Top 28 Best Japanese Sunscreens to Buy Online 2019 – Tried and True!

Top 28 Best Japanese Sunscreens to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!

Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) for the best sunscreens. We then chose the 28 most popular products and tested them.

Since sun damage is serious business, we focused on five things:  how well it prevented sunburn, friction resistance, how waterproof it was, how easy it was to take off, and how it felt on our skin. We then compiled everything we learned into a buying guide about and list of the best Japanese sunscreens available online.

Table of Contents

Top 28 Best Japanese Sunscreens to Buy Online 2019

We picked out of the most popular products and tested them for the following: how well they prevented sun damage, resisted rubbing off, repelled water, how easy it was to remove, and how it felt.

Then, based on how they performed on our tests, we graded and ranked the top 28 Japanese sunscreens available online.

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

1. Kanebo Allie Extra UV Perfect Sunscreen

1. Kanebo Allie Extra UV Perfect Sunscreen

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Price: $21.58

The Most Effective Japanese Sunscreen Available

We loved almost everything about this sunscreen! Along with preventing sun damage perfectly, we also loved its “friction proof” feature that meant it hardly came off even when rubbed with a towel. It’s also waterproof but comes off easily with the addition of soap, making removal just as easy as application.

The only complaint we had about this sunblock was the texture; while light, it didn’t blend into our skin as much as we would have liked it to. Still, this is the best we could find, so we believe this should be your top candidate for Japanese sunscreens!

Japanese カネボウ アリィー エクストラUV パーフェクト Sun damage prevention 4.8
Amount 2 oz Friction resistance 5.0
Type Absorbent Waterproof 4.5
SPF/PA SPF50+/PA++++ Ease of removal 5.0
Special cleanser required? No How it felt to use 2.8
Works as a base? Yes Overall score 4.6

2. Dr. Ci:Labo UV&White Enrich-Lift 50+

2. Dr. Ci:Labo UV&White Enrich-Lift 50+

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Price: $29.19

The Best Sunscreen for Dry Skin

This Dr. Ci:Labo sunscreen brought in excellent results from all of our tests. Its initial pink hue adjusts to your skin tone and makes it appear more lively. If you plan to use it on your face, it could provide a great base for your makeup as well.

Since it is a cream-type lotion, it’s great for those with a naturally dry complexion, but it can feel a bit heavy. Some of our testers liked this and some didn’t, so we’ll leave the final judgement up to you.

Japanese ドクターシーラボUV&WHITE エンリッチリフト50+ Sun damage prevention 5.0
Amount 1.4 oz Friction resistance 4.0
Type Absorbent Waterproof 4.5
SPF/PA SPF50+/PA++++ Ease of removal 4.0
Special cleanser required? Yes How it felt to use 3.0
Works as a base? Yes Overall score 4.4

3. Shinseido Anessa Perfect UV Skincare Milk

3. Shinseido Anessa Perfect UV Skincare Milk

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Price: $18.99

The Lightest-Feeling Sunscreen with the Best Results

This Anessa UV skincare milk has a light and milky texture that is effective at both blocking sunlight and resisting both friction and moisture. It was a bit difficult to remove, so we recommend scrubbing gently with soap until you’re sure it’s off.

If you’ve tried the texture of skincare milk, you’ll know that sometimes it can feel a bit powdery, and some of our testers had that opinion. It’s more for sun protection than for moisturizing, so we’d recommend this product who want a super light-feeling sunblock lotion.

Japanese 資生堂アネッサ パーフェクトUV スキンケアミルク Sun damage prevention 5.0
Amount 2 oz Friction resistance 4.0
Type Absorbent Waterproof 5.0
SPF/PA SPF50+/PA++++ Ease of removal 2.0
Special cleanser required? No How it felt to use 3.0
Works as a base? Yes Overall score 4.3

4. Kose Sports Beauty Sun Protect Gel

4. Kose Sports Beauty Sun Protect Gel

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Price: $20.11

The Best Gel-type Sunscreen

The top gel-type sunscreen in our ranking is great at resisting friction, sun damage, and it’s easy to wash off. It feels light and will protect you for a long time, so this would be great for days when you don’t have time for reapplication. However, we did notice that it came off easily when faced with sweat; as long as you’re not too active, this sunblock gel should hold up and protect you all day long.

