed away from powder foundation so far in the belief that "it dries the skin after some hours of use." The product comes in no less than 7 different shades, so almost anybody can find a match to their skin tone.

Maquillage Dramatic Powdery UV (3,240 JPY (tax incl.) *case sold separately, includes a soft sponge)

Product Information Page

4. CANMAKE Marshmallow Finish Powder (Face Powder)

This face powder is used to set your foundation or to retouch makeup throughout the day. It hides pores and uneven-colored spots and has a matte finish. It has a very fine texture and, when applied in a thin layer, blends perfectly with the skin. Its ingredients include beauty essence, so that it maintains moisture for a long time. After applying your primer and foundation (either cream or liquid), use a puff to tap the powder gently onto your skin without rubbing it in order to enhance its coverage. If you are going for a natural looking makeup, you can use just the powder instead of foundation.

CANMAKE Marshmallow Finish Powder (1,015 JPY (tax incl.))

Official Homepage

5. Cezanne Lasting Lip Color N (Lipstick)

These lipsticks enjoy a high reputation both in magazines and word-of-mouth communities for being greatly pigmented, long-lasting, and cheap! Odorless and alcohol-free, they are gentle to the lips, and the olive squalane and royal jelly extract in them prevents lips from drying and cracking. When we buy expensive lipstick, we tend to stick to our safe colors, but the price of these lipsticks allows you to try more adventurous colors that you might not try otherwise. There are 13 available shades in total, ranging from nudes to reds and vivid pinks, so we recommend going with your mood to try out different colors.

Cezanne Lasting Lip Color N (518 JPY (tax incl.))


Official Homepage

6. 24h Magic Powder Nuance (Multi powder)

This is one of the items that you would use if you are going to do an "igari makeup" look, which became trendy in Japan last year. "Igari makeup" is a makeup style developed by Japanese hair & makeup artist Shinobu Igari, and it is also called "ophero" (oshare [trendy] + pheromone [sexy]) makeup." The key to this makeup style is a bare looking skin, flushed cheeks, and natural eyeshadow and, in order to do this, highlighters are essential. Applying this 24h Magic Powder in soft nuances on the temples, base of the nose, under the eyes, and above the lips creates a dewy skin with the perfect shadows! The glitter powder is very fine so it melts into the skin. This is a must-have if you want to try the look of the season.

24h Magic Powder Nuance (3,024 JPY (tax incl.))

Official Homepage (Japanese only)

How did you like our selection? We hope that you will try either a staple or some new Japanese original cosmetics to enjoy a different kind of skincare and makeup than what you are used to. Most of the products are formulated especially for Japanese people, who tend to have rather sensitive skin, so anybody can give these products a try ♪

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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