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  • 10 Best Japanese Skincare Products in the Philippines 2023 | Buying Guide Reviewed by Dermatologist 3
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10 Best Japanese Skincare Products in the Philippines 2023 | Buying Guide Reviewed by Dermatologist

Japanese skincare products have become widely available in the Philippines since online shopping became a norm. Because of this, there are even more products you can choose to achieve the skin of your dreamsーclear, healthy, and as soft as a rice cake! With the Japanese skincare routine focusing mostly on hydration and moisturizing, you’ll surely achieve a glowing complexion.


Without further ado, we will now introduce you to ten of the best Japanese skin care products you can purchase here in the Philippines. Likewise, you can read through our thoroughly researched buying guide, with comments and insights from board-certified dermatologist Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz, to know what’s best for you. Check these out below!

Last updated 07/14/2023
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Expert
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz is the face behind Ask Your Derma. She is a board-certified dermatologist in Metro Manila. She is also an educator and digital creator on all things skin, hair, and nails. She is a Diplomate of the Philippine Dermatological Society and offers online video consultations. You can also catch her on her Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube channel.

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Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.

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The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.

Table of Contents

What Sets Japanese Skincare Apart From Others?

What Sets Japanese Skincare Apart From Others?

While other skincare routines focus on exfoliating and just cleansing the skin, Japanese skincare focuses more on the nourishment aspect. The goal is to get "mochi-hada, " literally translated to "rice-cake skin, " referring to the smooth, plump, and soft look of Japanese mochi treats.


Protection from the harsh rays of the sun, multiple layers of hydration, and thorough cleaning are three of the most important factors, so most of their products are infused with formulas that do those. Facial masks are also commonly used for intense moisturizing.

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz

The Japanese skincare philosophy is more geared towards minimalism. Hand in hand with minimalism comes prevention (e.g., prevention from sun damage and from dryness)—a concept incorporated into their different skincare products. 

How to Choose Japanese Skincare Products - Buying Guide

Here are some key points to consider:


  1. Choose skincare products based on your skin type.
  2. Look for ingredients that can address your skin concerns.
  3. Build a skincare routine with products that you need.

For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.

1

Choose Skincare Products Based on Your Skin Type

Varying skin types need varying skincare products. Based on your skin's specific concern, you can definitely choose products which suit them best and help alleviate those concerns. You should also be mindful of what ingredients to avoid so as not to worsen the problem.

For Dry Skin, Go for Skincare Products That Give Intense Hydration

For Dry Skin, Go for Skincare Products That Give Intense Hydration

As previously mentioned, hydration is an essential factor in Japanese skincare. Getting soft skin is one of its main goals, so hydrating your skin is vital. Remember that lack of moisture makes it more vulnerable to irritation and roughness. Moisturizing products such as serums, essences, moisturizers, or facial masks solve that problem. 


Products with botanical extracts and natural oils are good sources of hydration because they are packed with skin-friendly vitamins and nutrients. Skincare products with ingredients such as eucalyptus, aloe vera, and avocado increase your skin’s capability to hold water, giving it a healthier, moisturized look.

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz

With 'mochi skin' as the #skingoals, Japanese skincare products have a good selection of moisturizing products. Look for time-proven ingredients that offer hydration, such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, which are commonly incorporated into their products.  

For Sensitive Skin, Steer Clear of Skincare Products With Sulfates

For Sensitive Skin, Steer Clear of Skincare Products With Sulfates

Sure, sulfates such as sodium lauryl sulfates (SLS) are effective in cleaning the skin’s surface. However, they can strip your skin of its natural oils and should be countered with moisturizing products so that your skin won’t dry out. 


For people with sensitive skin, products that contain sulfates are not recommended. This is because they can potentially irritate sensitive skin the longer it stays on the skin. They may also clog pores and cause acne.

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz

Let's bust some skincare myths! "Sulfates are bad."—this is not necessarily the case. In fact, sulfates are effective cleaning agents that are safe in the levels incorporated into skincare products. However, it can be irritating to some. So if you have sensitive skin, you can opt for one that is sulfate-free, especially if you have had previous irritations.

