• Top 18 Best Japanese Bath Milks in 2021 - Tried and True! (Curel, Kneipp Japan, and More) 1
  • Top 18 Best Japanese Bath Milks in 2021 - Tried and True! (Curel, Kneipp Japan, and More) 2
  • Top 18 Best Japanese Bath Milks in 2021 - Tried and True! (Curel, Kneipp Japan, and More) 3
  • Top 18 Best Japanese Bath Milks in 2021 - Tried and True! (Curel, Kneipp Japan, and More) 4
  • Top 18 Best Japanese Bath Milks in 2021 - Tried and True! (Curel, Kneipp Japan, and More) 5

Top 18 Best Japanese Bath Milks in 2021 - Tried and True! (Curel, Kneipp Japan, and More)

Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites such as Amazon, Rakuten, and Yahoo! Shopping for the best bath milks available online. We then picked out the most popular products and tested them.
With the advice of our expert, we focused on three things:


  1. Did it moisturize the skin?
  2. Did it provide lasting warmth?
  3. Did it smell great?

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

  • Last updated: 01-20-2021
  • 473 views
Table of Contents

Top 18 Best Japanese Bath Milks

We picked out some of the most popular products and tested them for moisturizing power, their ability to keep us warm for a while, and aroma. Then, based on our tests and with the advice of our expert, we ranked the top 18 Japanese bath milks available online.

If a product lists what it's effective for, it's a medicated bath milk, so check the table if you're looking to treat a specific condition. Japanese prices for some of the products are given, but they've been converted into US dollars to make it easy for you.

1

Earth PharmaceuticalsUlmore La Estojenne

$7.16

Japaneseアース製薬ウルモア ラエストジェンヌ マドンナローズの香り
Amount/number of uses5.4 fl. oz. / 3 baths
Fragrance and colorMadonna Rose, Silky White (opaque)
Effective for-
Heat retention5.0
Moisturizing5.0
Scent4.5
Total rating4.88
2

Ayura LaboratoriesMeditation Bath

$27.10

Japaneseアユーララボラトリーズアユーラ (AYURA) メディテーションバスt
Amount/number of uses10 fl. oz. / 12 baths
Fragrance and colorSoft herbal blend (rosemary, chamomile, etc.), milky white
Effective for-
Heat retention4.5
Moisturizing4.0
Scent4.5
Total rating4.25
3

KaoEmollica Moisture Bath Milk

$8.58

Japanese花王エモリカ 薬用スキンケア入浴液 フローラルの香り(医薬部外品)
Amount/number of uses15.2 fl. oz. / 15 baths
Fragrance and colorFloral, milky white
Effective forDry skin, eczema, heat rash, chapped and cracked skin, chilblains, poor circulation, fatigue, shoulder and back pain, neuralgia, rheumatism, hemorrhoids, acne
Heat retention4.0
Moisturizing5.0
Scent3.0
Total rating4.25
4

Earth PharmaceuticalsUlmore Moisturizing Bath Milk

$12.00

Japaneseアース製薬保湿入浴液 ウルモア クリーミーフローラル
Amount/number of uses20.3 fl. oz. / 15 baths
Fragrance and colorCreamy Floral, milky white (opaque)
Effective for-
Heat retention5.0
Moisturizing3.5
Scent4.7
Total rating4.19
5

Kneipp JapanBath Milk

$12.71

Japaneseクナイプジャパンバスミルク コットンミルクの香り
Amount/number of uses16.2 fl. oz. / 12
Fragrance and colorCotton Milk, milky white
Effective for-
Heat retention3.5
Moisturizing4.0
Scent5.0
Total rating4.13
6

Nitto ElechemicOsaji Bath Milk

$26.48

Japanese日東電化工業OSAJI バスミルク パルマローザ
Amount/number of uses6.3 fl. oz. / 5 baths
Fragrance and colorPalmarosa, milky white
Effective for-
Heat retention3.0
Moisturizing5.0
Scent3.2
Total rating4.06
7

BathclinSofre Medicated Rich Moist Bath Liquid

$7.80

Japaneseバスクリン薬用ソフレ 濃厚しっとり入浴液 ホワイトフローラルの香り
Amount/number of uses16.2 fl. oz. / 12 baths
Fragrance and colorWhite Floral, Cream White (opaque)
Effective forDry skin, eczema, heat rash, chapped and cracked skin, chilblains, poor circulation, fatigue, shoulder and back pain, neuralgia, rheumatism, hemorrhoids, acne, bruising, sprains, pre- and post-natal coldness
Heat retention3.0
Moisturizing4.5
Scent4.2
Total rating4.06
8

