• 10 Best Tried and True Japanese Face Washes for Oily Skin in 2022 (Beauty Expert-Reviewed) 1
  • 10 Best Tried and True Japanese Face Washes for Oily Skin in 2022 (Beauty Expert-Reviewed) 2
  • 10 Best Tried and True Japanese Face Washes for Oily Skin in 2022 (Beauty Expert-Reviewed) 3
  • 10 Best Tried and True Japanese Face Washes for Oily Skin in 2022 (Beauty Expert-Reviewed) 4
  • 10 Best Tried and True Japanese Face Washes for Oily Skin in 2022 (Beauty Expert-Reviewed) 5

10 Best Tried and True Japanese Face Washes for Oily Skin in 2022 (Beauty Expert-Reviewed)

Have you been using a face wash that's too harsh for your skin in an attempt to remove all that excess oil? Do you wish you had a face wash that could thoroughly clean your face and moisturize it in the process? Oily skin is a common concern among many and a skin type that can often lead to acne. If you have oily skin, it's important to wash your face daily to remove excess sebum and grime without placing too much stress on your skin, which may contribute to more oil production. 


However, with so many manufacturers and brands, like Kanebo, Curél, Bioré, and Cow Brand, to name a few, all with varying cleansing abilities and ingredients, as well as in different formats, like foam, paste, powder, cream, and even bar soap, the options can be overwhelming.


To help you out, in this article, we gathered the 17 best-selling Japanese face washes for oily skin available on e-commerce sites popular in Japan, like Amazon, Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, and @cosme SHOPPING, and tested them all.


We tested each product for the following:

  • Cleansing ability
  • Moisture retention
  • Gentleness
  • Skin conditioning ingredients
  • Feel

Then, based on our tests, we chose and ranked the 10 best Japanese face washes for oily skin in 2022. We also put together a buying guide based on what we learned, so keep reading to find out more.

Featured in this article

Kaori
Mai Horiuchi
  • Last updated: 08-21-2022
Table of Contents

First, What Causes Oily Skin?

First, What Causes Oily Skin?

Genetics is a common cause, but there may also be other underlying causes, such as the ones listed below:


  • Stress
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Poor eating habits
  • Improper skincare
  • New climate
  • Dehydration (also known as inner dry skin)

As with any aspect of health, it’s best to take a multi-faceted approach. Make sure you exercise, rest well, eat right, use the appropriate face wash for your skin, and moisturize properly to keep your skin healthy.


However, if you still find yourself struggling to see any improvements, it may be best to consult with a dermatologist.

Is Your Skin Oily, or Actually Inner-Dry?

Is Your Skin Oily, or Actually Inner-Dry?

Skin that produces high levels of sebum can be divided into two different types: oily skin, which has lots of moisture in the outermost layer of the skin, and inner dry skin, which is dehydrated and stiff.


Despite these skin types almost sounding like opposites, both of them are characterized by a large amount of sebum production, resulting in the surface of the skin appearing shiny. 


When you realize your skin is oilier, you may feel inclined to use harsh methods to remove that oiliness; however, the best way to care for oily skin is to focus on cleansing the skin while keeping the skin's NMF (Natural Moisturizing Factor) and ceramides.

Kaori
Scientific Beautician
Kaori

Inner dry skin is often said to be caused by overwashing.


Using a cleanser with a weak cleansing ability can mean a longer wash time, and with this, NMF's and ceramides can also be stripped away from the skin. Therefore, for inner dry skin, a cleanser with a high cleansing ability that can quickly remove oil and grime is ideal.

How to Choose a Japanese Face Wash for Oily Skin

Here are five points to look out for when choosing a face wash for oily skin.

Look for Soap-Based Ingredients

Look for Soap-Based Ingredients

Face washes with low cleansing abilities lead to a longer wash time, which is bad for oily skin. It's recommended that you use a soap-based product that's known to have high cleansing abilities and lead to shorter wash times.


In our tests, soap-based products showed high cleansing abilities; many of the soap-based products we tested proved this by leaving hardly any oil on the glass plates. If you have sensitive skin, using a carvone-based cleanser with a high cleansing ability but is still gentle to the skin is also recommended.

Kaori
Scientific Beautician
Kaori

Even if the main cleansing ingredient is sulfate-based, combining the cleanser with betaines or amino acids can lower cleansing ability and, therefore, will be less irritating to the skin. This can make these products easier to use if you have sensitive skin!

