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  7. 9 Best Tried and True Japanese Body Creams in 2022 (Beauty Expert-Reviewed)
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9 Best Tried and True Japanese Body Creams in 2022 (Beauty Expert-Reviewed)

Browsing for the best Japanese body creams can be a tough task. What you want is a body cream that hydrates (possibly even more than a high-end brand), has a low price tag, and has no ingredients that might irritate your skin or worse. And while the search can be fun, it can also be time-consuming, especially if you don’t read Japanese.

To save you the headache, we ordered the most popular body creams from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) and tested them all.

We tested each product for the following:

  1. Hydration
  2. Fragrance
  3. Ingredients
  4. Stickiness
  5. Feel

We then ranked the 9 best products available online, based on our tests. Keep on reading to find out more!
Last updated 2023/01/05
Expert
Scientific Beautician
Kaori

Kaori is the representative director of Japan's Scientific Beauty Institute. She also runs the Beauty Science Blog, which sends out beauty science information in a way that's easy to understand. She operates with the mission of "wanting people to enjoy the process of finding skincare that works for them by offering a scientific perspective". Kaori broadcasts her expert knowledge from working with skincare and cosmetics societies and academic journals on her blog, social media, and more. She also works with PR, product development, and corporate support teams for cosmetics.

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Editing Dept.
mybest US Editors

mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.

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  • This content is independently produced by the mybest team. We may receive free products and services from brands and manufacturers and/or place ads, but these do not influence our content and product rankings.
  • For more information, please see mybest content policy
The experts featured in these contents reviewed the contents of the buying guide.
Products or services listed have been independently ranked by the mybest Editorial Team based on 9 Best Japanese Body Creams as of 11-04-2022. Experts featured in this article did not participate in the selection and ranking process.

What's the Difference Between Body Creams, Lotions, and Milks?

What's the Difference Between Body Creams, Lotions, and Milks?

The major difference that separates body creams, body lotions, and body milks, is the balance between water and oils in each type of product.


The main function of moisturizers is to either assist in moisture retention in the epidermis or use emollients to create a thin film on the surface of the skin to prevent moisture evaporation, as well as soften the skin.


Body creams generally have a higher oil content when compared to body lotions or body milks, meaning they have a high level of emollients but tend to be thicker in texture.


Body lotions have a higher amount of water, making them better suited for the hotter months or for those who aren't too fond of thick creams. However, they aren't as moisturizing as body creams due to their watery texture.


Body milks sit in between body creams and lotions in terms of water and oil content, making them well-balanced. They often have a smooth texture and spread easily.


If you want high amounts of moisturization, we recommend choosing body creams. However, if you want something that is moisturizing, but less heavy, take a look at body lotions or milks!

How to Choose a Japanese Body Cream – Buying Guide

Here, we want to introduce three things you should look out for when picking out a Japanese body cream.

① Look for Oils Such As Vaseline or Shea Butter

Look for Oils Such As Vaseline or Shea Butter

Common terms to look for:

  • シェア脂 - Shea butter
  • スクワラン - Squalane
  • ホホバ油 - Jojoba oil
  • アルガン油 - Argan oil
  • ワセリン - Vaseline


When choosing a body cream, it's important to know which kind of oils to look for, since the amount of moisture that gets absorbed into the skin and how the product feels when applied differs depending on the oil type


If you want to protect your skin from dryness, look for oils like vaseline and shea butter. In particular, shea butter is a great emollient and can be applied smoothly on the skin. 


The oils featured in a product are usually listed at the top of the ingredient list.

Kaori
Scientific Beautician
Kaori's Comment

Body creams, which are generally used in large quantities, tend to use synthetic or mineral oils like ester oil and vaseline, rather than expensive plant-based oils.


While plant-based oils like shea butter and olive oil are easily absorbed by the skin, mineral oils are less likely to cause reactions, making them more suited for those with sensitive skin.

② Look for Extra Features Depending on Your Skin Condition

What you should look for in terms of ingredients can be totally different depending on what conditions you're trying to address. In order to get the best results, look for products that have the ingredients that can help your particular skin condition.