For Oily Skin, Select Products With Light Texture and Oil Control Properties

For Oily Skin, Select Products With Light Texture  and Oil Control Properties

Sebum or oil is important to keep your skin moisturized. However, excess amounts of it can lead to clogged pores and acne. To avoid this, consider selecting skincare products that feel light on the skin and can control excess oil production without blocking pores. 


Examples of these are products that are water-based, as these are typically non-comedogenic and quick-absorbing. There are also items out there that are oil-free and non-sticky, so remember to look out for those.

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz

Those with oily skin tend to produce more oil or sebum, leaving the skin greasy-feeling and/or shiny-looking. Although these terms aren't standardized, it's helpful to seek products with these out as they may be better suited for someone with oily skin. Key words to look for in your products would be 'oil-free,' 'non-comedogenic,' and 'lightweight,' amongst others.

2

Look for Ingredients That Can Address Your Skin Concerns

Apart from your skin type, you should also consider other problems your skin might have. Go worry-free by picking skincare products that address your skin’s concerns!

Antioxidants Like Retinol Prevent Skin Aging and Brighten Skin Tone

Antioxidants Like Retinol Prevent Skin Aging and Brighten Skin Tone

If you are worrying about fine lines and wrinkles appearing on your skin, you may consider looking for products that contain retinol and vitamin E. Both ingredients boost collagen production, which then helps lessen wrinkles and plump up your skin. 


Other ingredients to look out for are vitamin C and niacinamide. All of these have skin brightening factors, as well as antioxidants which will protect your skin against damage from free radicals

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz

Retinols are one of our holy grails when it comes to 'anti-aging' addressing fine lines and wrinkles, skin laxity, and skin pigmentation.

Tip: Start low and slow! Remember, this is not a race. It's a marathon to good, healthy skin!

Amino Acids Are Vital for Damaged Skin

Amino Acids Are Vital for Damaged Skin

Uneven complexion, acne scars, and pigmentation are some of the characteristics of damaged skin. Amino acids are important nutrients that help repair damaged skin, as they serve as building blocks for the proteins your skin needs. They also provide antioxidants that shield skin against environmental stressors.

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins that keep the skin functional and healthy. Different types of amino acids have been incorporated into different products aimed at different concerns (e.g., arginine and histidine, amongst others).

When in doubt, #AskYourDerma as the choice of which can target your skin concern can be confusing!

3

Build a Skincare Routine With Products That You Need

When building a skincare routine, you don't need to have a wide range of products right away. You can start with the basics first and see what works for you. Below are some of the kinds of products you can get for your skincare lineup.

Get a Facial Cleanser With Nutrient-Rich Ingredients

Get a Facial Cleanser With Nutrient-Rich Ingredients

In Japanese skincare, double cleansing is an important element. It means that cleansing is done in a two-step process. First is by using cleansing oils, which usually contain olive or jojoba oil, to dissolve makeup, sebum, and other residues on your skin. This step is followed by the use of water-based cleansers, which are usually infused with fruit extracts to remove bacteria and dead skin cells.


Japanese skincare cleansers are not only gentle, but also offer lots of benefits. For example, ingredients such as vitamin C and salicylic acid are not only effective cleaning agents, but also provide antioxidants to protect the skin from free radicals. 


These ingredients also exfoliate the skin’s surface and strip away oil that can clog your pores, leading to clear, acne-free skin. They also contain anti-aging factors that help with reducing fine lines and wrinkles for a more youthful glow.

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz

Listen to your skin! Did you wear thick sunscreen and/or makeup during the day? Then a double cleanse may do you good! And remember, if you decide to double cleanse, you don't have to do it daily, adjust it based on what you applied onto your skin that day instead.

Lotions and Skin Conditioners Soften and Hydrate the Skin

Lotions and Skin Conditioners Soften and Hydrate  the Skin

After cleansing, you might want to condition your skin using Japanese lotions. Usually, lotions contain humectants that attract water, thus hydrating your skin from the inside out. Common ingredients to look for in these skin conditioners are hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and aloe, which are all great ingredients for moisturizing and softening skin.

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz

Apply the lotion within 10 minutes of bathing while your skin is slightly damp. This will enable you to maximize the benefits you can get from that lotion. 

Serums Combat Dark Spots and Wrinkles

Serums Combat Dark Spots and Wrinkles

Serums are highly concentrated formulations that address specific skin concerns with a potent blend of ingredients. Compared to moisturizers, they are more liquid and lightweight because they are formulated to penetrate the layers of the skin deeply.