Look for Moisturizing Ingredients, Even for Oily Skin

Look for Moisturizing Ingredients, Even for Oily Skin

Moisturizing ingredients are super important in face washes, regardless of the skin type it's made for. Since they cushion the blow that comes with cleansing your skin, it's a necessity for oily skin, too.


When looking at the ingredient list of your products, it's important to note that ingredients are listed in descending order of amount. Therefore, the earlier the moisturizing ingredients appear on your ingredient list, the better. Major ingredients to look for include glycerine, sugars (like sorbitols and maltitols), and sodium hyaluronate as moisturizing ingredients. 


Among these ingredients, glycerine was the most important. We recommended looking for a product with high glycerine content as a result. 


However, because face washes for oily skin tend to harshly remove sebum from the skin, dryness can become a problem. Thus, it's important to carefully and thoroughly moisturize after using these face washes.

Kaori
Scientific Beautician
Kaori

I also recommend choosing a product that lathers well. The more a product foams, the more sebum is absorbed and the less moisturizing ingredients are lost during the wash.

For Specialized Needs Like Acne Prevention or Clogged Pores, Look for Ingredients that Target These Concerns

Since oily skin is caused by excessive sebum production, other skin concerns like acne and clogged pores may arise. Be sure to look for products with ingredients that target your specific skin needs.

Prevent Acne With Anti-inflammatory and Bactericidal Ingredients

Prevent Acne With Anti-inflammatory and Bactericidal Ingredients

For those who want to prevent acne caused by excessive sebum production, look for medicated products that contain anti-inflammatory and bactericidal ingredients.


However, these products need to be used with caution, because regular use of products with bactericidal ingredients can upset the balance of natural, healthy bacteria on the skin, worsening the condition of the skin.


Even if not specifically a bactericidal product, soap-based products with high cleansing abilities can be considered to also have a certain level of bactericidal abilities. Therefore, limiting your use of bactericidal products to times when you are particularly concerned with your skin conditions is best.

Clogged Pores and Darkness Can Be Managed With Clay, Charcoal, or Lipase

Clogged Pores and Darkness Can Be Managed With Clay, Charcoal, or Lipase

One of the causes of clogged pores is the oxidation of sebum. Another cause is the combination of excess sebum and proteins.


Clay can absorb and remove excess sebum, which causes unwanted shine or greasy stickiness.


Look for ingredients like the following:

  • Bentonite
  • Moroccan lava clay (Rhassoul/Ghassoul clay)
  • Sea silt (marine mud)

In addition, lipases can serve the purpose of breaking down fats and oils, helping to wash away excessively produced sebum and/or prevent darkening caused by oxidation.

Kaori
Scientific Beautician
Kaori

Clay can minimize irritation caused by cleansing ingredients.


Lipases can be harsh if used daily, so stick to using these only once or twice a week.

If You Have Sensitive Skin, Check for Products That Have Cleared Safety Tests

If You Have Sensitive Skin, Check for Products That Have Cleared Safety Tests

The condition of your skin can become unbalanced due to a variety of factors, including external factors (like pollen or ultraviolet rays) and internal factors (like stress and hormonal imbalances). Even face washes that don't normally irritate your skin can cause redness or tingling as your skin condition changes.


In such cases, look for products that have passed safety tests, as described as patch tested, allergy tested, or stinging tested, for example.


When testing our products, we deducted points for products with large amounts of preservatives, propylene glycol, or PG (a moisturizing ingredient not suited for sensitive skin), and peppermint water (used as part of the fragrance). Avoid these ingredients when your skin conditions are not ideal!

Dense, Rich Foams Are Ideal, as Are Products That Can Be Used With a Single Hand

Dense, Rich Foams Are Ideal, as Are Products That Can Be Used With a Single Hand

Face washes are used daily, so practicality is also an important consideration.


Products in aerosol cans can be alluring due to their ability to easily create dense foams, but they can be harder to rinse off. Pastes and bar soaps can also create dense foams but are easier to wash, making them highly recommended.


The ability to open and use the product with one hand is also extremely helpful. Imagine trying to wash your face in a hurry on a busy morning, for example. For this reason, products that come in tubes can be a smooth and convenient option.

10 Best Japanese Face Washes for Oily Skin

To figure out the best Japanese face washes for oily skin, we gathered 17 best-selling products from e-commerce sites popular in Japan like Amazon, Rakuten, and Yahoo! Shopping, and tested them all. 

We tested each product for the following:

  • Cleansing ability
  • Moisture retention
  • Gentleness
  • Skin conditioning ingredients
  • Feel

Our expert helped test the products featured in this article. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.