For Dry Skin, Look for Ceramides and Collagen for Extra Moisture

For Dry Skin, Look for Ceramides and Collagen for Extra Moisture

Common terms to look for:


  • グリセリン - Glycerin
  • BG - Butylene glycol
  • アミノ酸 - Amino acids
  • ヒアルロン酸 - Hyaluronic acid
  • セラミド - Ceramides
  • コラーゲン - Collagen
  • PCA-Na - 2-porrolydon carboxylic acid sodium salt
  • 糖類 - Sugars
  • スクロース - Sucrose
  • マルチトール - Maltitol
  • キシリトール - Xylitol


If you're looking to add extra moisture to your skin, in addition to oils, check for water-soluble moisturizing ingredients such as those listed in the image above.


In particular, we recommend those with sensitive or dry skin look for ceramides and amino acids, which allows the skin to retain more moisture, which results in finer-looking skin.

Kaori
Scientific Beautician
Kaori's Comment

Sugars such as sucrose and maltitol are moisturizing ingredients that help contribute to a highly moisturized feel. Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and collagen also help moisturize the outer layer of the skin.

For Blemishes, Look For Brightening Ingredients Like Tranexamic Acid

For Blemishes, Look For Brightening Ingredients Like Tranexamic Acid

Common terms to look for:


  • トラネキサム酸 - Tranexamic acid
  • アルブチン - Arbutin
  • プラセンタエキス - Placenta extract
  • ナイアシンアミド - Niacinamide
  • アスコルビン酸2-グルコシド(ビタミンC誘導体) - Ascorbic acid 2-glucoside (Vitamin C derivatives)


In order to have more clear skin, you first need to make sure it's properly hydrated, and secondly, you need to look for brightening ingredients.


The ingredients listed in the image above are often featured in skincare products and can help suppress the production of melanin in the skin, which is caused by UV rays.

Kaori
Scientific Beautician
Kaori's Comment

For those who want to get some anti-aging care in at the same time, I recommend looking for niacinamide, which is an ingredient that helps brighten the skin


Because of its water-soluble properties, it's often used in creams and lotions. This is an ingredient that people who want to focus on anti-aging in addition to their daily moisturizing routine should pay attention to.

For Acne-Prone Skin, Look For Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients Like Allantoin

For Acne-Prone Skin, Look For Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients Like Allantoin

Common terms to look for:


  • グリチルリチン酸ジカリウム - Dipotassium glycyrrhizinate
  • グリチルレチン酸ステアリル - Stearyl glycyrrhetinate
  • アラントイン - Allantoin


Anti-inflammatory ingredients such as stearyl glycyrrhetinate can help prevent acne as well as maintain healthy skin.


If you still find yourself struggling with acne after using products with the ingredients featured in the image above, consider what may be causing your breakouts. Factors like dryness, friction from your clothes, or unthorough rinsing of soap, shampoo, or conditioner can cause acne.

Kaori
Scientific Beautician
Kaori's Comment

If your aim is to focus on having smoother skin, pay attention to the product classification.

Cosmetics, in which the manufacturer can freely adjust the amount of active ingredients they use, don't always use enough. If you're looking for sure results, choose quasi-drugs.

For Sensitive Skin, Check For Potential Irritants Like Fragrances and Alcohol

For Sensitive Skin, Check For Potential Irritants Like Fragrances and Alcohol

Terms to look for:

  • 無香料 - Unscented
  • 無着色 - No coloring
  • アルコールフリー - Alcohol-free


Fragrances, coloring, and alcohol are major points of concern for sensitive skin. While these are pretty standard ingredients, in some cases they can act as irritants. Those with sensitive skin should look for products that are unscented, have no coloring, and are made from simple ingredients.


Additionally, preservatives such as parabens and phenoxyethanol are considered safe ingredients with a proven track record, but those who've experienced irritation should choose products without them, just to be safe.

Kaori
Scientific Beautician
Kaori's Comment

Watch out for products that have a high content of plant extracts and essential oils, which are known to cause adverse reactions for some. If your skin doesn't show any signs of redness or other issues after continued use, you should have no problems.

