• Top 8 Best Japanese Body Oils in 2021 - Tried and True! (Muji, Kose, and More) 1
  • Top 8 Best Japanese Body Oils in 2021 - Tried and True! (Muji, Kose, and More) 2
  • Top 8 Best Japanese Body Oils in 2021 - Tried and True! (Muji, Kose, and More) 3
  • Top 8 Best Japanese Body Oils in 2021 - Tried and True! (Muji, Kose, and More) 4
  • Top 8 Best Japanese Body Oils in 2021 - Tried and True! (Muji, Kose, and More) 5

Top 8 Best Japanese Body Oils in 2021 - Tried and True! (Muji, Kose, and More)

Winter means cold weather and dry air. If your elbows, legs, and arms are in serious need of hydration, why not try a body oil? They're also great for massages! There are some excellent Japanese body oils, some with scents and others fragrance-free. But with so many good brands like Kose, Son Bahyu, and Muji, how do you know what to choose? Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites such as Amazon, Rakuten, and Yahoo! Shopping for the best Japanese body oils available online. We then picked out the most popular products and tested them.


We focused on two things:


  1. Moisturizing power
  2. Non-stickiness


We then ranked the products and put what we learned into a buying guide to help you choose the best Japanese body oils available online.


This article's specialists

Shannon Bruno
  • Last updated: 01-08-2021
  • 246 views
Table of Contents

Is Body Oil Better Than Lotion?

Is Body Oil Better Than Lotion?

The main difference between body oil and lotion is the amount of water in them. Because lotions contain a high percentage of water, they can moisturize well. Oils, however, form a film on the skin's surface and lock in moisture. Lotions can't provide that strong barrier like oils can.


But because body oils have low water content, it's best to use them right after taking a bath or shower. You can also use them in combination with lotion or milky lotion. And they spread easily, which is why they're also great for relaxing massages.

Top 8 Best Japanese Body Oils

We picked out some of the most popular products and tested them for how well they moisturized and how sticky they felt. Then we ranked the top eight Japanese body oils available online.

Japanese prices for some of the products are given, but they've been converted into US dollars to make it easy for you.

1
Japanese薬師堂ソンバーユ(無香料)
Fragrance-freeYes
ScentNone
Amount2.4 fl. oz.
Facial useYes
Moisturizing power5.0
Non-stickiness3.5
Overall score4.55
2
Japanese無印良品ホホバオイル
Fragrance-freeYes
ScentNone
Amount3.4 fl. oz.
Facial useNot indicated
Moisturizing power4.0
Non-stickiness3.5
Overall score3.85
3

NanzenSpa Hinoki Organic Argan Oil

$52.18

Japanesenanzen spa hinoki オーガニック アルガンオイル
Fragrance-freeNo
ScentNone
Amount3.4 fl. oz.
Facial useYes
Moisturizing power4.0
Non-stickiness3.5
Overall score3.85
4

Fernanda JapanMaria Regale Fragrance Body Oil Gelee

$16.94

JapaneseFERNANDA JAPANフレグランスボディオイルジュレ(マリアリゲル)
Fragrance-freeNo
ScentMaria Regale
Amount5.1 fl. oz.
Facial useNot indicated
Moisturizing power4.0
Non-stickiness3.0
Overall score3.70
5

KoseHappy Bath Day Body Steam Oil

$23.22

Japaneseコーセーハッピーバスデイ プレシャスローズ ボディスチームオイル
Fragrance-freeNo
ScentFruity rose
Amount5.1 fl. oz.
Facial useNo
Moisturizing power3.5
Non-stickiness4.0
Overall score3.65
6
Japaneseuka Body Oil Hug
Fragrance-freeNo
ScentNone
Amount3.4 fl. oz.
Facial useNot indicated
Moisturizing power3.0
Non-stickiness4.5
Overall score3.45
7

ExpandRoiche Beauty Oil Cream

$20.12

JapaneseエクスパンドCDB ロイーシェ ボディオイルクリーム
Fragrance-freeNo
ScentFeminine rose
Amount8.5 fl. oz.
Facial useNot indicated
Moisturizing power4.0
Non-stickiness2.0
Overall score3.40
8
Japanese良品計画スウィートアーモンドオイル
Fragrance-freeYes
ScentNone
Amount6.8 fl. oz.
Facial useYes
Moisturizing power2.5
Non-stickiness2.0
Overall score2.35