Vitamin C is a favorite serum ingredient for a reason. Aside from its antioxidant properties, it also reduces dark spots and wrinkles while nourishing your skin. It has the same effects as lotions, but is used for layering to add extra hydration. Other common serum ingredients are retinol and natural oils, perfect for younger-looking skin.

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz

Serums are highly concentrated with active ingredients meant to target specific skin concerns. In choosing a serum, make sure to prioritize one skin concern and target that with the particular serum. Remember, using too many products at one time may cause more harm than good.

Moisturizers for Sealing in Nutrients

Moisturizers for Sealing in Nutrients

Moisturizers lock in all the good ingredients applied on your skin in the previous steps. Common ingredients are also natural oils like horse and camelia oil, among others, which build and repair your skin’s moisture barriers. Double moisturizing is also a common practice in Japanese skincare, so you might also consider using sheet masks after the moisturizer, especially before going to bed.

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz

Moisturizers are key to any skincare routine, regardless of skin type. The key is choosing the right one depending on its overall texture, consistency, and formulation that would sit well with your skin

Sunscreens With at Least SPF 30 and PA +++ Offer Protection Against UV Rays

Sunscreens With at Least SPF 30 and PA +++ Offer Protection Against UV Rays

Heat in the Philippines, especially during the summer, is a big headache. Not only literally, but also if you’re concerned about your skin’s health. Your usual day cream might have you covered in this aspect, but there are also Japanese sunscreens that provide much more of that protection from UV rays.


As such, you may consider looking for sunscreens that have at least SPF 30. Meanwhile, look for a rating of at least PA+++ in sunscreens for high protection against UVAs. SPF measures a product’s protection from skin burning (UVB), while PA measures the protection against skin aging (UVA).

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Remember, the best sunscreen is one that you actually like and use consistently! Sunscreen is a must in any skincare routine! The 3 non-negotiables in choosing a good sunscreen include:
  1. Broad-spectrum
  2. At least SPF30
  3. Water-resistant
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10 Best Japanese Skincare Products to Buy Online

The products we introduce below were carefully curated by the mybest team, from the best-sellers of E-commerce sites like Lazada, and using the points mentioned in our detailed and thoroughly researched buying guide.
Popularity
Products
Image
Click to purchase
Key features
1

SHU UEMURA

Ultime8∞ Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil

SHU UEMURA Ultime8∞ Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil 1枚目

The Ultimate Facial Cleanser That Moisturizes and Soothes Skin

2

SK-II

Genoptics Spot Essence

SK-II Genoptics Spot Essence 1枚目

Say Goodbye to Fine Lines and Dark Spots

3

Shiseido

WASO Quick Gentle Cleanser

Shiseido WASO Quick Gentle Cleanser 1枚目

A Gentle Cleanser Perfect for Sensitive Skin

4

Obagi

Professional-C Serum 10%

Obagi Professional-C Serum 10% 1枚目

Repair and Protect Skin With This Vitamin C-Infused Serum

5

SEKKISEI

Medicated Sekkisei Emulsion

SEKKISEI Medicated Sekkisei Emulsion 1枚目

Hydrate and Whiten Your Skin With the Power of Five Botanical Extracts

6

CURE

Water Treatment Skin Cream

CURE Water Treatment Skin Cream 1枚目

Get Intense Hydration With This Water-Based Cream

7

Hada Labo

Hydrating Lotion

Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion 1枚目

Formulated With Hyaluronic Acid for Deep Moisturization

8

HANAJIRUSHI

Coix Seed (Hatomugi) Skin Conditioner

HANAJIRUSHI Coix Seed (Hatomugi) Skin Conditioner 1枚目

Great for Repairing Dull and Damaged Skin

9

Ishizawa Lab

Keana Nadeshiko Rice Mask

Ishizawa Lab Keana Nadeshiko Rice Mask 1枚目

Plump Up Your Skin With Nutrients From Japanese Rice Extracts

10

Biore

UV Protection Aqua Rich Watery Essence

Biore UV Protection Aqua Rich Watery Essence 1枚目

Get Maximum Protection From Harmful UV Rays

If you don't see the product you're looking for, you can request that it be listed.
No.1

SHU UEMURAUltime8∞ Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil

Ultime8∞ Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil Image 1
Source:sephora.ph
Reference price
From ₱830
Reference price
From ₱830

The Ultimate Facial Cleanser That Moisturizes and Soothes Skin

Lauded as one of the world's best cleansing oils, Shu Uemura's product offers a wide array of moisturizing benefits. Among its ingredients are naturals oils like jojoba and meadowfoam, which lift your skin's impurities and makeup.