Japanese コーセー スポーツビューティ サンプロテクトジェル Sun damage prevention 5.0
Amount 3.2 oz Friction resistance 4.0
Type Absorbent Waterproof 3.0
SPF/PA SPF50+/PA++++ Ease of removal 4.0
Special cleanser required? No How it felt to use 3.8
Works as a base? Information not provided Overall score 4.2

5. Kanebo Allie Extra UV Highlight Gel

5. Kanebo Allie Extra UV Highlight Gel

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Price: $18.10

The Best Sunscreen for Everyday Use

The second Allie product in our top ranking also comes with the “friction proof” technology that we love, but since it’s a gel type, it’s not totally friction proof. It’s super easy to wash off with just a bit of soap, and despite being a gel, has the texture and moisturizing properties of a milk-type lotion. We recommend this if you apply sunscreen everyday.

Japanese カネボウアリィー エクストラUV ハイライトジェル Sun damage prevention 4.8
Amount 2.1 oz Friction resistance 4.0
Type Absorbent Waterproof 3.5
SPF/PA SPF50+/PA++++ Ease of removal 5.0
Special cleanser required? No How it felt to use 2.8
Works as a base? Yes Overall score 4.2

6. SK-Ⅱ Atmosphere Airy Light UV Cream

6. SK-Ⅱ Atmosphere Airy Light UV Cream

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Price: $72.72

The Best Sunscreen for Your Face

As a UV cream, this is a great candidate. It not only provides top-quality skincare, but it also blocks damaging sun rays and resists friction pretty well. It also has an enticing, high-class fragrance.

Considering its price tag and its wealth of skincare ingredients, we’d recommend this for facial use. You can use foundation on top of it without worrying about it rubbing off, and to solve the not-so-water-resistant issue with this particular cream, you can pat a powder on top of your makeup.

Japanese P&GプレステージSK-Ⅱ アトモスフィア エアリー ライト UV クリーム Sun damage prevention 5.0
Amount 1.1 oz Friction resistance 5.0
Type Absorbent Waterproof 2.0
SPF/PA SPF50+/PA++++ Ease of removal 4.0
Special cleanser required? Yes How it felt to use 3.5
Works as a base? Yes Overall score 4.2

7. Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Skincare Gel

7. Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Skincare Gel

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Price: $24.58

The Most Waterproof Sunscreen

This Anessa gel contains an “aqua booster” feature that is super effective at resisting both water and sweat, so it would be great if you’re going to be active or in the water all day. It came off a little bit when rubbed with a towel, but that’s to be expected with most gel types. Some of our testers said that it felt a bit sticky upon initial application but that it blended into the skin shortly after.

Japanese 資生堂アネッサ パーフェクトUV スキンケアジェル Sun damage prevention 4.5
Amount 3.2 oz Friction resistance 3.5
Type Absorbent Waterproof 5.0
SPF/PA SPF50+/PA++++ Ease of removal 3.0
Special cleanser required? No How it felt to use 3.0
Works as a base? Yes Overall score 4.1

8. Muji Sunscreen Lotion

8. Muji Sunscreen Lotion

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Price: $18.99

An All-around Amazing Sunscreen

Muji’s sunscreen lotion took near-top scores in almost all of our categories. It protected our skin from sun damage, repelled water, washed off easily, and felt great. The only thing it failed in (which is arguably one of the more important factors) is the rub-off test; it comes off with even just a bit of friction. If you can overlook that, then this is an excellent option to consider.

Japanese 無印良品日焼け止めローション Sun damage prevention 5.0
Amount 1 oz Friction resistance 1.0
Type Absorbent Waterproof 5.0
SPF/PA SPF50+/PA++++ Ease of removal 5.0
Special cleansing required? No How it felt to use 3.9
Works as a base? Information not provided Overall score 4.1

9. Biore UV Athlizm Skin Protect Essence

9. Biore UV Athlizm Skin Protect Essence

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Price: $17.50

A Sunscreen That Passed All the Tests

Biore’s Athlizm had great scores across the board. Its lowest score on the water resistance test may have been due to the fact that we used water mixed with horse oil in the test rather than just water. As for texture, it felt great when considering it’s a suncreen; it blended into our skin fairly well. If you’re looking for an all-around reliable sunscreen, Athlizm is a great option to consider.

