Top 53 Best Japanese Face Washes for Oily Skin to Buy Online 2019 – Tried and True!

Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites (such as as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) for the best face washes for oily skin. We then chose the 53 most popular products and tested them for the following:

  1. Cleansing Power
  2. Hydration
  3. Ingredients

We were searching for products that could absorb oil without drying out skin. We also asked an expert in cosmetic ingredients to look at the formulas and point out options safe for those with sensitive skin. We then compiled our findings into a definitive list of the best Japanese face washes for oily-skinned folks available online.

Table of Contents

First, Let’s Get This Straight. What Causes Oily Skin?

First, Let's Get This Straight. What Causes Oily Skin?

Genetics is the obvious answer. But there may be other underlying causes.

  • Stress
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Poor eating habits
  • Improper skincare
  • 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, and moisturize properly. And, at the end of the day, you need to cleanse properly with the right face wash as well.

Top 53 Best Japanese Face Washes for Oily Skin to Buy Online

We looked at how much artificial sebum they could absorb. We checked how drying they were. We had an expert analyze ingredients. Then, based on how they performed on our tests, we ranked the top 53 Japanese face washes for oily skin available online.

※Products in Japan known as quasi-drugs are not required to disclose full ingredients lists. Therefore, we were unable to complete a full analysis of the ingredients and gave each product a score of 0.0.

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

1. Cow Brand Beauty Soap Red Box (3 Piece Box)

Cow Brand Beauty Soap Red BoxCow Brand Beauty Soap Red Box

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Price: $1.96

Best for the Whole Family: Performs Well and Gives Us Nothing to Dislike

Cow Brand’s Beauty Soap has it all. It has 90 years of history. It has cleansing power and, while it isn’t particularly moisturizing, it’s mild and not drying. And, perhaps most surprisingly, it offers us everything for less than a buck a piece.

The soap bar didn’t really smell like anything–if you really inhale, you might get some of the warmth of milk. It lathered into thick foam. It’s an unassuming face wash that does its job well, and you’d be hard put to find someone who doesn’t like it.

Japanese 牛乳石鹸 カウブランド赤箱 Cleansing 5.0
Hydration 3.0 Ingredients 3.0
Overall Score 5.0

2. Cow Brand Shizen Gokochi Green Tea Facial Cleansing Bar

Cow Brand Shizen Gokochi Green Tea Facial Cleansing BarCow Brand Shizen Gokochi Green Tea Facial Cleansing Bar

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Price: $4.21

Best for Skin Weighed Down by Oil: Lathers into a Light Foam, but Offers a Deep Cleanse

This smelled of and was the roasted green color of tea leaves. The foam was light and fluffy, rather than dense, and was easy to rinse off. It also took away plenty of oil and left us feeling refreshed.

However, the foaming net it came with didn’t work too well. If you want a nice rich lather, you might have to buy a better one off Amazon.

Japanese 牛乳石鹸 自然ごこち 茶 洗顔石けん Cleansing 5.0
Hydration 2.0 Ingredients 3.0
Overall Score 5.0

3. PLuS Clearfine Black Soap

PLuS Clearfine Black SoapPLuS Clearfine Black Soap

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Price: $12.41

Best Charcoal-Based Face Wash: Sebum-Clearing, but Leaves Skin Supple

This contained charcoal and came out a silver mercury color. It was thick and a bit sticky. However, that texture grabbed on to sebum and impurities, washing them away.

The formula featured hyaluronic acid and placenta extract, so skin felt plump with moisture after cleansing. However, water levels in our skin rapidly dropped after that, so make sure you break out the toner and lotions.

Japanese プリュ クリアファイン ブラックソープ Cleansing 5.0
Hydration 2.0 Ingredients 3.0
Overall Score 5.0

4. Kikumasamune Skin Care Wash (Sake Face Wash)

Kikumasamune Skin Care Wash (Sake Face Wash)Kikumasamune Skin Care Wash (Sake Face Wash)

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Price: $4.72

Best for Fans of Kikumasamune’s Sake Line: Smells of Sake and Actually Works

This is yet another addition to Kikumasamune’s sake line. Before we go further, yes, it smelled like sake. But it didn’t have too much of that sharp, nose-clearing scent of alcohol, and the scent didn’t linger after we had rinsed off.

It lathered easily and got rid of a good amount of sebum. However, it was a bit drying, so hydrate afterwards.