These two ingredients penetrate deep into the skin and create a barrier on its top layer, therefore hydrating it inside and out. Moreover, they contain vitamin E and citric acid, protecting the skin from damage contributed by harmful UV rays.


Lastly, this oil-based cleanser is paraben and sulfate-free, so you don't have to worry about using it even if you have sensitive skin. It may be on the pricier side, but you're sure to get your money's worth!

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No.2

SK-IIGenoptics Spot Essence

Genoptics Spot Essence Image 1
Source:sephora.ph
Reference price
From ₱6,999

Say Goodbye to Fine Lines and Dark Spots

SK-II is one of the best and most popular Japanese skincare products, and this serum is an example of the brand's excellence in the industry. It uses its patented GenOptics formula containing PITERA™, Lumina Sea Kelp, and Demelano P3C™. These components are all natural ingredients that contain more than 50 micro-nutrients for optimum skin conditioning. 


This blend is a luxurious treatment for dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. Moreover, it contains niacinamide and glycerin, which work to moisturize, even out your skin tone, and protect your skin from damage that can be caused by UV exposure. 

No.3

ShiseidoWASO Quick Gentle Cleanser

WASO Quick Gentle Cleanser Image 1
Source:google.com
Reference price
From ₱1,600
Reference price
From ₱1,600

A Gentle Cleanser Perfect for Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin and you often find yourself tiptoeing around new skincare products, worry not because Shiseido's quick cleanser offers you a gentle, nutrient-rich solution. This product is safe for this skin type because it's dermatologist-tested and certified free of parabens, oils, and alcohol.


It has a gel-like texture derived from honey and uses a patented Phyto Resist System+, which boosts moisture to plump and strengthen skin. It also has royal jelly extract that's rich in amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. This product foams without water and leaves skin feeling nourished instead of stripped.

No.4

ObagiProfessional-C Serum 10%

Professional-C Serum 10% Image 1
Source:google.com
Reference price
From ₱5,510

Repair and Protect Skin With This Vitamin C-Infused Serum

Vitamin C is one of the best ingredients in skincare products, and Obagi's serum makes great use of it. Its L-Ascorbic Acid content offers a multitude of benefits from brightening to hydrating and providing antioxidants, freeing your skin from environmental stress!


Furthermore, this product effectively reduces fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots, giving you clearer, youthful-looking skin. It is also clinically-tested and suitable for those with dry and sensitive skin.

No.5

SEKKISEIMedicated Sekkisei Emulsion

Medicated Sekkisei Emulsion Image 1
Source:kose.co.jp
Reference price
From ₱1,918

Hydrate and Whiten Your Skin With the Power of Five Botanical Extracts

This highly emollient moisturizer promises you two thingsーto whiten and hydrate your skin. It contains five oriental herbal extracts: elecampane, coix seed, moutan bark, melothria, and angelica, all of which work together to give you a translucent complexion


Moreover, this product suppresses melanin production and prevents the appearance of freckles and dark spots from sun exposure. It also evens out skin tone and improves elasticity. Best of all, this product is suitable for both dry and humid weather because of the presence of moisture balance polymers that can keep your skin hydrated whatever the environmental conditions are. 

No.6

CUREWater Treatment Skin Cream

Reference price
From ₱1,350

Get Intense Hydration With This Water-Based Cream

Consisting of 70% activated hydrogen water, CURE's moisturizer promises to do a magnificent job at hydrating your complexion. Because it is water-based, this product is lightweight, perfect for our hot and humid weather. It has quite an interesting texture - the cream forms water droplets once applied to the skin, and it gets absorbed instantly. 


Its key ingredients, activated hydrogen water and glycerin, restore and retain moisture. It also has antioxidants to protect your skin from free radicals.  Moreover, this product is on the safer side for those with sensitive skin, as it is oil- and fragrance-free. It is also non-comedogenic and won't trigger breakouts.