Japanese 花王ビオレUV アスリズム スキンプロテクトエッセンス Sun damage prevention 4.5
Amount 2.5 oz Friction resistance 4.0
Type Absorbent Waterproof 3.5
SPF/PA SPF50+/PA++++ Ease of removal 4.0
Special cleansing required? No How it felt to use 3.5
Works as a base? Yes Overall score 4.1

10. e’quipe RMK UV Face Protector 50

10. e'quipe RMK UV Face Protector 50

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Price: $33.86

A Moisturizing Sunscreen for Your Face

What we liked most about this sunscreen was its lotion-like texture. Its moisturizing properties would make it great for those with dry or those looking for a little extra moisture. It’s also effective against rubbing, so it’d be good for workouts or the beach as well.

The package contains a bit more sunscreen than normal for face-specific sunscreens, but considering the price tag, we would recommend it exclusively for facial use.

Japanese エキップRMK UVフェイスプロテクター50 Sun damage prevention 4.3
Amount 1.8 oz Friction resistance 4.0
Type Absorbent Waterproof 3.5
SPF/PA SPF50+/PA++++ Ease of removal 4.0
Special cleanser required? Yes How it felt to use 4.0
Works as a base? Yes Overall score 4.0

11. Mentholatum Sunplay Super Block

11. Mentholatum Sunplay Super Block

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Price: $14.99

Great at Preventing Sun Damage but Hard to Remove

Considering its low price, we were surprised at how well this sunscreen preventing UV rays from damaging our skin. It also held up well against moisture and friction. However, when we tried to remove it, it took a lot of soap and scrubbing to completely remove it.

It has a watery texture that feels almost a bit sticky, but it also helps your skin retain moisture. If you need something on the cheap end that will hold up against rays, water, and rubbing, then consider this lotion.

Japanese ロート製薬メンソレータム サンプレイ スーパーブロック Sun damage prevention 4.8
Amount 1.1 oz Friction resistance 4.0
Type Absorbent Waterproof 4.5
SPF/PA SPF50+/PA++++ Ease of removal 1.0
Special cleanser required? Information not provided How it felt to use 2.8
Works as a base? Information not provided Overall score 4.0

12. Curel UV Lotion SPF50+ PA+++

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Price: $11.53

A Sunscreen That Protects against Sun Damage and Moisture

Even though this medicated Curel sunscreen was designed specifically for those with dry skin, we found it an effective sunscreen for all skin types. It was also great at resisting moisture. However, it rubbed off pretty easily. We’d recommend this sunscreen for a day at the pool or the beach, especially since it contains ultraviolet scattering agents (though this does make it a little hard to spread).

Japanese 花王キュレル UVローション SPF50+ PA+++(医薬部外品) Sun damage prevention 4.8
Amount 2 oz Friction resistance 2.0
Type Ultraviolet scattering agent Waterproof 5.0
SPF/PA SPF50+/PA+++ Ease of removal 4.0
Special cleanser required? No How it felt to use 2.8
Works as a base? Yes Overall score 4.0

13. Fancl Sunguard 50+ Protect UV

13. Fancl Sunguard 50+ Protect UV

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A Sunscreen That Brightens Your Skin

We liked Fancl’s Sunguard lotion because it didn’t come off easily and it contains ultraviolet scattering agents. This makes the texture somewhat less than ideal, but the finish it gives your skin is a livening one. Our testers also ranked it high in sun protection, moisture resistance, and friction resistance, making this a good option if you’re doing something active.