Compare the Best Japanese Body Oils

Image
1
Yakushido Son Bahyu 1

Yakushido

2
Muji Jojoba Oil 1

Muji

3
Nanzen Spa Hinoki Organic Argan Oil 1

Nanzen

4
Fernanda Japan Maria Regale Fragrance Body Oil Gelee 1

Fernanda Japan

5
Kose Happy Bath Day Body Steam Oil 1

Kose

6
uka Body Oil Hug 1

uka

7
Expand Roiche Beauty Oil Cream 1

Expand

8
Muji Sweet Almond Oil 1

Muji

Name

Son Bahyu

Jojoba Oil

Spa Hinoki Organic Argan Oil

Maria Regale Fragrance Body Oil Gelee

Happy Bath Day Body Steam Oil

Body Oil Hug

Roiche Beauty Oil Cream

Sweet Almond Oil

Features

mybest's Top Choice! 100% Horse Oil for Ultimate Moisture

100% Jojoba Oil for Moist Skin

Highly Moisturizing, Not Sticky, and Odorless

Recommended if You Want Scented Oil

Great to Use After a Bath

A Smooth Finish, but Could be More Moisturizing

Very Hydrating, but Also Very Sticky

We Were Not Fans... at All

Price$19.79$15.31$52.18$16.94$23.22$62.58$20.12$35.71
Japanese薬師堂ソンバーユ(無香料)無印良品ホホバオイルnanzen spa hinoki オーガニック アルガンオイル FERNANDA JAPANフレグランスボディオイルジュレ(マリアリゲル)コーセーハッピーバスデイ プレシャスローズ ボディスチームオイルuka Body Oil HugエクスパンドCDB ロイーシェ ボディオイルクリーム良品計画スウィートアーモンドオイル
Fragrance-freeYesYesNoNoNoNoNoYes
ScentNoneNoneNoneMaria RegaleFruity roseNoneFeminine roseNone
Amount2.4 fl. oz.3.4 fl. oz.3.4 fl. oz.5.1 fl. oz.5.1 fl. oz.3.4 fl. oz.8.5 fl. oz.6.8 fl. oz.
Facial useYesNot indicatedYesNot indicatedNoNot indicatedNot indicatedYes
Moisturizing power5.04.04.04.03.53.04.02.5
Non-stickiness3.53.53.53.04.04.52.02.0
Overall score4.553.853.853.703.653.453.402.35
Link

How We Tested the Japanese Body Oils

How We Tested the Japanese Body Oils

We put each product through two tests to check for the following:


  1. Moisturizing power
  2. Non-stickiness

Then we gave them a score from 0.5 to 5 and ranked them.

Test ① Moisturizing Ability

Test ① Moisturizing Ability

The most important thing to us was moisturizing. To test that, we applied each oil to a mochi rice cake and rubbed it in a bit.


After four hours, we checked the mochi to see if they developed cracks or surface peeling, and touched them to evaluate how moist they felt.

Simple and Inexpensive Horse Oil Performs Amazingly!

Simple and Inexpensive Horse Oil Performs Amazingly!

Son Bahyu, our top choice product, was the only product to receive a perfect score here! The others which did well were ones with oils listed at the top of their ingredient lists and those with few, simple ingredients.


The ones which didn't perform well often included the ingredient tri-caprylic (or capric) glycerol or others. This is included to provide a refreshing feel, but unlike naturally-derived oils, it led to inferior moisturizing. We found this even in the higher end brands, so don't judge by the price.

Test ② Non-Stickiness

Test ② Non-Stickiness

If a body oil is too sticky, you won't want to use it often. For this test, we rubbed an exact amount of oil on one of our testers hands. We left it on for three minutes.


When time was up, our tester pressed their hand lightly onto some beads and shook gently. Then we counted how many beads remained stuck.

More Moisturizing Means More Stickiness, but Some Products Had a Balance

More Moisturizing Means More Stickiness, but Some Products Had a Balance

We actually tested 26 oils for this article, but we wanted to highlight the Japanese ones here. However, overall, we found a range of beads stuck, from zero to 13 for the stickiest product.


Some of the least sticky were not Japanese. Kiehl's and Laline come in spray bottles, and they offer a fine mist and silky texture. They were hardly sticky at all and no beads remained.


But the best moisturizers tended to be sticky. If you really want to find that exquisite balance for the perfect product, go check our product table scores!

How to Choose a Japanese Body Oil - Buying Guide

We recommend keeping these four points in mind when you're deciding on a Japanese body oil.

Different Types of Oils Have Different Effects

Body oil is a broad term. The characteristics of a body oil will depend on what kind of oil it uses. Here are some commonly used oils, so choose according to your purpose and desired effects.

