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[GUIDE] Minon Amino Moist: The Best Japanese Skincare brand formulated for Sensitive Skin

By Christina Hello of  christinahello.com

When I was researching for all the J-beauty products I’d want to purchase on my trip to Tokyo, Minon was one of those brands that kept popping up.  So when I looked into it, I found out it has been a cult favourite since 2016 and for years and years, the whole Minon's Amino Moist line has been a best seller. So why is it so popular and who is Minon? With all the mystery and unknown surrounding Japanese skincare, let’s dive into my month and a half with this line, my thoughts, and which product are my favorites for my very dry skin.

Who is Minon?

Minon (ミノン ) name origin was made up of the promise with the three “nons”, non allergic, non toxic, and non alkaline (mild acidity).  I don’t read or write Japanese (aka.Katakana or hiragana) but 三 in Chinese means three andノン means “non”.  So their brand name was created with the philosophy of 3 no’s.

Minon (ミノン ) name origin was made up of the promise with the three “nons”, non allergic, non toxic, and non alkaline (mild acidity).

During the 1960’s, when cosmetic standards were not set, many people were suffering from skin troubles that could not be pinpointed. They were suffering from “female facial melasma” which was brown or grey patches appearing on the skin.  Sitting still not being an option, Japan started to find their own solution, doctors and companies found out the “disease” were symptoms of cosmetic allergy. Thus the clinical, highly safe skincare was born.

In 1973, the company Daiichi Sankyo created Minon and was launched to market products towards “sensitive skin”. Although people were not familiar with that term at the time, they still continued to commit to creating products that were gentle to the skin. In the same year, they developed a moisturizing cleanser to help protect the skin barrier’s function with the added benefits of the amino acid cleaning components.

Fast forward to 2009, the birth of the line and what would forever be a staple favorite for Japanese and Asian beauty lovers, the “Minon Amino Moist” line. It is a hypoallergenic formula for dry and sensitive skin aimed towards achieving that glass skin status but in the most gentle way possible.

In Minon’s amino moist line, they use 9 types of amino acids (Valine, Threonine, Serine, Leucine, Proline, Histidine, Glycine, Alanine, Arginine), a cocktail of essential amino acids to help high moisture retention.

The use of amino acids in Minon's 'Amino Moist' line

So what are amino acids and why are they important? The human body consists of 60-70% water and 20% amino acids. Amino acids are there to keep moisture in the skin. In Minon’s Amino Moist line, they use a cocktail of 9 types of amino acids (Valine, Threonine, Serine, Leucine, Proline, Histidine, Glycine, Alanine, Arginine) to help high moisture retention.

Along with the 8 types of amino acids, there are two purifying amino acids, Lysine HCI and Carnosine (amino acid derivative).

The amino acid-based ceramide seeps into your skin and acts as if it is filling in the crevices of the stratum corneum to help support the intercellular lipid function. In addition, the moisturizing membrane spread on your skin much like how a sebum barrier would.

The amino acid-based ceramide seeps into your skin and acts as if it is filling in the crevices of the stratum corneum to help support the intercellular lipid function. In addition, the moisturizing membrane spread on your skin much like how a sebum barrier would.

With the mild and gentle formula in mind, Minon’s Amino Moist products are also:

-Free of parabens, fragrances, and color additives
-Weak in Acidity (low pH)
-Alcohol Free (Ethyl Alcohol) additive free
-UV absorbing agent free
-Allergy tested
-Irritation test conducted (test for checking presence of stinging or burning sensation after use)

Now that the history lesson is over, let’s get into my personal opinions of each product!

Minon Amino Moist Milky Cleansing Gel - $22

Minon Amino Moist Milky Cleansing Gel

 

Description of product:
“Cream type cleanser that is gentle on the skin.
Removes dirt by lifting first off the surface of the skin without placing unnecessary burden on it.
Easily removes the most stubborn makeup.”

Amount of product:
100 g

Duration before expiration:
1 year

Country of Manufacture:
Made in Japan

Ingredients:
WATER , ISONONYL ISONONANOATE , GLYCERIN , ETHYLHEXYL PALMITATE , CYCLOHEXASILOXANE , DIGLYCERIN , PEG-7 GLYCERYL COCOATE , BUTYLENE GLYCOL , PEG-20 GLYCERYL TRIISOSTEARATE , ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER , PHYTOSTERYL/OCTYLDODECYL LAUROYL GLUTAMATE , PHENOXYETHANOL , SODIUM HYDROXIDE , SODIUM STEAROYL GLUTAMATE , TOCOPHERYL ACETATE , CYCLOPENTASILOXANE , LEUCINE , SERINE , GLYCINE , PENTASODIUM PENTETATE , ALANINE , ARGININE , THREONINE , VALINE , HISTIDINE , CARNOSINE , PROLINE , LYSINE HCL , TOCOPHEROL , 1,2-HEXANEDIOL , HYDROGENATED LECITHIN , POLYGLYCERYL-10 LAURATE

How to use:

Without wetting your face, take a dime size amount in your palm and gently roll on your skin to blend with your make up.  Rinse with water and continue on with the rest of your routine.