Japanese 菊正宗 日本酒の洗顔料 Cleansing 5.0
Hydration 2.0 Ingredients 3.0
Overall Score 5.0

5. Rosette Cleansing Paste (Pink)

Rosette Cleansing PasteRosette Cleansing Paste

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Price: $3.16

Best if You’re Looking for a Deep Cleanse: Strips Away Oil and Impurities

This came out as a dense, springy foam. It clung tightly on to skin, absorbing impurities and oil.

However, after rinsing off, skin felt a bit taut. When we measured for moisture, we found that water levels had dropped dramatically. The wash will give you a deep cleansing, but you’ll have to make sure you don’t let your skin get too dehydrated.

Japanese ロゼット 洗顔パスタ 白泥リフト Cleansing 5.0
Hydration 1.0 Ingredients 4.0
Overall Score 4.0

6. Mizubashi Hojyudo Itsukano Sekken

Mizubashi Hojyudo Itsukano SekkenMizubashi Hojyudo Itsukano Sekken

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Price: $9.75

Best if You’re Looking for a Gentle but Effective Cleanse: Rich Lather that Soaks up Oil but Not Moisture

This lathered well for bar soap. It didn’t contain any petroleum-based surfactants, so it was quite mild. However, it still got rid of a lot of oil.

If you’ve got clogged pores, you can also try letting the foam sit on them for about 30 seconds, and it should absorb some of the gunk.

Japanese 水橋保寿堂製薬いつかの石けん Cleansing 4.0
Hydration 5.0 Ingredients 3.0
Overall Score 4.0

7. Mocchi Skin Face Wash

Mocchi Skin Face WashMocchi Skin Face Wash

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Price: $18.06

Best if You Like Feeling Moisturized All the Time: Balances Hydration and Cleansing

Dense, plush foam came out at the push of the button–no need to spend time lathering up. Even after you rinse off, you can feel the moisturizers on your skin–like if you had used a toner or lotion. That might not appeal to you if you like feeling cold and refreshed after cleansing, but rest assured that this face wash will get rid of excess oil.

Japanese モッチスキン 吸着泡洗顔 Cleansing 4.0
Hydration 4.0 Ingredients 4.0
Overall Score 4.0

8. Bifesta Foaming Whip (Oil Clear)

Bifesta Foaming Whip (Oil Clear)Bifesta Foaming Whip (Oil Clear)

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Price: $5.28

Best for a Strong Cleanse that Doesn’t Dehydrate: Washes Away Oil but Leaves Skin Soft and Smooth

This formula will certainly clear your skin of oil. The foam was thick, gloopy, and clingy, which helped it draw away impurities. Yet, it was easy to rinse off. It left skin feeling smooth and supple.

Japanese ビフェスタ 泡洗顔 オイルクリア Cleansing 4.0
Hydration 4.0 Ingredients 3.0
Overall Score 4.0

9. Curél Sebum Care Foaming Wash (Quasi-Drug)

Curél Sebum Care Foaming WashCurél Sebum Care Foaming Wash

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Price: $12.05

Best if You’re Looking for a Light, Balanced Cleanser: Juggles Cleansing Power Hydration in a Fluffy Foam Formula

The foam was light and disappeared quickly. Still, it managed to take quite a bit of excess sebum with it without being dehydrating. We didn’t feel any tightness after cleansing. It was also alcohol-free.

Japanese キュレル 皮脂トラブルケア 泡洗顔料 Cleansing 4.0
Hydration 4.0 Ingredients 0.0
Overall Score 4.0

10. Hime Labo Washing Soap

Hime Labo Washing SoapHime Labo Washing Soap

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Price: $13.84

Worth Checking out: Features Beautifying Ingredients from a Famous Onsen

With the help of a foaming net, this bar soap lathered into a moutain of fluffy bubbles. It contains a collection of ingredients derived from Tamatsukuri Onsen, which is also known as “the beautifying spring.” The surface of our skin felt soft and moisturized after cleansing–though, in actuality, it offered only average hydration.

Japanese 姫ラボ 石鹸 Cleansing 4.0
Hydration 3.0 Ingredients 4.0
Overall Score 4.0

11. Ishizawa Labs White Wash

Ishizawa Labs White WashIshizawa Labs White Wash

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Price: $15.06

Worth Checking out: Lightweight Cleanser from the Brand that Produced White Pack

The foam was light and rinsed off easily. It left us feeling refreshed. However, the bubbles start popping as soon as they’re dispensed, so if you don’t cleanse quickly, you’ll soon be left with nothing to cleanse with. The product also comes in a pressurized can, which you can’t take on to planes.

