The Ultimate Guide to 10 Best Japanese Drugstore Beauty Products 2019
Posted on October 28 2019
If you’ve ever been to Japan, you have probably walked past a Japanese drugstore, like Don Quijote or Matsumoto Kiyoshi, whose storefronts are overwhelmingly plastered with brightly colored pricing to showcase their newest and hottest products. Walk in and you will find that the walls are stocked full of cool and unique Japanese products, ranging from beauty to snacks to everyday household items.
Some drugstores focus exclusively on beauty products. You’ll be able to find the most popular Japanese beauty brands next to each other, like SK-II and Heroine Make. We love spending hours getting lost in these Japanese drugstores and they're always a must see whenever we are in Japan. There’s always something new and unique to discover that can’t be found elsewhere.
Luckily, we have narrowed down our favorite picks!
Shiseido’s Anessa is famous for its suncreen formulations and have ranked as the top sunscreen in Japan for the last 17 years. This innovative formula has both Physical (Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide) and Chemical (Octocrylene) UV protection. Despite having both types of protection, it is a lightweight milk that does not leave a white cast and resistant against water, sweat, and oil for up to 80 minutes. On top of being a great suncreen, 50% of the formula is comprised of ingredients meant to benefit the skin, so it can substitute a hydrating layer in your routine or double as a moisturizer.
This cult favorite toner is made from 5 different types of hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture and keep the skin hydrated for longer. This hydrating toner is meant to be used right after cleansing and applied to the face with fingers (no washing off!). It can function as the first layer of moisture for your skin to prep your skin for the rest of your routine or the only layer, depending on your skin’s hydration needs. The formula is wonderfully thick and sinks into the face immediately. We love how effective and versatile this product is - for days where our skin feels drier, we use multiple layers of this toner.
This bestselling Japanese powder cleanser comes in single use pods which makes it perfect for travel. Whenever we pack these, we always save so much room in our skincare bag. The amount of powder in a pod is the perfect dose for a cleansing. Mix in a little water to activate the enzyme-based powder and rub your hands together to get a nice foam. This cleanser leaves your skin feeling refreshed and clean without that tight feeling.
An absolute classic for any eyeliner aficionado. Heroine Make’s eyeliners are known to be extremely pigmented and lasts all day. Resistant to sweat, tears, and water, this eyeliner is so long wearing, we recommend using a heavy duty cleansing oil or the Heroine Make Makeup Remover to take off.
Minon is a popular Japanese brand known for developing hydrating products for sensitive skin. Their entire Amino Moist line was created with nine amino acids and without fragrance. The sheet mask is designed for intensive treatment of sensitive and dry skin types and helps the skin barrier retain moisture to fight dryness. It comes enveloped in a thicker than normal essence that is almost gel-like. The sheet is a thick cotton and provides a gentle dose of hydration.
Rohto's Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence is the cult classic and best selling Vitamin C serum from Japan. Best of all, it is super affordable at only $13 which is incredible given the formulation. This product is called an essence but functions more like a lightweight serum that sinks into skin quickly. It’s formulated with both Vitamin C and Vitamin E, which when combined, both vitamins work stronger together to even out overall skin tone and leave your skin looking radiant.
There is a faint citrus scent, but it doesn’t linger. Use as a targeted treatment for dark spots or all over the face as a Vitamin C serum!
These Lavender Eye Masks from KAO are like magic and truly unique eye masks that don’t exist elsewhere. The eye masks come individually wrapped and are dry. There are ear loops to hook onto the ear - once the mask is on your eyes, it’s able to sense it and will heat up to a 104°F for 30 minutes. This temperature sounds scary, but it’s only slightly warmer than the temperature of the human body at 98°F.
This heat is comfortable on the eyes and can help with reducing puffiness and dark circles, alleviating screen fatigue, and promotes relaxation to aid in a good night’s sleep. We love using these after a long day staring at screens and for travelling as these help us sleep easier on the plane.
DHC's Lip Cream is one of our favorite lip balms as it provides long lasting moisture with a blend of skin softening botanicals. Featuring their hero ingredient, olive oil, which is rich in antioxidants, and aloe which hydrates and softens lips. Vitamin E also fights vertical lines from forming.
The tube packaging makes it hygenic to use (we much prefer tube lip treatments rather than tub lip treatments for sanitary reasons!) and easy to re-apply on the go.
Shiseido’s TISS Cleansing Oil makes for a great second step in a double cleansing routine. This cleansing oil has more of a lighter and watery consistency vs some other cleansing oils, like DHC’s for example. But despite this thinner feeling formula, the TISS cleansing oil still gently and effectively removes makeup, dirt, and oil from the skin without stripping the skin. Once it comes in contact with water, it quickly emulsifies and turns into a milkier consistency.
10. Shiseido Fino Premium Touch Hair Essence Mask $14.99
This cult favorite hair mask from Shiseido works instantly to deliver hydration to your hair, whether it’s dry, color treated, or damaged. Enriched with 7 different essences, including Squalane and Royal Jelly extract, Shiseido’s FINO hair masks boosts moisture penetration and restores shine to the hair. After a few minutes with this mask in your hair, you’ll notice dry ends, frizzy hair, or tangled locks become healthy, moisturized, and shiny.
Have you tried any of these Japanese Drugstore Beauty favorites? Which one is your favorite?