No.7

Hada LaboHydrating Lotion

Reference price
From ₱685

Formulated With Hyaluronic Acid for Deep Moisturization

Formulated with 4 types of hyaluronic acid (HA), there's no question that Hada Labo's lotion will give you deep and long-lasting hydration. Its Large Size HA builds a barrier that retains skin moisture, while its Medium Size & Super HA ensure long-lasting moisture. Lastly, its Nano HA works on penetrating the skin to infuse moisture into the deeper layers of the skin.


This moisturizing power is amplified even more with the addition of glycerin. Furthermore, it has a lightweight formulation and is free of fragrances, alcohol, and mineral oil, making it suitable for all skin types.

No.8

HANAJIRUSHICoix Seed (Hatomugi) Skin Conditioner

Reference price
From ₱589

Great for Repairing Dull and Damaged Skin

This toner promises brightening and hydration with its high concentration of coix seed extracts, also known as Job's Tears. It also has the power to repair your skin and improve the turnover of skin cells with the orange fruit and artemisia franc extracts in its formulation. 


This is a lightweight and quick-absorbing product that improves the pH balance of your skin and prepares it for better reception of your other skincare products. And it's versatile, too; you can even use it as a face and body mist on hot days! It has no colorants, fragrances, and is hypoallergenic, perfect for all skin types. 

No.9

Ishizawa LabKeana Nadeshiko Rice Mask

Reference price
From ₱570

Plump Up Your Skin With Nutrients From Japanese Rice Extracts

Composed of ingredients derived from Japanese rice, Keana Nadeshiko Rice Mask works well on dry, rough, and porous skin. Its fermented rice liquid moisturizes skin, while rice bran oil plumps it up. It also has rice ceramides and rice bran extracts to retexturize and improve your complexion.


It is quite a thick mask packed with beauty essence that will leave your skin soft and moist. One of the biggest benefits you'll gain from this mask is the reduction of large pores and the rebalancing of your skin's pH level. No wonder this product has taken the top spot for sheet masks in the @cosme Best Cosmetic Awards!

No.10

BioreUV Protection Aqua Rich Watery Essence

Reference price
From ₱369

Get Maximum Protection From Harmful UV Rays

Sunburn can turn out to be a big problem when you stay under the sun for long, especially during the summer. Good thing there's Biore's sunscreen to shield you from it! With an SPF50+ and PA++++ rating, you're guaranteed to have maximum protection from UV rays that can harm your skin.


This award-winning Japanese sunscreen also contains citrus essences and hyaluronic acid that add protection from free radicals, as well as hydration so your skin won't dry out. It's also waterproof but can be easily removed with soap. With this combo of hydrating and sun protection properties, it's easy to see why this product is a cult favorite! 

Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Dr. Katrina Luz

Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz.

Are Japanese Skincare Products Gentle?

In general, Japanese skincare products aim to be effective in addressing skin concerns. However, the only one that will be able to determine if the product is a good fit for your skin is your skin! Thus, trying the products out and patch testing the products to see if it's gentle enough for your skin is the key.

How to Build a Skincare Routine?

Remember, skin care is not one size fits all. It is best to find the one that best suits your skin. Here are some things that you need to know in order to build a routine fit for your skin.

  • Your skin type
  • Your skin concern/s
  • What ingredients can address the above

Will Japanese Skincare Products Purge My Skin?

It's definitely possible. There are no absolutes when it comes to skincare. Even the gentlest and most well-developed product can still cause certain reactions (purging included) depending on the ingredient and the individual person's response to it.

Start Creating Your Own Skincare Routine!

A good skincare routine is essential to achieving healthy and radiant skin. If you're still not sure about the kinds of skincare products that are perfect for you, check out these links below!

Author: Maureen Kate Basa

Editor: R. Umlas

How We Chose and Ranked Our Product Recommendations

Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.

Top 5 Japanese Skincare Products

No. 1: SHU UEMURAUltime8∞ Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil

No. 2: SK-IIGenoptics Spot Essence

No. 3: ShiseidoWASO Quick Gentle Cleanser

No. 4: ObagiProfessional-C Serum 10%

No. 5: SEKKISEIMedicated Sekkisei Emulsion

View Full Ranking
The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
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