Japanese 石澤研究所 透明白肌 ホワイトウォッシュN Cleansing 4.0
Hydration 3.0 Ingredients 4.0
Overall Score 4.0

12. dear mayuko Cleansing Foam

dear mayuko Cleansing Foamdear mayuko Cleansing Foam

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Price: $24.09

Worth Checking out: Effective Formula that Features Silk Protein

This (obviously) wasn’t a bar of soap, but we had issues getting it to lather with our hands. It did grow into a dense foam when we used a net though.

The formula contains protein (sericin) derived from silk, which is said to nourish skin. Our own skin felt supple and healthy after cleansing.

Japanese dear mayuko 洗顔フォーム Cleansing 4.0
Hydration 3.0 Ingredients 3.0
Overall Score 4.0

13. Bioré Marshmallow Whip (Oil Control)

Biore Marshmallow WhipBiore Marshmallow Whip

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Price: $4.32

Worth Checking out: Well-Known Drugstore Brand that Works on Oily Skin

The foam was a bit loose and shrunk quickly. You may need a few extra pumps, but this face wash will rinse away excess sebum.

Japanese ビオレ マシュマロホイップ オイルコントロール Cleansing 4.0
Hydration 3.0 Ingredients 3.0
Overall Score 4.0

14. THREE Clearing Foam

THREE Clearing FoamTHREE Clearing Foam

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Price: $35.32

Worth Checking out: Powerful Cleanser Filled to the Brim with Plant-Based Ingredients

This left skin feeling light, cool, and refreshed. We did get a bit of tightness after cleansing though.

Like most THREE products, this face wash was packed with botanical extracts and essential oils, which can be nourishing but may be too much for sensitive skin (thus the low score for ingredients). It also smelled very planty.

Japanese THREE クリアリングフォーム Cleansing 4.0
Hydration 3.0 Ingredients 2.0
Overall Score 4.0

15. RMK Moist Foaming Soap

RMK Moist Foaming SoapRMK Moist Foaming Soap

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Price: $30.12

Worth Checking out: Foam that Will Give You an Extremely Thorough Cleanse

This came out of the bottle as foam. It was dense and fluffy, and all we needed was a single pump. The formula was powerful and got rid of almost all oil; however, in return, skin felt a bit tingly after cleansing.

Japanese RMK モイスト フォーミングソープ Cleansing 4.0
Hydration 2.0 Ingredients 3.0
Overall Score 3.0

16. ÍPSA Cleansing Marine Cake

Ipsa Cleansing Marine CakeIpsa Cleansing Marine Cake

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Price: $24.90

Worth Checking out: Beautiful, Foaming Soap that Also Works Well as a Cleanser

The soap was a deep, sparkly blue that looked the the surface of an (idealized) ocean. It’s a bit pricey, but it lathered up so well, we had enough foam for our face all the way down to our décolletage.

Japanese イプサ クレンジング マリンケイク Cleansing 4.0
Hydration 2.0 Ingredients 2.0
Overall Score 3.0

17. Pelican Soap No Foundation Soap

Pelican Soap No Foundation SoapPelican Soap No Foundation Soap

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Price: $5.53

Worth Checking out: As a Cleanser, It Merely Works, but the Practical Design Sets This Bar of Soap apart

The soap comes as a kind of deformed lump, which makes it easier to work into a lather, even without a net. It also keeps the bar from melting (which is great if your bathroom is always steamy). And, yes, it does work to get rid of most excess sebum.

Japanese ペリカン石鹸 ノーファンデソープ Cleansing 4.0
Hydration 2.0 Ingredients 2.0
Overall Score 3.0

18. RMK Clear Cream Soap

RMK Clear Cream SoapRMK Clear Cream Soap

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Price: $28.10

Worth Checking out: Citrusy Face Wash that Can Also Exfoliate

This face wash contains yuzu extract and also works as a scrub. However, you might want to think twice about using a foaming net; while it’ll give you a nice lather, it’ll also melt all the solids. If you’re looking to exfoliate, gently work the face wash in your hands before applying. It gives off a refreshing citrus scent.