Japanese ファンケルファンケル サンガード50+ プロテクトUV Sun damage prevention 4.8
Amount 2 oz Friction resistance 4.0
Type Ultraviolet scattering agent Waterproof 4.0
SPF/PA SPF50+/PA++++ Ease of removal 2.0
Special cleanser required? Yes, if used on the face How it felt to use 2.7
Works as a base? Information not provided Overall score 4.0

14. Nivea Sun Protect Water Gel

14. Nivea Sun Protect Water Gel

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Price: $11.28

A No-Fuss Sunblock Gel

The watery texture of this Nivea gel makes it feel like a dream on the skin. That almost makes up for the fact that it didn’t take top scores in the sun protection and waterproof sectors. We were also surprised at how well it held up against friction. We’d recommend this product for something casual like a day out on the town.

There are also refill packages for this sunscreen, so you can reuse the bottle and save some money!

Japanese 花王ニベアサン プロテクトウォータージェル Sun damage prevention 4.3
Amount 4.9 oz Friction resistance 4.0
Type Absorbent Waterproof 3.0
SPF/PA SPF50+/PA++++ Ease of removal 4.0
Special cleanser required? No How it felt to use 4.7
Works as a base? Yes Overall score 3.9

Other Products That Work Great as a Makeup Base

Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? We’ve thrown in a few extra suggestions that didn’t necessarily receive top scores but that would work well if used as a makeup base.

Sunscreens That Are Great as a Makeup Base

Some sunscreens work best by themselves, while others can actually enhance your makeup. Shinseido’s cle de peau Beaute UV Cream is one of those products; it moisturizes the skin and protects it from aging as well as sun damage. La Roche-Posay’s UVIdea XL Tone-up light cream would also work in place of a moisturizer.

Kose’s Sun Cut Tone Up UV Essence comes in a lavender shade that can revitalize dull-looking skin. It has a strong fragrance, though, so be warned if you want to use this on your face. The Skin Aqua Tone Up UV Essence and Lancome’s UV Expert Youth Shield Tone Up Milk also work as a pairing to your makeup. While they’re effective at blocking damaging sun rays, it doesn’t stand up to water or friction.

Products That Didn’t Make the Cut

And why they didn’t quite make it.

Products with an Iffy Texture

Products That Don't Feel Great on the Skin

Most of us have experienced that greasy or sticky feeling of slathering on way too much sunblock lotion. If you’re someone that cares about texture, you might want to read our review before you consider buying. While Biore UV’s Aqua Rich Watery Gel is advertised as a gel, we found it to be more akin to a slightly sticky and filmy lotion. Other sticky sunblocks included Kose’s Sun Cut Perfect UV Gel.

We also thought DHC’s Sun Cut Q10 EX and Shiseido’s Sun Medic UV Medicated Sun Protect Ex Milk Gel were a bit oily, and though Natural UV Protection Milk from Neal’s Yard Remedies received top scores in the sun protection department, we found it difficult to blend into our skin unless done thoroughly.

Not So Protective

Not So Protective

Some sunblocks just weren’t doing their job: protecting us from damaging sun rays. This was the case with Biore’s UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence, which didn’t offer protection from the sun unless blended in well. Yuskin S UV Milk SPF25 PA++ has a lower SPF than the other lotions we tested to begin with, but even then it didn’t offer much protection. Skin Aqua’s Super Moisture Gel wasn’t super waterproof or sun-proof, so we’d recommend it if you’re going to be indoors for most of the day.

A Sunblock That Come off Too Easily

Sunblocks That Come off Too Easily

If you’re going to be active or in the water, you’ll want a sunscreen that can handle it. While we enjoyed how moisturizing Decorte Sun Shelter Multi Protection Sunscreen was, it rubbed off easily with a towel and didn’t stand up to our waterproof test. We’d recommend this for indoor use, perhaps if you’re worried about your skin drying out from air conditioning.

How We Tested the Sunscreens

We put the 28 most popular sunscreens through five tests, each designed to gauge a different factor. One test measured how effective it was against the sun’s harmful rays; two others measured moisture and friction resistance; and we also measured how it felt and how easy it was to take off.

Test ① Sun Protection

Test ① Sun Protection

We tested for how well each sunblock prevented sunburn in two ways. One was by applying each sunscreen to a sectioned clear file and placing a label over each one that changes colors when affected by UV rays. We waited to see how long it took for the label to change colors.