KaoCurel Medicated Moisture Bath Milk

$8.58

Japanese花王キュレル 入浴剤(医薬部外品)
Amount/number of uses14.2 fl. oz. / 14 baths
Fragrance and colorUnscented and fragrance-free, milky white
Effective forDry skin, eczema, heat rash, chapped and cracked skin, chilblains, poor circulation, fatigue, shoulder and back pain, neuralgia, rheumatism, hemorrhoids, acne
Heat retention3.0
Moisturizing5.0
Scent3.0
Total rating4.00
9

KaoBub Epur Bath Essence

$11.38

Japanese花王バブ エピュール バスエッセンス イランイラン&サンダルウッドの香り
Amount/number of uses9.5 fl. oz. / 8 baths
Fragrance and colorYlang ylang and sandalwood, milky white
Effective for-
Heat retention4.0
Moisturizing4.0
Scent3.7
Total rating3.94

Compare the Best Japanese Bath Milks

Image
1
Earth Pharmaceuticals Ulmore La Estojenne 1

Earth Pharmaceuticals

2
Ayura Laboratories Meditation Bath 1

Ayura Laboratories

3
Kao Emollica Moisture Bath Milk 1

Kao

4
Earth Pharmaceuticals Ulmore Moisturizing Bath Milk 1

Earth Pharmaceuticals

5
Kneipp Japan Bath Milk 1

Kneipp Japan

6
Nitto Elechemic Osaji Bath Milk 1

Nitto Elechemic

7
Bathclin Sofre Medicated Rich Moist Bath Liquid 1

Bathclin

8
Kao Curel Medicated Moisture Bath Milk 1

Kao

9
Kao Bub Epur Bath Essence 1

Kao

Name

Ulmore La Estojenne

Meditation Bath

Emollica Moisture Bath Milk

Ulmore Moisturizing Bath Milk

Bath Milk

Osaji Bath Milk

Sofre Medicated Rich Moist Bath Liquid

Curel Medicated Moisture Bath Milk

Bub Epur Bath Essence

Features

Creamy Water to Moisturize Your Skin! mybest's Top Choice

Amazing Scent and Highly Effective - Great as a Gift

A Medicated, Warming, and Skin-Soothing Bath Milk

A Sweet Scent and Great for Dry Skin

A Moisturizing Bubble Bath Milk

Great Moisturizing and a Unique Scent

Very Moisturizing and a Lovely Scent

A Fragrance-Free Choice That's Highly Moisturizing

A Great Everyday Choice With a Gentle Fragrance

Price$7.16$27.10$8.58$12.00$12.71$26.48$7.80$8.58$11.38
Japaneseアース製薬ウルモア ラエストジェンヌ マドンナローズの香りアユーララボラトリーズアユーラ (AYURA) メディテーションバスt花王エモリカ 薬用スキンケア入浴液 フローラルの香り(医薬部外品)アース製薬保湿入浴液 ウルモア クリーミーフローラルクナイプジャパンバスミルク コットンミルクの香り日東電化工業OSAJI バスミルク パルマローザバスクリン薬用ソフレ 濃厚しっとり入浴液 ホワイトフローラルの香り花王キュレル 入浴剤(医薬部外品)花王バブ エピュール バスエッセンス イランイラン&サンダルウッドの香り
Amount/number of uses5.4 fl. oz. / 3 baths10 fl. oz. / 12 baths15.2 fl. oz. / 15 baths20.3 fl. oz. / 15 baths16.2 fl. oz. / 126.3 fl. oz. / 5 baths16.2 fl. oz. / 12 baths14.2 fl. oz. / 14 baths9.5 fl. oz. / 8 baths
Fragrance and colorMadonna Rose, Silky White (opaque)Soft herbal blend (rosemary, chamomile, etc.), milky whiteFloral, milky whiteCreamy Floral, milky white (opaque)Cotton Milk, milky whitePalmarosa, milky whiteWhite Floral, Cream White (opaque)Unscented and fragrance-free, milky whiteYlang ylang and sandalwood, milky white
Effective for--Dry skin, eczema, heat rash, chapped and cracked skin, chilblains, poor circulation, fatigue, shoulder and back pain, neuralgia, rheumatism, hemorrhoids, acne---Dry skin, eczema, heat rash, chapped and cracked skin, chilblains, poor circulation, fatigue, shoulder and back pain, neuralgia, rheumatism, hemorrhoids, acne, bruising, sprains, pre- and post-natal coldnessDry skin, eczema, heat rash, chapped and cracked skin, chilblains, poor circulation, fatigue, shoulder and back pain, neuralgia, rheumatism, hemorrhoids, acne-
Heat retention5.04.54.05.03.53.03.03.04.0
Moisturizing5.04.05.03.54.05.04.55.04.0
Scent4.54.53.04.75.03.24.23.03.7
Total rating4.884.254.254.194.134.064.064.003.94
Link

Products That Didn't Make the Cut

And why they didn't quite make it.