Japanese RMK クリア クリームソープ Cleansing 4.0
Hydration 1.0 Ingredients 3.0
Overall Score 3.0

19. HACCI Honey Soap

HACCI Honey SoapHACCI Honey Soap

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Price: $48.18

Worth Checking out: Cleansing, Honey-Based Wash

This lathered into rich foam and was tough on oil. The formula features honey, so we thought it’d be moisturizing, but it was actually drying. It worked, but we aren’t sure if it’s worth $50.

Japanese HACCI はちみつ洗顔石けん Cleansing 4.0
Hydration 1.0 Ingredients 3.0
Overall Score 3.0

20. MAIHADA Hadajun Face Soap

MAIHADA Hadajun Face SoapMAIHADA Hadajun Face Soap

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Price: $27.87

Worth Looking into: Cleanses while Nourishing with Maihada’s Patented Rice Power No. 11

Again, this got rid of a good amount of oil. However, skin felt a bit dry after cleansing. Like all other MAIHADA products, the formula features Rice Power No. 11, which is supposed to nourish skin.

Japanese 米肌 肌潤石鹸 Cleansing 4.0
Hydration 1.0 Ingredients 3.0
Overall Score 3.0

Products That Didn’t Make the Cut

And why they didn’t quite make it.

Not Bad, but Nothing Stands out Either

Not Bad, but Nothing Stands out Either

MAIHADA’s Hadajun Facial Cleansing Cream (21) and COSME DECORTÉ’s Phytotune Foaming Wash (22) were not particularly hydrating (scoring a 4.0) but offered only average cleansing power, which oily skin may find a bit lacking.

natu savon select’s Washing Cream (Chamomile & Pear, 23) and ÍPSA’s Cleansing Fresh Foam e (24) earned average scores of 3.0 all across the board.

Drying with Nothing to Compensate for It

Drying with Nothing to Compensate for It

SENKA’s Perfect Whip (25) and Bioré’s Skin Care Face Wash (Moisture, 26) offered below average moisture but earned only average scores on all other counts.

Poreless Labo’s Pore Foaming Gel (27) and ÍPSA’s Cleansing Moisture Foam (28) were equally unremarkable, except they were even more drying, earning only a score of 1.0 for hydration.

Offers Moisture but Doesn’t Clean

Offers Moisture but Doesn't Clean

Ettusais’s Jelly Mousse N (29) and original Jelly Mousse (30) were very similar; both were highly moisturizing but offered little cleansing power and had average ingredients. The same held true for Sunsorit’s Skin Peel Bar AHA (31) and BLACK PAINT’s Koicha Oil Massage Soap (32).

Ingredients are Possibly Irritating but Offer Little in the Way of Cleansing

Ingredients are Possibly Irritating but Offer Little in the Way of Cleansing

BCL Cleansing Research’s AHA Wash Cleansing (33) earned a score of 1.0 for its ingredients and yet did not cleanse well; however, it received high marks for moisture.

Sub-Par Moisture and Cleansing Power, though Ingredients are Mild

Sub-Par Moisture and Cleansing Power, though Ingredients are Mild

Bioré’s Massage Facial Cleansing Gel (34) earned a high score for its ingredients but offered below average moisture and cleansing power.

Sub-Par Moisture and Cleansing Power, This Time without the Mild Ingredients to Make up for It

Sub-Par Moisture and Cleansing Power, This Time without the Mild Ingredients to Make up for It

ARSOA’S Queen Silver (35), Sekkisui’s White Washing Cream (36), Bifesta’s Foaming Wash (Bright Up, 37), and natu savon select’s Washing Foam (Chamomile & Pear, 38) too offered only sub-par hydration and cleansing, as well as average ingredients.

Mellsavon’s Face Wash (Floral Herb, 39), Ridos’s Green Tea Bar Soap (40), and WHITE ICHIGO’S Organic Tech-Wash (41) earned straight 2.0s for cleansing, moisture, and ingredients.

Decently Hydrating but Do Not Work as Cleansers

Decently Hydrating but Do Not Work as Cleansers

Dr. Ci:Labo’s Labo Labo Super-Keana Washing (42), Rosette’s Cleansing Paste (Ghassoul Bright, 43),  Kenkou Corporation’s Toroawawa Face Wash (44), and Transino’s Clear Wash (45) all scored a 4.0 for moisture but got a 1.0 for cleansing. Ingredients were average, with all products ranking in at a 2.0 or 3.0.