※Note that Japanese prices for the products are given; they’ve merely been converted into USD for easy viewing.

Image
1
Kanebo Scrubbing Mud Wash 1

Kanebo

2
Curél Sebum Trouble Care Foaming Facial Wash 1

Curél

3
Kanebo Cosmetics Suisai Beauty Clear Black Powder Wash 1

Kanebo Cosmetics

4
Fine Today Shiseido Sengan Senka Perfect White Clay Face Wash 1

Fine Today Shiseido

5
Chifure Cosmetics Scrub Cleansing Foam 1

Chifure Cosmetics

6
Kao Bioré The Face Oil Control Facial Wash 1

Kao

7
Ryohin Keikaku MUJI Mild Face Soap Scrub 1

Ryohin Keikaku

8
Rosette Facial Cleansing Pasta Glacier Mud Cleanse 1

Rosette

9
FANCL Deep Clear Washing Powder 1

FANCL

10
Gyunyu Sekken Kyoshinsha Cow Brand Blue Box (Refreshing) 1

Gyunyu Sekken Kyoshinsha

Name

Scrubbing Mud Wash

Sebum Trouble Care Foaming Facial Wash

Suisai Beauty Clear Black Powder Wash

Sengan Senka Perfect White Clay Face Wash

Scrub Cleansing Foam

Bioré The Face Oil Control Facial Wash

MUJI Mild Face Soap Scrub

Facial Cleansing Pasta Glacier Mud Cleanse

Deep Clear Washing Powder

Cow Brand Blue Box (Refreshing)

Features

Best Well-Rounded and Refreshing Oily Skin Face Wash

Best Gentle Fragrance-Free Face Wash for Sensitive Skin That Protects Ceramides

Dense Foam Cleanser With Charcoal and Enzymes for High Cleansing Abilities

Bouncy and Easy to Lather Foam Cleanser With Good Moisture Retention Abilities

Face Wash With High Cleansing Power and Exfoliating Scrub Grains

Moisture Retaining Face Wash With Refreshing Orange Scent

Fragrance-Free Subtle Scrub With Convenient Transparent Packaging

Soap and Clay-Based Face Wash With Good Cleansing Abilities for Oily but Not Sensitive Skin

Finely Lathered Foam With Great Moisture Retention But Lower Cleansing Abilities

Simple, Mild, and Gentle Cleanser but Low Cleansing Ability

Price$27.00$9.77$13.33$9.48$32.88$6.30$5.04$2.96$14.67$6.20
Japaneseカネボウ化粧品 カネボウ スクラビング マッド ウォッシュ花王 キュレル 皮脂トラブルケア 洗顔料カネボウ化粧品 スイサイ ビューティクリア ブラック パウダーウォッシュファイントゥデイ資生堂 洗顔専科 パーフェクトホワイトクレイ 洗顔料ちふれ化粧品 スクラブ 洗顔 フォーム花王 ビオレ ザ フェイス 泡洗顔料 オイルコントロール良品計画 無印良品 マイルドスクラブ洗顔フォームロゼット 洗顔パスタ 氷河泥クレンズファンケル ディープクリア洗顔パウダー牛乳石鹸共進社 カウブランド 青箱(さっぱり)
Amount4.59 oz.5.07 fl. oz.0.01 oz. x324.23 oz3.53 oz6.76 fl. oz.4.23 oz4.23 oz30 packages3.00 oz
TypePasteFoamPowderPastePasteFoamCreamPastePowderBar soap
FragranceRose, fruity florals--Floral-Orange-Forest herb-Jasmine flowers
Main cleansing ingredientSoapAmino acidAmino acidSoapSoapSoapSoapSoapAmino acidSoap
Main moisturizing ingredientGlycerin, sodium hyaluronateGlycerine, sorbitols-Glycerine, dipropylene glycol, beeswaxButylene glycol, glycerinePropylene glycol, PEG-150, glycerineGlycerinePropylene glycolSodium hyaluronate-
Lathering requiredYesNoYesYesYesN/AYesYesYesYes
FeaturesN/APatch tested, allergy tested, dye free, alcohol freeParaben free, alcohol freeAllergy testedDye free, alcohol freeN/ADye free, mineral oil free, alcohol free Dye free, mineral oil freeArtificial color free, alcohol freePatch tested, paraben free, dye free, alcohol free
Overall score4.373.923.783.703.703.673.643.553.313.30
Cleansing ability5.04.05.03.44.04.03.54.03.03.1
Moisture retention4.23.33.73.63.93.53.33.83.9
Gentleness5.04.05.05.03.53.54.03.35.05.0
Skin conditioning ingredients4.0
Feel3.63.44.23.63.33.63.83.63.73.4
Link
1
Japaneseカネボウ化粧品 カネボウ スクラビング マッド ウォッシュ
Amount4.59 oz.
TypePaste
FragranceRose, fruity florals
Main cleansing ingredientSoap
Main moisturizing ingredientGlycerin, sodium hyaluronate
Lathering requiredYes
FeaturesN/A
Overall score4.37
Cleansing ability5.0
Moisture retention4.2
Gentleness5.0
Skin conditioning ingredients4.0
Feel3.6
2
Curél Sebum Trouble Care Foaming Facial Wash 1

