※Serums, essences, and ampoules are basically the same product, just with different concentration levels of active ingredients.
Now to introduce the 19 best Japanese moisturizing serums, essences, and ampoules available online. They were ranked by how well they did on our tests and given an overall grade ranging from 1.0 to 5.0.
※Japanese prices for some of the products are given; they’ve merely been converted into USD for easy viewing.
|Japanese||ちふれ 美容液 ノンアルコールタイプ|
|Japanese||シュウウエムラ TSUYA エッセンスVG|
|Japanese||SUQQU ライトソリューション エッセンス|
|Japanese||POLA B.A セラム レブアップ|
|Japanese||ライスフォース ディープシリーズ ディープモイスチュアエッセンス|
|Japanese||アクセーヌ AD コントロール エッセンス|
|Japanese||リッツ モイスト 美容 エッセンス|
TSUYA skin essence VG
Light Solution Essence
B.A Serum REVUP
KOMBU Skin Serum
Deep Moisture Essence
Nihonshu no Biyoueki – Sake Essence
Skincontrol Essence AD
Intensive Moisture Care Wrinkle Moisture Essence
A Drugstore Cosmetic That's Super Hydrating
Rice Extract Hydrates and Leaves You With Dewy Skin
A Light Serum That Absorbs Quickly into Skin
Left Skin Plush and Plump and Has a Soothing Floral Scent
On the Thicker Side, but Spreads Easily
Hydration was Simply Average
A Unique, Sleek Package That Spreads Easily onto Skin
Quite a Sticky Serum, but Leaves Skin Plump
Great if You’re Looking for a Lighter Serum
Smells Exactly like Sake and Excels at Hydration
The Simple Ingredients List Puts Those With Sensitive Skin at Ease
Has an Irresistible Herbal Scent and Goes on Light
It's Easy to Use, but Just the Slightest Bit Tacky
Has a Thick, Lush Texture That Won't Drip
|Japanese||ちふれ 美容液 ノンアルコールタイプ||米肌 肌潤改善エッセンス||アルビオンエクラフチュールd||シュウウエムラ TSUYA エッセンスVG||アユーラ リズムコンセントレート||SUQQU ライトソリューション エッセンス||POLA B.A セラム レブアップ||shiro がごめ昆布美容液||ライスフォース ディープシリーズ ディープモイスチュアエッセンス||菊正宗 日本酒の美容液||アクセーヌ AD コントロール エッセンス||エトヴォス モイスチャライジングセラム||キュレル 潤浸保湿美容液||リッツ モイスト 美容 エッセンス|
And why they didn't quite make it.
DECORTÉ Moisture Liposome's formula was just thick enough, leaving skin a little tacky. However, if you expect this serum to be as hydrating as it is expensive ($88.66), you might find yourself disappointed.
Another serum we found lacking in moisture was ONE BY KOSE's Hydration Boosting Serum. We were especially disappointed since it contained all sorts of promising ingredients. But it had a light and smooth texture that didn’t leave skin tacky, so you might like it if you prefer thinner serums.
Biso-Jin Jewelry Jelly was the only moisturizing gel serum we tested. It came in a jar with a second lid underneath the main cap with a spatula resting on top that we found annoying to use. The earthy scent wasn't for everyone, and it also wasn't hydrating.
Tune Makers Ceramide 200 Essence had much of the same issues. Despite containing ceramides, it wasn't hydrating and it wouldn't come out of the bottle easily. It was light and silky, though.
Last, but not least, was Tune Makers Fullerene Essence. The ingredients were simple and didn’t leave skin tacky at all, but it just wasn’t hydrating. The bottle was also small, and we thought restocking it could get expensive in the long run. Not to mention that it took some effort trying to get product to come out of the small hole on top.
We gathered 19 most popular Japanese serums, essences, and ampoules from Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme and tested them for hydration and application.
Here, we’d like to introduce two things you should look out for when choosing a moisturizing serum.
Although finding something moisturizing may seem like an obvious conclusion, in this section, we'll teach you how to choose a product that actually works.
Japanese cosmetics need to have all the ingredients listed by law, so you can read the packaging and have a rough idea of what the formula’s going to be like.
However, if the serum’s been labeled as what translates roughly into an over-the-counter drug, then the maker is under no obligation to provide a full list of ingredients–so it gets hard to make assumptions simply from reading labels.
Hydrating serums come in all kinds of textures–some you may like and some you may feel iffy about. You can find gel serums, slick liquid serums, or dense cream-like serums.
If you have dry skin and want to properly care for it, you’ll need good toners and lotions as well. We also tested all the products in these articles, so you should find them helpful.
Remember which serums are most hydrating, which are dense, and which are more lightweight. That way, you can find one that will not only keep your skin soft and lush throughout winter, but fresh and dewy in the summer.
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