Rosette’s Cleansing Paste (Hyogadei Cleanse, 46) and Kanebo’s suisai Cream Soap (47) scored 3.0s for hydration and ingredients but a 1.0 for cleansing.

Is Passably Moisturizing but Lacks in Everything Else

Is Passably Moisturizing but Lacks in Everything Else

Pelican Soap’s Dot Washy (48) offered average hydration but earned 1.0s on all other counts.

Drying with Little Cleansing Power; Ingredients Earned Varying Scores

Drying with Little Cleansing Power; Ingredients Earned Varying Scores

Good Bye KEANA’S Baking Soda Face Foam (49) got a whopping 4.0 for its ingredients but received only a 2.0 for hydration and 1.0 for cleansing. SENKA’S Perfect White Clay (50), LEAF & BOTANICS’s Face Wash MEBUKI (51), NATURE & CO’s Botanical Clay Wash (52) all earned the same score for hydration and cleansing (2.0 and 1.0, respectively) but a 3.0 for ingredients.

Finally, ALLNA ORGANIC’S Natural Clay Wash (53) scores were as follows: cleansing 1.0, moisture 2.0, and ingredients 2.0.

How We Tested Our Products

How We Tested Our Products

Our editing department made sure the face washes would work on oily skin but wouldn’t be drying. We also looked for mild formulas.

Test ①: Cleansing Power… We worked the face washes into artificial sebum, which we applied to a glass slide. We then looked at how much oil the cleansers absorbed.

Test ②: Hydration… We used a moisturize analyzer (the Corneometer) to measure water levels in our skin before cleansing and five minutes after cleansing. We then compared the numbers.

Test ③: Ingredients… We asked an expert who used to work in cosmetics R&D to look at the ingredients list for us. The less likely a formula was to irritate sensitive skin, the higher of a score it got. Keep in mind, however, that a low score does not equate to a dangerous formula; it simply means that there are some ingredients some people may have sensitivities to.

Tips on How to Choose Japanese Face Wash for Oily Skin – Buying Guide

Here are two big things to look out for.

① Oily Skin Can Take a Bit More Cleansing Power

Oily Skin Can Take a Bit More Cleansing Power

If you have oily skin, you’ll want a stronger cleanser that can get rid of all excess sebum. It should also be absorbent enough to clear up blocked pores that, combined with makeup residue, can lead to acne.

Bar soaps※1 and potash soaps※2 (simply soap that contains potassium) are said to be most powerful, so use that as a simple litmus test for efficacy.

※1 石けん:bar soap
※2 カリ石けん:potash soap

Test ②: Protect Your Skin with the Help of Moisturizing Ingredients

Protect Your Skin with the Help of Moisturizing Ingredients

Hydration is just as important for oily-skinned folks as it is for dry-skinned folks. We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: let your skin dry out, and it will actually overcompensate by producing more oil.

Toners and lotions are important, but it’s just as important that you choose a face wash that contains hydrating ingredients. These protect your face from over-eager cleansing agents, ensuring they won’t strip away essential moisture. To that end, look for ingredients like ceramides, collagen, and hyaluronic acid.

Should I Wash My Face in the Morning?

Should I Wash My Face in the Morning?

You should be using face wash at night–after all, you need to clean up makeup residue and rinse away any gunk accumulated throughout the day. But what about in the morning? Someone might’ve told you that all you need is a little rinse with warm water and you’ll be right as rain again; someone else might’ve told you you have to cleanse with face wash.

Basically, it depends on how much cream you put on and how much oil you excreted the night before. If your skin looks shiny or feels sticky, then go ahead and use a face wash. If not, just a quick rinse off will do.

If You’re Suffering from Acne, Check out These Specialized Face Washes

If You're Suffering from Acne, Check out These Specialized Face Washes

Acne is largely the result of clogged pores. If you want to get rid of your pimples, you’ve got to clear up those pores–and a specialized face wash can help. Learn more by clicking on the link below.

Summary

We rounded up members from our editing department, purchased the 53 most popular Japanese face washes for oily skin, and tested them all.

One last piece of advice: your skin doesn’t just stay dry or oily or normal your entire life. While you’re oily now, the use of these face washes may eventually tone down the shine. Permanently. When that time comes, consider using a milder cleanser and face wash to ensure your skin stays well-moisturized and healthy far into the future.

Original by Yukina Matsuda; Translation by Jasmine Li

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