Test ① Sun Protection

Another was by using a human being (one of our editing staff) and putting each of the 28 sunscreens on his back. He laid on his back for 30 minutes in direct sunlight, and then we checked his skin for results.

Test ② Friction Resistance

Test ② Friction Resistance

To test how well each sunblock resisted friction, we blended each lotion into our skin and then rubbed the blended spot with a towel two times. Then we checked to see how much sunscreen was left.

Test ③ Moisture Resistance

Test ③ Moisture Resistance

After rubbing each sunscreen into our skin, we sprayed fake sweat (a blend of warm water and horse oil) to see how well each product held up against moisture. We learned that cream and lotion-type sunscreens are much more waterproof than gel-type products.

Test ④ Ease of Removal

Test ④ Ease of Removal

To gauge how easily each sunscreen came off, we applied a pump of face wash foam to our sunscreen-slathered arm, rubbed the spot a few times, and washed it with water. We gave our skin a once-over with our eyes to see how much was left. We found that products with high friction and moisture resistance were more difficult to remove.

Test ⑤ How it Felt to Use

Test ⑤ How it Felt to Use

If you’re going to be using sunscreen daily, you’ll want one that feels good on your skin. We asked our testers how they thought each product looked and felt after using them. They said that gel types felt the best, as well as some of the higher-end brands like SK-II and Lancome.

Tips on How to Choose a Sunscreen – Buying Guide

Here are five big things to look out for.

① Choose an SPF and PA Appropriate for Your Situation

① Choose an SPF and PA Appropriate for Your Situation

When it comes to sunscreens, SPF and PA are important acronyms to remember. SPF gauges how well you’ll be protected from ultraviolet B waves (which cause sunburn), while PA filters out ultraviolet A rays (which cause tanning).

All of the numbers and plus signs used to measure each factor can get a little confusing, so here’s a simple breakdown:

SPF50-50+/PA++++: good for the pool, beach, or outdoor sports
SPF30/PA+++: better for everyday use where you’ll be inside and outside
SPF10-20/PA+-++: best for indoor use or if you’ll only be outside for a very short amount of time

② Pick a Type that Feels Comfortable to Use

② Pick a Type that Feels Comfortable to Use

In our ranking, we mentioned a few types of sunscreens: lotion, gel, and cream types. Lotion types feel moisturizing and absorb into skin fairly easily while also standing up to moisture. They don’t feel sticky or sting, so we’d recommend this type for those with sensitive skin. Gel types absorb into the skin like water, and while they’re not as waterproof as other types, they’re easy to wash off. Cream types are suited for those with dry skin as they often contain moisturizing ingredients.

There are also spray type sunscreens that we haven’t reviewed in this article, mostly because they’re better used for sunblock touch ups than your main protection. Each type has its pros and cons, so decide which one would be best for you based on your preferences, situation, and skin type.

③ Go for a Sunscreen That Will Stay on

③ How Much Effort Do You Want to Use Taking it Off?

If you’re going to be in the water all day or very active, a sunscreen that doesn’t come off easily is what you need. These will often be advertised as waterproof or sweat proof. Two-layer types also come with double the protection and double the moisture protection, so they’ll often stay on better than a single-layer type.

④ How Easy is it to Remove?

④ How Easy is it to Remove?

How much effort do you want to use taking off your sunscreen? Check the label before your purchase: most sunscreens advertise whether they come off with regular soap, body soap, or whether they need specific cleansing. For the record, gel types tend to be easiest to wash off.

⑤ Absorbent or UV Scattering: Consider Your Skin Type

⑤ Absorbent or UV Scattering: Consider Your Skin Type

We’ve mentioned two types of sun protection ingredients: absorbent and ultraviolet scattering. It’s important to know the difference between these and how they could affect your skin before purchasing sunscreen.

Absorbent sunscreens work by first absorbing ultraviolet rays and then using your body heat to evaporate them. They have a high UV cut rate and often feel good on skin. If you have sensitive skin, however, you could have reactions to your body using so much energy to evaporate UV rays. We recommend a patch test to see how it will affect you.