③ Look for Clean, Gentle Fragrances

Look for Clean, Gentle Fragrances

Body creams are available in a wide range of scents, such as floral, fruity, citrus, with some even unscented.


Overall, our testers preferred scents that offered a clean, fresh scent, since they'll be applying body creams after bathing. If you're looking to buy a body cream as a gift, this might be something to consider!

④ Look for Smooth Textures for Minimal Stickiness

Look for Smooth Textures for Minimal Stickiness

When and where you are can play a major factor in deciding what sort of texture you want in your body cream. 


For example, if you're about to go outside, you might want to choose something that isn't too sticky. On the other hand, if you've just had a nice relaxing bath or are about to go to sleep, you might want to choose something that offers more substance.


In our test, we found that body creams with smoother textures were absorbed by the skin better, making them less sticky. However, watery body creams, as well as those that were too firm, tended to be more difficult to spread evenly, and also resulted in more stickiness.

9 Best Japanese Body Creams

Here are the 9 best Japanese body creams available online that we tested. They were ranked by how well they did on our tests and given an overall grade ranging from 1.0 to 5.0. *Jill Stuart Body Cream was featured in this list as a Japanese body Cream due to the fact that the manufacturer, KOSÉ, is a Japanese company, and the Jill Stuart Beauty line of products was first launched in Japan.
Products
Image
Click to purchase
Points
1

KOSÉ

Jill Stuart Body Cream

KOSÉ Jill Stuart Body Cream 1枚目

Fresh, Floral Scent and Quick-Setting Formula

2

BbyE

Mama Butter Face & Body Cream

BbyE Mama Butter Face & Body Cream 1枚目

Best Body Cream for Dry Skin

3

CareCera

AP Face & Body Cream

CareCera AP Face & Body Cream 1枚目

Watery Texture With a Great Feel

4

Kracie

Aroma Resort Body Cream

Kracie Aroma Resort Body Cream 1枚目

Fantastic Ingredients and a Fresh Scent

5

Kao

Curél Cream

Kao Curél Cream 1枚目

A Gentle and Soft Cream that Spreads Easily

6

Her lip to

Sensual Rich Body Cream

Her lip to  Sensual Rich Body Cream 1枚目

The Ideal Ingredients with a Sweet Scent

7

Clue

WHOMEE Moist Body Cream

Clue WHOMEE Moist Body Cream 1枚目

Versatile, But Unable to Stay Moisturized

8

KOSÉ

Dr. Phil Cosmetics X-Barrier Repair Body Cream

KOSÉ Dr. Phil Cosmetics X-Barrier Repair Body Cream 1枚目

Minimal Stickiness, But Not So Moisturizing

9

Muji

Mujirushi Ryohin Body Cream With 3 Types of Plant Oil

Muji Mujirushi Ryohin Body Cream With 3 Types of Plant Oil 1枚目

Not Nearly Enough Moisturization

Product details
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No.1

Fresh, Floral Scent and Quick-Setting Formula

Jill Stuart Body Cream offers a smooth texture that feels as if it melts across your skin as it warms up from your body heat.


While it doesn't have a lot of oil in it, it does have plenty of ingredients that help maintain healthy skin, such as blackcurrant fruit extract, tocopherol, and madonna lily root extract. In our moisturization test, we found that our testers only lost 10.8% moisture after three hours since application.


The cream itself has a nice elasticity to it and spread easily. Additionally, in the stickiness test, our testers only found six beads on their hands, making it one of the least sticky creams

No.2

Best Body Cream for Dry Skin

BbyE's Mama Butter Face & Body Cream can be used on the entire body, including your face, lips, and hair.


Featuring organic shea butter, this product is incredibly moisturizing! The only drawback though, is that shea butter tends to oxidize easily, so we recommend using this body cream quickly. 


In our moisturization test, our testers still had +18.6% moisture in their skin after three hours, making this product incredibly moisturizing.


Moreover, the cream itself was almost solid, making it difficult to take out of the jar, as well as spread. In the stickiness test, our testers had an acceptable 13 beads left on their hands.