Jojoba Oil is a Trusted Skin-Friendly Moisturizer

Jojoba Oil is a Trusted Skin-Friendly Moisturizer

Jojoba oil is maybe the most commonly used in body oils. It rubs in easily, and has excellent moisturizing and conditioning properties. It's suitable for all skin types and the texture is smooth and light. It's also a great cleansing oil, as it removes sebum and dirt.

Argan Oil is Great for Aging Care

Argan Oil is Great for Aging Care

If you want to make your skin look more youthful, try argan oil. It's rich in vitamin E, which gives firmness to the skin. Of course, it's highly moisturizing as well. It's smooth and not too heavy, so it's a great choice for people who want a lightweight oil.

Olive Oil is the Best for Body Massage

Olive Oil is the Best for Body Massage

Olive oil is another skin-friendly choice that also provides a softening effect. The intense moisturizing and its texture make it perfect for massage. But don't just go to the kitchen and grab your cooking oil. The refining method for skincare products and food is not the same and doing so could cause skin problems.

Pay Attention to the Expiration Date to Avoid Oxidation

Pay Attention to the Expiration Date to Avoid Oxidation

Some oils oxidize more quickly than others, and how long a body oil takes to expire depends on its components and any preservatives. Oxidized oils can lead to skin issues.


Pay special attention to organic products that contain almost no preservatives. After opening, use the product up within three to four months to be safe. Check the date on the product and make sure you'll be able to use it up before then.


If you're unable to determine the use-by date or have had it sitting around a while and aren't sure it's still good, do a patch test on the skin of your upper inside arm. Smell it, too, to see if it has a rancid odor.

Choose a Viscosity That Suits Your Purpose

Some oils are low-viscosity and free flowing. Others are highly viscous and thick. They suit different purposes, so choose accordingly.

For Massage, Go for Viscous and Thick

For Massage, Go for Viscous and Thick

For massage purposes, a highly viscous oil is better. It won't run off the skin easily so you can really work it in and spread it around. These oils are usually stickier, and some may not be fond of that, but we found some that aren't so bad during our tests. Check the product scores to find the right ones!

Thinner Oils Can be Used on the Face as a Booster

Thinner Oils Can be Used on the Face as a Booster

If you're looking for an oil to use as a booster to make lotion application easier after washing your face, look for a smooth texture and low viscosity. These will blend into the skin more quickly and be less sticky.


But be careful when using body oils on your face. They tend to be more pure and don't oxidize easily. Not all of them are safe for use on the face, and unrefined oils especially can cause problems such as burning and acne.

Get an Oil With an Aroma You Like

Get an Oil With an Aroma You Like

The scent of your body oil should help you relax! Aromas will be stronger when the temperature is higher, so for maximum effect try using it for massage after taking a hot bath. You can also use a strongly-scented oil instead of perfume in the morning.


The scent may be stated on the package, but even if it's labeled as unscented, it may have a smell of the particular oil. Try a tester, check reviewer comments, and look at our rankings, because we wrote it down for you!

Tips for Storing Your Body Oil

Tips for Storing Your Body Oil

As we mentioned, oxidization could not only cause a body oil to lose its effectiveness, but may also lead to adverse skin reactions. So you need to be careful about how you store it.


Keep the oil out of direct sunlight and away from high temperatures and humidity. If it's really hot for a long time during the summer, it's okay to keep body oils in the refrigerator. Just keep in mind they may solidify while they're cold, and don't keep them in a vegetable drawer as the humidity is higher there.

Oils Can Work for All Kinds of Skincare!

Oils Can Work for All Kinds of Skincare!

Body oils are great for locking in moisture, but oils can help with your skincare routine in lots of ways! Check out these other great beauty products and make oils work for you.

Summary

In our test of these Japanese body oils, we found the feel and impression of each varies depending on the type of oil it uses and the texture. Decide how you want to use it, and use our rankings to help you find the right one for you!


Author: Yurie Katafuchi/Translation: Susan Lucier-Ogawa/Photos: Koichi Miura, Ayumu Sasaki, Takahiro Matsumura


Ranking date: 12/27/2019


A Pro-Recommended Facial Oil for Your Skincare Routine

If you're looking for an oil that's guaranteed to help with your oily or acne-prone skin, consider this rosehip oil recommended by skincare expert and content creator Shannon Bruno!

Specialist's
mybest

Radha BeautyOrganic Cold Pressed Rosehip Oil

$15.95

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