If you have dry skin, then you know how uncomfortable and sometimes painful the colder, drier months of the year can get. That's why our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) for the best face washes for dry skin. We then chose the 34 most popular products and tested them.
We focused on three things: its cleansing power, its post-wash hydration level, and its ingredients. We then compiled everything we learned into a buying guide about and list of the best Japanese face washes for dry skin available online.
We picked out 34 of the most popular products and tested them for the following: how cleansing it was, how much moisture our skin retained after, and how much good stuff was inside.
Then, based on how they performed on our tests, we graded and ranked the top 34 Japanese face washes for dry skin available online.
※Japanese prices for the some of the products are given; they’ve merely been converted into USD for easy viewing.
Sofina Cushion Foam Essence Face Wash for Dry Skin
White Lucent Brightening Cleansing Foam W
Cleansing Foam Sensitive
shiro Gagome Kelp Soap
Lits Moist Cleansing Wash
Sofina Liquid Essence Face Wash
Exage Clear Moist Wash
Bifesta Moist Foaming Whip
Cleansing Foam Creamy Type
Foamy Rich Mousse
Smooth Away Creamy Soap
d Program Conditioning Soap
Additive-free Moisturizing Face Wash
Softymo Super Cleansing Wash H (with Hyaluronic Acid)
Clear Wash Cream
freeplus Mild Soap
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And why they didn't quite make it.
These products weren't awful, but we couldn't exactly say we recommend them either. Suqqu Enrich Foaming Wash was average in terms of cleansing and moisturizing, but it did have a nice citrus and floral scent.
Chifure Foaming Face Wash left our skin feeling halfway between moist and dry after we washed with it, so we can't say those with dry skin would be better off using it.
Moisture is arguably the most important factor for those with dry skin to consider, and these products couldn't help our skin retain enough of it. Remei Bouncy Whip definitely cleansed our skin, but it also stripped away some of our skin's valuable hydration.
Nameraka Honpo's Shittori Cleansing Face Wash looked like it would be moisturizing, but it wasn't. And even though Lamellance Foaming Face Wash advertises as a product that doesn't require post-wash skincare, we definitely needed it.
In a perfect world, we would properly remove all traces of makeup before using face wash, but we all have our flaws. If you have a lot of makeup on when using these cleansers, you may find yourself needing another wash.
Senka Speedy Perfect Whip had a nice foam, but the bubbles didn't wash away as much as we would have liked. The same applied to Nature & Co Pure Facial Foam, which had a relaxing herb scent.
We were very impressed by how moisturizing Sokamocka Yutaka Face Soap was, but it didn't remove makeup like it promised. And Hatomugi Face Wash Foam comes at a decent price but not with equally decent cleansing power.
A surprising amount of products in our test batch had scents that might be a bit too much for some. For instance, Argelan Moist Face Wash has a pleasant orange and lavender scent, but it's so strong that you can smell it on your skin even after you've rinsed it off. The same applies for RMK Smooth Soap Bar, which smells strongly of lemon grass.
The more unpleasant fragrances we encountered were Nameraka Honpo Foaming Face Wash's alcohol smell and Moist Savon Face Wash's distinctly rubbery smell.
While natu savon select Washing Foam had fairly average scores, it was hard for us to get past the fact that the product seemed to linger on our face even after we washed it off. Since we think people with dry skin are looking for more of a smooth and refreshing finish, we can't recommend it strongly.
These three products had the lowest scores on our tests, and for good reason. Softymo Washing Foam with Hyaluronic Acid was disappointingly not moisturizing despite boasting its main hydrating ingredient right on the package. It didn't cleanse very well, either.
Chifure Cleansing Foam (Moisturizing Type) failed all of the tests except the ingredients category (which don't really matter unless they show results), and the only good thing about natu savon Select Washing Cream was its apple and jasmine scent.
We put each of the face washes through a series of three tests.
Test ① Cleansing Power
To test cleansing power, we applied the face wash to artificial sebum on glass and checked how much was removed.
Test ② Moisturizing Ability
To determine moisturizing ability we used a corneometer to measure skin moisture before and after washing.
Test ③ Ingredients
Finally, our expert, Ms. Mizuha, analyzed the balance of the ingredients within.
Here are two big things to look out for.
You may be reading this piece of advice and thinking, "What? But I need to clean my face!" The thing about dry skin is that too much cleansing power will further strip your skin of the healthy oils it's already deprived of.
We recommend amino acid-based ingredients since they're notoriously gentle on skin (though this can mean a lack of bubbles in the end). You'll find these in the ingredients list with names like cocoyl glycine K and sodium lauroyl methylaminopropionate.
We've said it a hundred times alright, but your dry skin needs moisture. The leading cause of feeling dry is when your skin is stripped of the natural oils that keep it healthy.
That's why you need a good selection of ingredients in your face wash as much as the rest of your skin care routine. Ingredients like squalane resemble the moisturizing veil that should be present on your skin naturally while amino acids and ceramides resemble the moisture already present in your skin.
We've mentioned post-wash skincare enough times that you're probably desperate for some suggestions, right? Here they are.
mybest looked at 34 of the most popular Japanese dry skin face washes available online and tested them all. We found that the best of the best cleansers had a great cleansing power without depriving skin of much-needed oils and didn't have a strong fragrance. We advise you to read more reviews along the way, but we hope we've given you a good place to start your search!
Author: Yukina Fujii/Translation: Shannon McNaught/Photos: Koichi Miura, Yuuki Inagaki, Hiroshi Takigawa
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