Ultraviolet scattering-type sunscreens tend to come with a higher price tag and may change the hue of your skin. However, rather than using your body’s energy to evaporate ultraviolet rays, scattering types use ingredients like titanium oxide, zinc oxide, iron oxide, and aluminum to form a protective shield on your skin. These are often advertised for sensitive skin.

Looking for Other Skincare Products? Look No Further

If you’re crazy about skincare, you’ll love the products we recommend in our other skincare-related articles.

Summary

We rounded up members from our editing department, purchased the 28 most popular Japanese sunscreens, and tested them all.

We learned that the best of the best sunscreens not only protect your skin, but they also feel great, resist friction and moisture, and are easy to remove. Matching a sunscreen to your situation is as important as the product itself, but hopefully we’ve helped you get one step closer to finding your perfect sunscreen.

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    All too often, we have to make a choice. Do we look good, or do we leave our skin and lashes well enough alone? Mascara opens up and brings out the eyes and irises, but it also likes to claim a few lashes as sacrifice when you take it off at night. However, tubing or tube mascara is designed to slip right off of your lashes with a bit of hot water. In Japan, most of our top-selling mascaras are tubing. So you have a confusing array of choices–and you need to know not only which mascara comes off easily but also which looks best when it goes on. That’s why we ordered the 26 most popular tubing mascaras from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) and tested for the following: 1. Ease of Removal 2. Curl Staying Power 3. Finish 4. Ease of Use 5. Smudge Resistance This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese tube mascaras. Sorry, but What’s Tube Mascara Again? Tube or tubing mascara is mascara that comes off with hot water. In Japan, they’re c

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    Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) for the best cleansing gel. We then chose the 25 most popular products and tested them for the following: 1. Cleansing Power 2. Hydration 3. Ingredients Cleansing gels tend to be mild, but we wanted to see what options, if any, would be suitable for waterproof makeup and oily skin. We also asked a specialist in cosmetic ingredients to inspect the formulas, seeking options for sensitive skin. We then compiled everything we learned into a buying guide about and list of the best Japanese cleansing gels available online. Top 25 Best Japanese Cleansing Gels Available Online We tried the cleansers out on waterproof makeup (which usually contain plenty of oil). We measured moisture levels in our skin. We asked a researcher who used to work in cosmetic R&D to pick out the mildest formulas for us. Then, based on how they performed on our tests, we ranked the top 25 Japanese cleansing gels available online.

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    It’s one of the seven wonders of the world. It’s a trending question on Quora. Why do Japanese women have such beautiful skin? A lot of it starts down at the roots: skincare, diet, genes. However, some of it is surface level stuff: makeup and, specifically, foundation. And out of all the foundation that’s out there, liquid–high-end and drugstore–is prized because it’s both versatile and hydrating. So in order to tap into those beauty secrets, we ordered the 12 most popular Japanese foundations from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also consulted three experts, who looked for the following: Finish Ease of Application Coverage This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese liquid foundations. Introducing the Experts Who Lent Us Their Knowledge This time around, we borrowed the expertise of hair and makeup artists Rika Fujiwara and Mutsuki, as well as the former fashion retailer and Instagrammer Chie Kato. [expertprof

  • Top 15 Best Japanese Cleansing Milks to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) for the best facial cleansing milk. We then chose the 15 most popular products and tested them for the following: 1. Cleansing Power 2. Hydration (that is, how hydrated your skin is after cleansing) 3. Ingredients We talked to a specialist who used to work in cosmetics R&D about options for sensitive and dry skin. We looked for products that worked on waterproof makeup. What we ended up with was a definitive list of and buying guide about the best Japanese cleansing milks available online and in drugstores. Top 15 Best Japanese Cleansing Milks to Buy Online We tried them out on makeup. We measured moisture levels in our skin to make sure they weren’t drying. We consulted a skincare specialist about fail-proof ingredients. Based on how they performed on these tests, we ranked the top 15 Japanese cleansing milks available online. ※Japanese prices for the products are given; they’ve merely been c