Moisturization Was Great, but the Aroma Was a Bit Faint

Moisturization Was Great, but the Aroma Was a Bit Faint

Kinmokusei Bath Milk from Tree of Life has a wonderful scent of osmanthus, or sweet olive. It was quite moisturizing, with an increase of 13 percent. We liked the scent so much that some of us wanted it to be more powerful!


"Cow Brand" from Kyoshinsha offers Additive-Free Moisturizing Bath Milk. With ceramide, the moisturization of our testers' skin went up 13 percent for a high score. The scent is slightly floral, but it's pretty faint, so we recommend it for those who dislike strong aromas.


Matsuyama's Leaf & Botanics Bath Essence Sake contains junmaishu (high-quality rice wine) and sake kasu (or lees.) These provide a 13 percent increase in skin hydration. It doesn't smell of alcohol, which can be a plus or a minus, depending on your taste.

Again, Good Moisturizing- but the Warmth Wears off Soon

Again, Good Moisturizing- but the Warmth Wears off Soon

Dr. Ci-Labo's Medical-Esthe Herbal Bath can help treat rough skin, stiff shoulders, poor circulation and fatigue and turns the water a light green color. Moisturization improved by 14 percent for a good score there. It won't give you as much lasting body warmth as some others, but has a nice floral scent.


Muji offers a Moisturizing Bath Essence with a milky white color and slight citrusy smell. It's free from synthetic fragrances and medicated to help rough skin. It gave a great 15-percent increase in skin moisture, but a temperature drop after 10 minutes means it won't keep you warm for long.

They Were Just Average

They Were Just Average

Another medicated product in the Sofre line by Bathclin is Cure Skin Bath Liquid. It's indicated for the same ailments as their Rich Moist bath milk, using extracts of licorice and iris. It will add 8 percent more hydration to your skin but is better at increasing body warmth. We also loved the creamy herbal aroma.


Minon Medicated Moisturizing Bath Agent from Daiichi Sankyo Healthcare can treat similar conditions to the Sofre products. It also contains glycyrrhizinate 2K as a treatment for sensitive, dry skin. Moisturizing improved by 8 percent, but the skin temperature returned to pre-bath levels 10 minutes after leaving the bath. The scent is faintly floral.


Kao's Bioreu Deep Moisturizing Bath Milk uses shea butter to bring an increase in hydration of 7 percent. The scent is sweet like baby powder, and it softly fills the bathroom. The aroma was fine, but nothing super impressive.

Introducing the Expert Who Lent Us His Knowledge

Introducing the Expert Who Lent Us His Knowledge
Shinya Hayasaka
Bath Expert

His experience in medical care for the elderly led Mr. Hayasaka to realize the importance of bathing for health. He is now a leading researcher on bathing and hot springs, and has conducted studies with over 30,000 people. He received his M.D. from Jichi Medical University and is now a professor in the Human Sciences department at Tokyo City University specializing in balneotherapy.

He has been on Japanese TV, radio, newspapers and magazines, giving lectures with easy-to-understand explanations. TV guest appearances include The Most Useful School in the World, HONMADEKKA TV, asaichi, Chico Will Scold You! and more. Published works include The Official Guide to Correct Bathing from the Japan Bathing Association and The Best Bathing Method published by Daiwa Shobo.

How We Tested the Japanese Bath Milks

How We Tested the Japanese Bath Milks

We put each product through a series of tests to check for the following:

  1. Did it moisturize the skin?
  2. Did it provide lasting warmth?
  3. Did it smell great?


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


Please note that the products listed in the ranking were not chosen by our expert, but independently scored after our editorial staff tested them. In addition, we do not guarantee you will see the exact results we did. Please read the product descriptions carefully before choosing.

Test ① Moisturizing Ability

Test ① Moisturizing Ability

Moisturizing is probably what most people are looking for in a good bath milk, so we examined that first. Two testers soaked their feet in water with a specified amount of product for 10 minutes. The moisture content of their skin was measured beforehand, then at 10 minutes, and again 30 minutes after.

All Bath Milks Moisturize- at Least a Little!

All Bath Milks Moisturize- at Least a Little!

All of the products we tested increased the skin's moisture content by five percent or more. You can expect any of them to provide some relief for your dry skin.


However, Emollica, Ulmore, Curel and Osaji were standouts, with 19-percent increases! Many of the products also held their moisturizing beyond 10 minutes. If you're concerned about dry skin or want a bath product for winter, definitely choose bath milks over bath salts.

Test ② Lasting Warmth

Test ② Lasting Warmth

We wanted to know which ones were best at keeping us warm for longer after getting out of the bath. Using the same foot soak method, we checked the temperature of our skin with thermal imaging before and after the soak.