CurélSebum Trouble Care Foaming Facial Wash

$9.77

Japanese花王 キュレル 皮脂トラブルケア 洗顔料
Amount5.07 fl. oz.
TypeFoam
Fragrance-
Main cleansing ingredientAmino acid
Main moisturizing ingredientGlycerine, sorbitols
Lathering requiredNo
FeaturesPatch tested, allergy tested, dye free, alcohol free
Overall score3.92
Cleansing ability4.0
Moisture rentention3.8
Gentleness4.0
Skin conditioning ingredient5.0
Feel3.4
3
Kanebo Cosmetics Suisai Beauty Clear Black Powder Wash 1

Kanebo CosmeticsSuisai Beauty Clear Black Powder Wash

$13.33

Japaneseカネボウ化粧品 スイサイ ビューティクリア ブラック パウダーウォッシュ
Amount0.01 oz. x32
TypePowder
Fragrance-
Main cleansing ingredientAmino acid
Main moisturizing ingredient-
Lathering requiredYes
FeaturesParaben free, alcohol free
Overall score3.78
Cleansing ability5.0
Moisture retention3.3
Gentleness5.0
Skin conditioning ingredient3.3
Feel4.2
4
Fine Today Shiseido Sengan Senka Perfect White Clay Face Wash 1

Fine Today ShiseidoSengan Senka Perfect White Clay Face Wash

$9.48

Japaneseファイントゥデイ資生堂 洗顔専科 パーフェクトホワイトクレイ 洗顔料
Amount4.23 oz
TypePaste
FragranceFloral
Main cleansing ingredientSoap
Main moisturizing ingredientGlycerine, dipropylene glycol, beeswax
Lathering requiredYes
FeaturesAllergy tested
Overall score3.70
Cleansing ability3.4
Moisture retention3.7
Gentleness5.0
Skin conditioning ingredient4.0
Feel3.6
5
Chifure Cosmetics Scrub Cleansing Foam 1

Chifure CosmeticsScrub Cleansing Foam

$32.88

Japaneseちふれ化粧品 スクラブ 洗顔 フォーム
Amount3.53 oz
TypePaste
Fragrance-
Main cleansing ingredientSoap
Main moisturizing ingredientButylene glycol, glycerine
Lathering requiredYes
FeaturesDye free, alcohol free
Overall score3.70
Cleansing ability4.0
Moisture retention3.6
Gentleness3.5
Skin conditioning ingredient4.0
Feel3.3
6
Kao Bioré The Face Oil Control Facial Wash 1

KaoBioré The Face Oil Control Facial Wash

$6.30

Japanese花王 ビオレ ザ フェイス 泡洗顔料 オイルコントロール
Amount6.76 fl. oz.
TypeFoam
FragranceOrange
Main cleansing ingredientSoap
Main moisturizing ingredientPropylene glycol, PEG-150, glycerine
Lathering requiredN/A
FeaturesN/A
Overall score3.67
Cleansing ability4.0
Moisture retention3.9
Gentleness3.5
Skin conditioning ingredient3.3
Feel3.6
7
Ryohin Keikaku MUJI Mild Face Soap Scrub 1

Ryohin KeikakuMUJI Mild Face Soap Scrub

$5.04

Japanese良品計画 無印良品 マイルドスクラブ洗顔フォーム
Amount4.23 oz
TypeCream
Fragrance-
Main cleansing ingredientSoap
Main moisturizing ingredientGlycerine
Lathering requiredYes
FeaturesDye free, mineral oil free, alcohol free
Overall score3.64
Cleansing ability3.5
Moisture retention3.5
Gentleness4.0
Skin conditioning ingredient3.5
Feel3.8
8
Rosette Facial Cleansing Pasta Glacier Mud Cleanse 1