Minon Amino Moist Milky Cleansing Gel

There are actually three types of cleansers in the Amino Moist line (Milk Cleanser, Foaming Whipped Cleanser, Powder Wash) but I tried the milky cleanser which they marketed as a makeup remover as well.  The milk cleanser comes in a squeeze tube with a pop on and off lid.

Minon Amino Moist Milky Cleansing Gel

Although they market the milk cleanser as a makeup remover as well, frankly speaking, milk cleansers never do much for me in terms of make up removal.  I do use waterproof makeup and this did not remove it so please, don’t rely on this to remove hard to remove make up. Still stick to your cleansing oils and balms people. What I did like about this cleanser was how gentle it was.  It did not strip my skin nor did it make it feel heavy or greasy. It also does not foam up at all and stays milky like even when water is incorporated!

This is a cleanser even sensitive skin and heck, even babies could use.  It is that gentle and even won first place onCosme award in 2017 and is still ranked 12th place in the cleansing overall category to date.

Overall I think this is like one of those boyfriends where you think is bland, boring and unmemorable at first but quickly you find yourself relying on. Wait we're still talking about cleanser right?  Well it's a good comparison ;).

 

Minon Amino Moist Charging Lotion II - $26

Minon Amino Moist Charging Lotion II

 

Description of product:
“Softens keratin to prepare the skin’s base to absorb moisture.
Adjust the skin’s texture and makes your skin feel soft and fresh.
Recommended for those who like rich texture lotion types (aka. those with dry to normal skin types).”

Amount of product:
150 mL

Duration before expiration:
1 year

Country of Manufacture:
Made in Japan

Ingredients:
Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, Methyl Gluceth-20, PEG-75, Serine, Betaine, Sodium Citrate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, PEG-50 Hydrogenated Castor Oil Triisostearate, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Phenoxyethanol, Arginine, Citric Acid, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Tocopherol, Sodium PCA, Alanine, Lysine HCL, PCA Ethyl Cocoyl Arginate, Glycine, Ceteth-20, Threonine, Valine, Histidine, Proline, Leucine, Pentasodium Pentetate, Carnosine, Polyquaternium-61, 1,2-Hexanediol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid.

How to use:
After washing your face, pump out a suitable about (3-4 squirts) into your clean palms. Gently massage into your face and let absorb.

Before you start thinking this is lotion as in moisturizer, Japan names their toners as “lotions”. It's kind of odd and takes some getting used to, but use this as a TONER not a moisturizer. Meaning, use this after you have cleansed your face and then follow up with your serums/ essence/ ampoules and such. 

Minon Amino Moist Charging Lotion II

Packaging for most Jbeauty products are honestly very bland and boring.  But because I know the story behind the brand and how they are a pharmaceutical company, I get it.  This makes you appreciate what is on the inside and not just the outside.

This charging “lotion” comes in a pump which is so NICE!  I hate those toners where they have they ketchup punch out bottles where you have to hit the bottom of the bottle and tons of product shoots out and makes a mess.  Thank god for the easy to control pump.

Minon Amino Moist Charging Lotion II

If you are confused about the two variants of the charging lotion, lotion I is the moist type and marketed for people with normal to oily skin type while charge lotion II is extra moist type for people with very dry skin like me.  The texture is quite watery but not SKII feet juice watery. Yes, my friend said that stuff smells so bad and we renamed it as feet juice.  

Minon Amino Moist Charging Lotion II

I use 2 pumps but layer it twice on my face. And to apply it, I put it in the palms of my hand, clap them together and push the product on my cheeks and then forehead and chin. 

You can instantly feel your skin super hydrated already and the rest of your routine just works so smoothly afterwards!  Again, the formulation is super gentle with no fragrance and sensitive skin friendly.

 

Minon Amino Moist Charge Moisturizing Milk - $30

Minon Amino Moist Charge Moisturizing Milk

Description of product:
“With a rich texture but without any stickiness.
Seeps into the stratum corneum which tends to be become stiff from dryness and makes your skin smooth and soft.”

Amount of product:
100 g

Duration before expiration:
1 year

Country of Manufacture:
Made in Japan

Ingredients:
Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Xylitol, Diisostearyl Malate, Dimethicone, Arachidyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Pentylene Glycol, Beeswax, "Hydroxyethyl Acrylate / Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer", Glyceryl Stearate, Arachidyl Glucoside, Phenoxyethanol, Squalane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glyceryl Caprylate, Polysorbate 60, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Xanthan Gum, Dimethiconol, Carnosine, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Histidine, Taurine, Lysine Hcl, Polyquaternium-61, Glutamic Acid, Glycine, Leucine, Histidine Hcl, Serine, Valine, Sodium Aspartate, Threonine, Alanine, Isoleucine, Allantoin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenylalanine, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Arginine, Proline, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Tyrosine, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate.

How to use:
After preparing your skin with lotion (aka. toner), pump out a suitable amount (1-2 squirts) into your clean palm. Gently spread the foam evenly over the entire face.