The product is also nearly free of any scents, making it usable in any situation. If you're looking for a highly moisturizing body cream, this is a great choice.

No.3

Watery Texture With a Great Feel

This body cream was formulated for dry and sensitive skin. It contains seven natural ceramides, which fortify your skin’s barrier and maintain moisture levels.


In our moisturization test, our testers lost 5.6% moisture after three hours. However, this product scored highly in the stickiness test, with only two beads remaining on our testers' hands. 


Finally, while this product is almost totally scentless, our testers commented that it has a very faint fresh fragrance, making it ideal for use outside or at the office.

No.4

KracieAroma Resort Body Cream

$4.81

Fantastic Ingredients and a Fresh Scent

Kracie's Aroma Resort Body Cream is made with plant-based butter, which helps lock in moisture.

Moreover, it also features glycerin and sorbitol, which are highly moisturizing, water-soluble ingredients. Unfortunately, our testers lost 12.4% moisture in the moisturization test, regardless of these ingredients.


While the texture was a bit on the firmer side and slightly more difficult to spread, it wasn't as sticky as expected. Finally, our testers loved the scent, commenting that its fresh, floral, citrus scent works with any age range.

No.5

KaoCurél Cream

$26.80

A Gentle and Soft Cream that Spreads Easily

Kao's Curél Cream contains allantoin, a gentle, moisturizing pseudo-ceramide that helps maintain smooth skin. It's gentle enough that it can be used on infants.

This cream's soft, plump texture and spreadability earned it high marks from our testers, but it also took a second to get absorbed. However, after three hours, our testers lost 14.4% moisture in comparison to immediately after applying the body cream.

While the cream does have a medicinal scent, it's hardly noticeable. Finally, with only nine beads sticking to our testers' hands, it got high marks in our stickiness test!

No.6

Her lip to Sensual Rich Body Cream

The Ideal Ingredients with a Sweet Scent

Her lip to's Sensual Rich Body Cream's Nude Pearl scent was highly popular among our testers in their twenties, commenting that it has the perfect balance of sweetness and freshness.

The body cream has a moist texture that blends well, and isn't too sticky, with only 12 beads sticking to our testers' hands.

This cream not only contains squalane, an oil that's gentle on the skin, but also many other moisturizing ingredients that help keep the skin moisturized and maintain a protective barrier around the skin.

Regardless of its ingredients, though, our testers lost a fair amount of moisture after 3 hours, resulting in poor scores in the moisturization test.

No.7

ClueWHOMEE Moist Body Cream

$27.26

Versatile, But Unable to Stay Moisturized

WHOMEE's Moist Body Cream is paraben and alcohol-free, making it gentle enough to use on children.

Being easy to spread and absorb, its very faint scent, as well as with only 11 beads sticking to our testers' hands, it was one of the more versatile body creams we tested.

While it has a high oil content and high amounts of glycerine and ceramides, it was unable to keep our testers' hands moisturized after three hours, resulting in a lower score.

No.8

KOSÉDr. Phil Cosmetics X-Barrier Repair Body Cream

$18.73

Minimal Stickiness, But Not So Moisturizing

Dr. Phil Cosmetics X-Barrier Repair Body Cream not only protects the skin against dryness but also from dirt and dust.

The body cream is made with 2K glycyrrhizinate acid, which helps maintain healthy skin, as well as ester oil, which is known for its hydrating and high absorption qualities. Unfortunately, in our moisturizing test, after three hours our testers lost over 20% moisture.


The texture itself is watery and not sticky at all, nor does it have a particularly strong scent, making it a body cream that can be used whenever.

No.9

MujiMujirushi Ryohin Body Cream With 3 Types of Plant Oil

$11.73

Not Nearly Enough Moisturization

As it says in the name, Muji's Body Cream With 3 Types of Plant Oil is made with three kinds of natural moisturizing plant-based oils, in addition to glycerin and ester oil.


Unfortunately, this body cream didn't get the job done in terms of moisturizing, with our testers losing a large amount of moisture after three hours. On the bright side, though, its moist texture means it spreads and is absorbed well. 