RosetteFacial Cleansing Pasta Glacier Mud Cleanse

$2.96

Japaneseロゼット 洗顔パスタ 氷河泥クレンズ
Amount4.23 oz
TypePaste
FragranceForest herb
Main cleansing ingredientSoap
Main moisturizing ingredientPropylene glycol
Lathering requiredYes
FeaturesDye free, mineral oil free
Overall score3.55
Cleansing ability4.0
Moisture retention3.3
Gentleness3.3
Skin conditioning ingredient4.0
Feel3.6
9
FANCL Deep Clear Washing Powder 1

FANCLDeep Clear Washing Powder

$14.67

Japaneseファンケル ディープクリア洗顔パウダー
Amount30 packages
TypePowder
Fragrance-
Main cleansing ingredientAmino acid
Main moisturizing ingredientSodium hyaluronate
Lathering requiredYes
FeaturesArtificial color free, alcohol free
Overall score3.31
Cleansing ability3.0
Moisture retention3.8
Gentleness5.0
Skin conditioning ingredient5.0
Feel3.7
10
Gyunyu Sekken Kyoshinsha Cow Brand Blue Box (Refreshing) 1

Gyunyu Sekken KyoshinshaCow Brand Blue Box (Refreshing)

$6.20

Japanese牛乳石鹸共進社 カウブランド 青箱(さっぱり)
Amount3.00 oz
TypeBar soap
FragranceJasmine flowers
Main cleansing ingredientSoap
Main moisturizing ingredient-
Lathering requiredYes
FeaturesPatch tested, paraben free, dye free, alcohol free
Overall score3.30
Cleansing ability3.1
Moisture retention3.9
Gentleness5.0
Skin conditioning ingredient3.3
Feel3.4

How We Tested the Face Washes for Oily Skin

How We Tested the Face Washes for Oily Skin

We gathered the 17 best-selling Japanese face washes for oily skin available on e-commerce sites popular in Japan, like Amazon, Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, and @cosme SHOPPING, and tested them all before choosing our top 10 and ranking them accordingly.


We tested each product for the following:

  • Cleansing ability
  • Moisture retention
  • Gentleness
  • Skin conditioning ingredients
  • Feel

Test ① Cleansing Ability

Test ① Cleansing Ability

The first feature we tested was cleansing ability.


Methodology:

  • We applied artificial sebum to a glass slide, then applied face wash on top and lathered it up for 20 seconds
  • We then rinsed the face wash off with warm water (95° Fahrenheit)

We noted any differences we saw before and after applying the face wash.

Test ② Moisture Retention

Test ② Moisture Retention

Next, we looked at changes in skin moisture levels to see how well each face wash was able to retain the skin's moisture.


Instrument used:

Corneometer CM825(Courage+Khazaka)


Methodology:

We first looked at the moisture content on the arms of three Japanese testers. Then, we had them used the face wash for 20 seconds on their arms, had them rinse it off. After waiting for 10 minutes, we checked the moisture content in their arms once again and compared moisture levels.

Test ③ Gentleness

Test ③ Gentleness

To check for gentleness, we consulted with our cosmetics expert Kaori, to analyze the ingredients in the respective product formulas.

Test ④ Skin Conditioning Ingredients

Test ④ Skin Conditioning Ingredients

We also asked Kaori about skin conditioning ingredients contained within the products.

Test ⑤ Feel

Test ⑤ Feel

Finally, since face wash is something used daily, we looked into whether or not the product can be used continuously


We assigned five Japanese testers for every product, and had them incorporate the face washes into their routine to evaluate them in the following areas:


What our testers evaluated:

  • How it feels to use the face washes
  • Practicality of packaging
  • Fragrance

Frequently Asked Questions

How Are Oily Skin Face Washes Different From Dry Skin Face Washes?

Face wash for dry skin is milder than face wash for oily skin, and doesn't remove too much sebum from the skin.


Face wash for oily skin have higher cleansing abilities, working to remove the sebum. The difference in formulas between face washes for dry skin and face washes for oily skin underscore the need to use a product specifically formulated for oily skin.

Check Out These Specialized Face Washes

Controlling oily skin doesn't end with face wash - you can't forget about moisturizing your skin, too! Here are some useful links to help you complete your skincare routine.

Author: /Translation: Nanako Kurosu, Mai T.


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Disclaimer

The products listed do not guarantee any effects, efficacy, or results as described in the buying guide. All products listed in this article have been tested in-house by mybest’s Japan team, with the cooperation of Japanese testers, unless specified otherwise.

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