The Ulmore Series Outperformed Them All, but Some Lasted 30 Minutes

The Ulmore Series Outperformed Them All, but Some Lasted 30 Minutes

Ulmore bath milks are the way to go if you suffer from poor circulation or just are cold all the time. They both got perfect scores, since the surface of the skin held a 3.6 degree Fahrenheit increase for 10 minutes after exiting the water.


If you want to warm up gradually after bathing, pay attention to the ones in our ranking which had the best scores here. And do note that these effects were only seen in medicated products!

Test ③ Aroma

Test ③ Aroma

This is a bit subjective, but some scents are more relaxing than others. We checked by sniffing the actual hot water, not the bath milk alone.

None of the Products Failed, but We Thought Florals Were Most Relaxing

All of the products received scores of three or higher. They're mostly designed with soft flowery scents which are universally liked. There were some which were a bit strong, so if you're sensitive to aromas check our rankings. Curel in particular doesn't smell at all, so go for that if you want unscented.

How to Choose a Japanese Bath Milk - Buying Guide

Our expert Shinya Hayasaka gave us four pointers to keep in mind when choosing a bath milk.

Chooce Between Medicated or Non-Medicated Products

Chooce Between Medicated or Non-Medicated Products

It may be hard to tell the difference between medicated and ordinary bath milks if you can't read Japanese. And even if you can, it still may not be clear; some products are not classified under the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law.


There is a difference. Medicated products may help with a variety of skin and health conditions. So if you just want a relaxing hot bath and moisturized skin, any are fine. If you want more, read our rankings and the product table to find the right medicated product for your needs.

Look for Lots of Moisturizing Ingredients

Look for Lots of Moisturizing Ingredients

Two powerful moisturizers we recommend are glycerin and jojoba oil. They adhere to the skin and prevent moisture loss. Ceramide, which occurs naturally in the skin, also traps moisture.


Other great ingredients to look for are olive oil, soybean oil, liquid paraffin, petrolatum, skim milk powder, squalene, honey, rice germ oil, and shea butter.

Lavender Helps You Sleep, Citrus Will Rejuvenate Your Mood

Lavender Helps You Sleep, Citrus Will Rejuvenate Your Mood

Bathing is as much about refreshing your spirit as it is freshening up your body. If you're looking for something relaxing to help you unwind after a long day, try lavender-scented bath milk. Other, more Japanese, choices before bedtime are hinoki cypress, hiba cypress, or yuzu citrus.


For more of an uplifting, rejuvenating effect, try grapefruit, orange, or other stimulating citrus scents.

If You Live in Japan, Consider if You'll "Recycle" the Water

If You Live in Japan, Consider if You'll "Recycle" the Water

If you know a bit about Japanese culture, you've probably noticed that bathing is a big part of it. You don't even have to visit a natural hot spring onsen to reap the benefits of this, as most Japanese homes have a bathroom that, frankly, puts most American tubs to shame.


One difference is that many Japanese people take baths pretty much every day. After washing in the shower, you soak in a hot tub, not to get clean (you already did that part) but just to relax. So, you'll want to think about how much you're spending on bath milk since you'll use it a lot.


Bath milks tend to be more expensive than bath salts or powders. Bottles are cheaper than small packets, so keep that in mind when choosing.

If You Live in Japan, Consider if You'll "Recycle" the Water

Another thing to consider if you live in Japan is whether you'll re-use the bathwater. There are two things to consider here.


As we mentioned, when you get into the tub, you'll already have washed your body. So it's very common to use the same water for multiple baths for different family members, or even two days in a row. Japanese tubs have an oidaki function that re-heats the water so you can take another bath without wasting gallons and gallons.


Many homes also have the ability to run a hose from the tub to your washing machine, so you can use the old bath water to do laundry. These are great eco-friendly ideas, but not all bath milks are suited for them. You'll need to check the package and make sure they're okay to use for re-heating or clothes washing.

Tips for Having the Best Bath Ever!

Tips for Having the Best Bath Ever!

Your bathtub may not be a natural hot spring, but you can get more out of your bathing experience with these tips.


To heal physical and mental fatigue, dissolve the bath milk in water that's between 100 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit (not much above body temperature.) Soak for 10 to 20 minutes. If your tub is deep enough, soaking all the way up to the neck will relieve tension in your shoulders and whole body.


The bath is also a great time for digital detox! Avoid the temptation to bring your phone in there, even if it's waterproof. Just rest your mind and enjoy the color and aroma of the hot water.

Pamper Yourself With a Nice Hot Bath

Pamper Yourself With a Nice Hot Bath

Forget hopping in the shower. If you really want to feel refreshed, take the time for extra self-care and enjoy a relaxing bath. Here are some items that can make it even better!

Summary

Bath milk can help you unwind, relieve sore muscles, soothe skin conditions, and warm you up. We found that the best Japanese bath milks are highly moisturizing and keep you warm for a while afterwards. Remember to decide if you need a medicated product or not.


Translation: Susan Lucier-Ogawa


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