Minon Amino Moist Charge Moisturizing Milk

The moist charge milk also comes in a pump form. Hallelujah!! And if you're wondering why the bottle for the charge milk is almost half the size as the lotion, it is because instead of using 3-4 pumps, you only realistically need one pump to get the job done.

Minon Amino Moist Charge Moisturizing Milk

This moist charge milk has a very lightweight lotion (this time it is actually a lotion and not a toner.  False alarm) that gets absorbed into the skin relatively quickly, leaving no greasy or sticky feeling. Your skin feels protected and not heavy and people with combo skin would definitely love this cream since it can hydrate the dry cheeks but not be oily enough to cause problems in the T zone area.

Minon Amino Moist Charge Moisturizing Milk

When I’m applying it to my skin, I take that one pump on the back of my hand and dab it on my cheeks, forehead and chin to ensure an even coat all over my face.  Don’t ask me why I look so depressed in the picture. Oh yea, it's because we all haven’t seen the sun freely for weeks now. Even my introverted self feels like I have to crawl out of my cave, but I can’t.

 

Minon Amino Moist Essential Sheet Mask - $18.50 (Box)

Minon Amino Moist Essential Sheet Mask

Description of product:
“Makes fine wrinkles caused by dryness less noticeable (tested and evaluated for its effectiveness.
Supplies moisturizing ingredients that help support the skin’s barrier function of keratin whose moisture-retaining function is prone to decline.
Bouncy gel beauty lotion infused in a soft and close fitted sheet that clings to your face and does not drip.”

Amount of product:
22 ml per sheet mask x 4 masks in a box

Duration before expiration:
1 year

Country of Manufacture:
Made in Japan

Ingredients:
Water, Bg, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Arginine, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Serine, Phenoxy Ethanol, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil Pca Isostearate, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizinate, Triisostearin, Tocopherol, Pca-Na, Alanine, Glycine, Threonine, Valine, Histidine, Proline, Lysine Hcl, Leucine, Pentasodium Pentetate, 1.2-Hexanediol, Carnosine, Polyquaternium-61, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Sodium Hyaluronate.

How to use:
After applying lotion on your skin (aka toner), take out the mask from the package and apply onto the face.  Leave for 10-15 minutes and take off the mask. Let the leftover gel essence soak into the skin.

Minon Amino Moist Essential Sheet Mask

I’m honestly not a huge sheet mask person due to all the waste and my unexplainable fear of opening foil packages.  But with the first three product working so well in my routine, I was excited to try the mask. Each box comes with 4 masks or you can buy them separately on the Glowie Co website!

Minon Amino Moist Essential Sheet Mask

Over the last couple of months, I have grown very fond of Japanese sheet masks.  They usually come in bulk packs of 7 or even 36 and are just so much less wasteful and even cheaper!  Masks can cost as low as $0.40 if you buy them in bulk! The one major thing I have to deal with though is the tiny eye hold.  Like I get it, asians have small eyes but not THAT small. Some readers did tell me that I have to stretch the eye area out before putting it on my face and it does help but I really shouldn’t have to do that.

Minon Amino Moist Essential Sheet Mask

The material used for this sheet mask is cotton I believe??  It holds the essence well but does start to dry up after the 20 minute mark so it isn’t a forever sheet mask.  I did not have a problem with it sliding off my face nor was the essence dripping either.

Minon Amino Moist Essential Sheet Mask

Here is my bare face, my dry dry skin that I can’t go a day without moisturizing twice a day.  I don’t have major issues other then remembering to exfoliate twice a week and just inject it with as much moisture as possible!!

Minon Amino Moist Essential Sheet Mask

To my surprise, the eye hole ISN’T racistly tiny!  I’m super happy with that and there are nose slits but a giant mouth hole like I’m no face from Spirited Away.  Gimme moneyyyyy! I’m gonna eat your money while I am face masking haha.

Minon Amino Moist Essential Sheet Mask

Oh yea and they have a giant nose slit too.  I’ve never had a face mask where the nose cut out covered even my nostrils.  I totally feel like Voldemort muahahahha. I will get you Harry Potter, even if it is the last thing I do!

Minon Amino Moist Essential Sheet Mask

And Voila! To test the mask’s moisture levels, I let it dry completely to see if my skin would be craving more moisture and surprisingly, my skin didn’t!  I know it is a good sheet mask when I almost forget to apply moisturizer afterwards!! My skin felt cooled, plumped and crazy hydrated. Super impressed and I’m going to cherish the last mask I have on hand. Don’t leave meeeee.

How I'm using Minon's Amino Moist products now

If you are wondering how I’ve incorporated the Minon products in my routine, I found these other two products paired with the Moist Charge Lotion II and Moist Charge Milk with Naturie’s Skin Conditioner and Make P:rem Safe Me Relief Moisture Cream.  I’m not kidding when I say I’ve never woken up to my skin still feeling super hydrated and plump. Like I can touch my cheeks and there is a layer of moisture on my face, 10 hours later!!!!! This is the BEST skincare routine that I’ve come across and I would repurchase the Minon skincare in a heartbeat.  I totally understand why it is a cult favourite now and they deserve everyone’s moolah. Just TAKE IT.

 

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