Another positive was that it also proved to be on the not-so-sticky side, with nine beads on our testers' hands, earning it a high score. Our testers were also fond of its faint, fresh fragrance.

How We Tested the Body Creams

Test ①: Moisturizing Ability

Test ①: Moisturizing Ability

The purpose of body cream is to provide moisture to our skin. Using a Corneometer, a device used by research institutes to measure the amount of moisture in the skin, we tested the body creams according to the following steps:


  1. Wash the testing area
  2. Maintain a standard environmental temperature and humidity, and wait for 20 minutes
  3. Measure the amount of moisture in the skin
  4. Apply a set amount of body cream to the testing area
  5. Measure the amount of moisture in the skin immediately after application and after 3 hours

After all the above steps were taken, we then calculated the difference in the amount of moisture that was retained in the skin after immediately applying and 3 hours later, and made our evaluations based on those results.

Test ②: Fragrance

Test ②: Fragrance

We also tested the fragrance of each body cream, as it was mentioned as a point to consider in the buying guide. 


For every product, we gathered three women each from the age range of their twenties, thirties, and forties, and had them evaluate each body cream based on whether or not they thought it was a pleasant smell, and whether or not the scent was too strong for them.

Test ③: Ingredient Evaluation

Test ③: Ingredient Evaluation

We had our expert test the body creams for their ingredients based on the following:


  • Whether or not the type and amount of oil in the product is appropriate
  • Whether or not it contains cosmetological ingredients
  • Whether or not the composition is gentle on the skin

Since the body creams we tested fall under the category of quasi-drugs, which is defined by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan as a category of products that fit between medicine and cosmetics, they are not obliged to label all ingredients, so for this test, only the labeled ingredients were evaluated.

Test ④: How Sticky the Cream Was

Test ④: How Sticky the Cream Was

Since how sticky a body cream is can potentially limit when and where it can be used, we made sure to include that in our buying guide. As such, we had our testers check how sticky each product was.


Our testers applied a set amount of each body cream to the back of their hand. After three minutes passed, they pressed their hand onto a plate full of beads.


Finally, they counted the number of beads remaining on their hand after shaking their hand gently left and right. We calculated each body cream's score based on the number of beads remaining on their hand.

Test ⑤: How the Product Feels

Test ⑤: How the Product Feels

Finally, we tested how each body cream feels based on its texture and ease of application. For every product, we had five testers actually use the body creams, and had them score each product based on the following:


  • If the texture of the product made it easy to use or not
  • How well it spread
  • How easy it was to apply

How to Properly Apply Body Cream

Applying body cream seems like such an intuitive thing. No one ever teaches you how to do it. But there may be a few things you could be doing to ensure you get as much hydration as possible. Let’s talk about each below.

Body Creams are Most Effective When Applied Right After a Shower

Body Creams are Most Effective When Applied Right After a Shower
You want to apply a body cream within ten minutes after your bath or shower, while your skin is still warm. 

After ten minutes, your skin actually loses more moisture than before you got in the bath or shower, making it important to make sure you moisturize your skin before this happens.


We recommend applying body cream by massaging your skin, moving from the outside inwards. Also, since generally there's less sebum being secreted in the lower half of your body, don't forget to give it extra care!

One Dollop Should Be the Size of a Dollar Coin

One Dollop Should Be the Size of a Dollar Coin
When it comes to body cream, you want to be as generous as possible. Basically, try using a dollar-coin sized dollop of cream on every section of your body–one dollop on the area between your thighs and your toes and another between your shoulders and fingertips, for instance.


Of course, how much body cream you need is also affected by the state your skin is in, as well as temperature and humidity, so use the dollar-coin rule as a guideline and adjust as necessary.

Replenish Your Skin With These Other Moisturizing Products

It's important to keep your skin hydrated and fully moisturized if you want to retain healthy, baby-soft skin. Besides body lotion, there are plenty of other skincare products that can help you. If you're looking for more great suggestions, take a peek at the articles below!

When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.

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